4 weeks to go
Solid but unspectacular best describes my base phase this fall. Going back to late July, the 10 week average is 66 miles/week. Very consistent, but no great weeks or breakthroughs. And other than the surprise at Santa Claus Half, no great finishes.
That's one thing that is very different about training now compared to 20 or 25 years ago--maybe even 10 years. Back then, I might be moseying along at 50 to 60 miles a week, and then I'd "get serious" about upping the miles and bing! within a few weeks would find great things happening--PRs, high placings, fast times.
Now I train almost as much--sometimes more--and all that I can hope for is not to be worse than three or six months ago. This past six weeks or so has not been especially taxing, but at the same time it seems I've been in perennial recovery mode. Hit it hard for a long run, or mid-week tempo, and then just slog through for another week or ten days hoping that nothing pops.
Or falls off.
Gotta think about these things once you hit late 40s and 50s.
The long runs were excrutiationg in August. I hadn't done much of anything longer than 1:50 from March until August. So getting above 2:00 has been a challenge. I bonked on several of my runs, just 1:30 into them, and hobbled home in 2:10 or 2:20 closing with 8 and 9 minute miles.
Finally, last week I put in my first 20 miler (including 6 at pace). And this week it was 18.5, with 9 at marathon pace. My only complaint about these runs is that it was cold (33) and I had to dress warmer than I'd like to keep warm enough to finish the workouts.
The best news, however, is that after this weekend's 5 mile race effort on Saturday and the 18.5 on Sunday, I feel good. Already recovered.
So maybe. Just maybe. Things are coming around.