I accomplished my number 1 goal from last week. My cold finally left me. I can sleep through the night and I'm not really coughing much at all. I'm probably at about 90%.
I feel like another one might be coming on, which would be a serious bummer, but there's nothing I can do except be sure I get tons of liquids this week, rest, and hope for the best.
This week's workouts were just okay.
M: Rest. Walk 1.24 miles. Final recovery day from the cold.
T: 3.85 miles in 37:41 for an average pace of 9:48/mile. Additional 2.2 miles walking and talking on the phone.
W: Speedwork on the treadmill at 1%. 15 minutes w/u, 2 miles @ 8:34 pace; 6 minutes jog; 1 attempt at a 400 at 7:30 pace -- bailed after 0.15 miles, walked 2 minutes to recover and restarted the intervals at a slower pace. Take 2: 4X400 @ 7:47 with 0.20 walking recovery; 3 minutes jogging cooldown. Very difficult effort. My gluteos maximus was *very* sore for 2 days.
Th: 3 miles recovery @ 10:28 pace.
F: Easy Cross -- 20 minutes rowing; 20 minutes recumbant bike.
Sa: Last long run before the race. The schedule called for 10-12 with the last 4-6 at race pace. F agreed to do this run with me and pull me through the fast miles. My AM went according to plan, which was a good comfort for following the same approach on race day. We drove to the local trailhead and started with a nice easy 6 miles at a 9:48 pace. After a quick gu stop, we *almost* hit the target splits of 9:09 on the last 5 miles: 9:08; 9:19; 9:04; 9:13; 9:14. On the last mile, I could feel myself really starting to struggle so I let F know I'd need to stop at 11 instead of 12. Even with the dropped mile, this run is the most I've ever run in a long run the weekend before a race.
Su: Easy 3.03 mile recovery run (2.5 with E). 30 minutes.
Total mileage for the week: 31.54.
Unfortunately, I don't feel like I tapered at all this week. Which is weird, since the mileage is low compared to the weekly average I'd been keeping this training cycle. Last week's unintended taper week with 4 straight days off running hard meant I'd already dropped my mileage below this week's scheduled level. The antsy energetic feeling that I associate with taper week has yet to hit me. Perhaps it'll come this week?
I've got 3 short runs this week, plus a speed session. This will be more mileage the week of the race than I've ever done before. But, perhaps I've over-tapered in the past? Only one way to find out.
Essentially, I'm in a blah state. I'm definitely more fit than I've been in a long time, but I'm also not quite as fit as I'd hoped to be. I reached out to McMillan Running and they confirmed my suspicions. While the training plan was written for me to shoot for a 4 hour marathon, I didn't hit all the workouts, and last week's sickness was a fairly decent setback at an important time in the buildup.
They recommended that I shoot for something more conservative like 4:05 or 4:10. I know they know their stuff. This is why I paid them. Even so, I was disappointed to read their email. In particular, I'm bummed because there isn't a pace group at 4:05 or 4:10 for the LA Marathon. So, if I take their advice (which I probably should do), I'll have go out alone and just keep myself on pace the whole time. Man, I was really looking forward to hanging with the 4h pace group as long as I could.
Also, after I sent the email to McMillan, I realized that the fast miles in my last long run were on gravel and dirt. I'm guessing I could have hit all of the target splits if we'd been on the road.
Part of me is on the fence. Obviously, getting to the half with the 4h pace group is totally doable. I could just go out with them and do my best to hang on as long as I can. This will, of course, result in one of two scenarios: a) I totally blow up and the last part of the race is sucky and slow and painful; or b) I surprise myself (and the folks at McMillan). I'm guessing option a) is much more likely.
I definitely have a few options to puzzle through. No matter what, I will have a race plan on Saturday night and will do my best to execute it Sunday.