There’s something immensely satisfying about a “last long run”. In reality there’s no real last to it at all, of course – next weekend will bring a much longer long run but for all the weeks of preparation culminate with the penultimate effort the weekend before a race. I started the 18 week training cycle for this race on Halloween of last year, the day after I couldn’t quite PR in Cape Cod, my last marathon of 2011. It might seems like an arbitrary distinction, to roll from racing on day X to training on X+1, and to some degree it is. But these are the mental tricks that have to be played to maintain motivation, to provide a structure on which to build progress. It takes 18 weeks to get ready – and today I’m done with all but the last of those, in the process having run some 662 miles.
Today’s last run was 16 miles, and though not a PR for that distance (Boston Prep 2012 was that) today was my fastest non-race time on my regular 16 mile route. This despite some pretty gnarly winds. It leaves me feeling quite optimistic about next Sunday. My stated goal is to break 4:00 hours but a part of me I don’t know whether to trust or not thinks that might be too conservative.
Song of the week was the last to come up on shuffle as I ran up over the interstate into Allston, Dropkick Murphies.