I am excited to report that I have just had the best pre-marathon workout in my career. I was able to average 2:38.2 which, according to Bart Yasso, should translate to a 2:38 marathon in the same conditions. I am not going to get too excited though and my goal will remain to go under 2:42 and finish in the top half. However, this is very, very encouraging.
It was not easy. The fog/smog was even heavier than yesterday. By the time I got to the stadium I was already sweaty, by the time I was done with the first two repeats I was soaked. During the first two repeats I felt quite relaxed. With number five and six I was able to just completely focus and listen to Alex's voice in my head: "Now, this is when it's going to be tough. You just stay with it. It's the middle part that hurts. Just stay with it, stay with it, stay with it....." Once I was done with number 5 and 6 I knew I was going to finish the workout well. The last two started to hurt, for sure, my legs were slowly getting heavy, but given that I was able to get to 2:35 on the last one makes me know that I could have done two more at 2:38ish.
The track was kind of eerie early in the morning (I started my workout at 7:30am, which is when the marathon will start). I was the first and only athlete there for a while. Then other athletes started coming- with their teamates, and their coaches, and possibly even their massage therapists. I felt quite strange being so by myself. But I feel only stronger for it. I was able to do this by myself. No Alex to hide behind when I was running into the wind, no Carre or Rebecca to yell out a word of encoragement. I only had my legs, lungs, and head to make this happen. I must say I am quite proud of myself today. Whether the marathon time that I want happens or not, I know that I have been able to prepare for this race like I had never prepared for a marathon before.
WEll, here are all my splits for my fellow runners out there. I will post another message and some pictures later today.
Repeat 1: 02:39.4, Repeat 2: 2:38, Repeat 3: 02:38.9, Repeat 4: 02:39.3, Repeat 5: 02:37.7, Repeat 6: 02:38.5, Repeat 7: 02:38.9, Repeat 8: 02:35.4
The track as I started the workout...only a lonely volunteer in the background....