Let me start by saying that I ran 21 miles yesterday. First time I'd ever run over 18 in my life. Was supposed to be a 20 miler but due to a little impromptu-routing on the way, ended up being 21. I don't mind though because the main point is this:
When I finished, I felt like if it WERE race day, I could have gone another 5.
That being said, I cried profusely afterward. It finally feels real to me. I will be running a marathon in 8 weeks. My first marathon ever. I'm of course going to keep doing all my preventative work (strengthening, rolling, and stretching), but I think at this point I can stop walking on eggshells and start to be excited about this dang marathon. Up to now I've been thinking in my head "you still might get injured... it's okay to back down.... 26 miles is really different than 14,16, or 18...."
But man... 26 miles doesn't seem that different from 21 now. Oh and I can cross off a running goal for 2011 (to complete 20 miles). :D
So.... 8 weeks til the big day.... the breakdown is as follows;
Next Weekend: 10 - recovery
6 weeks left: 14 miler
5 weeks left: 22 miler
4 weeks left: 10 miler
3 weeks left: 20 OR 18 miler depending on how I feel.
2 weeks left: 10-14 miles dependign on how I feel
1 week left: 10 miles
0 weeks left: 26.2 miles.
And in case any of you are wondering why my training schedule seems kinda weird (22, 10, 20, taper...) it's because I'm training with a group and most are training for an April 30th marathon, 2 weeks before mine. So I had to modify the end of the schedule a bit. That's why the last one might be an 18 miler. My coach says that since I'll have had a 22 miler under my belt, the 18 should be fine to maintain the muscle tone. But she also says that a 20 miler that day will feel okay since I will have done 22 before... so we'll see. That last run before the taper is still kind of up in the air at the moment.