Well, folks, tomorrow is the last long run before I start to taper for my second marathon.
Training for this marathon has been less disciplined than the last one. I know I can finish, so I just don't have the fear I had last time. But, I would like to improve and so I have tried to train slightly harder this time. Key word, slightly.
I've definitely trained differently this time around. My first long run for training was a bike race with E. I've run 4 races as long training runs, including last weekend's half marathon, which is only 1 month away from the marathon. And, after tomorrow, I will have done two 20-mile runs before this race instead of just one. Two weeks ago, I did the first twenty-mile jaunt as an out and back in San Jose with B (until she ditched me, that is! Speedy that B is!).
Overall, I think I've done more intense training this time, but I've been less consistent about keeping a solid pace than last time around. Last time, I was the slow and steady turtle who ever so slowly inched their comfortable speed for long distances up the grid. This time, I've pushed myself to go hard or fast on longer races and paid for it afterwards with some seriously slow recovery runs.
When I look at the data, I see that I ended up running my first marathon at a pace that was only 3 seconds faster than the pace I kept on the 20 mile run. This time, my first 20 mile run was even slower than the one I did before the last marathon. So, I guess tomorrow is decision day. I'll be up early, pushing myself to keep a difficult pace on a course that I've never done: across the Dumbarton bridge.
Keep your fingers crossed for me, given how tired I feel, I suspect it's not gonna be pretty.