Getting stuck in the second wave is a drag (long story involving a fax-send error), but I like my number. 51 is always a good omen, though it's traced back to my cycling days. Aside from bib #1, #51 has won the Tour de France the most times.
Before I go on, I'd like to wish good luck to Greg, Thomas, and everyone else racing this weekend.
Today I ran 5 miles with two sets of strides followed by three 800's at race pace with an 800 jog in-between. The track is the one place where marathon pace always feels slow and easy, so it's nice to wait until the last week for this type of run. All three felt very good (2:45, 2:56, 2:54), and I ran the mile back home as slowly as I could. The work is done.
I can honestly say that over the past 20 weeks of training for Twin Cities I've never enjoyed running more. I'd like to give credit to Mystery Coach for making this possible, and for helping me realize that it's possible to train hard without having an antagonistic relationship with my running. So many runners (and running blogs) seem to refer to their training almost as if it's a prison sentence, and I think during my first two attempts at following Arthur Lydiard's training I fell into that camp. When I look back to the disappointment following my rough time at the Rock and Roll marathon in San Diego last June, it was anchored by a feeling that all the pressure I had put on myself and all the training I had suffered through was for nothing because of the bad result.
I can tell you right now that whatever happens at Twin Cities, I'll come home with my head held high. I know I will run with courage and with joy, as the journey over the past few months really has been its own reward. Each lesson the coach has tried to pass on to me has been accompanied by a funny story or interesting experience, by someone who really has seen it all before and knows how to put training in perspective. While the training load has been heavier than before, I can count fewer than a handful of runs over the past 5 months that have found me disappointed or distracted afterwards. Most often, my running is something I enjoy and look forward to. A great race, or even a poor one won't change this. However, the best way I feel I can turn Sunday into the former is to keep the same perspective during the race that I've found during the training. I'll do my best.
Special thanks to Kiera, Haiden and Finn for their love, support...and tolerance.
P.S. Since I won't have a computer with me, any spoilers who find results and want to post them have my blessing to do so. Thanks Eric.
Training: 5 miles, w/2x100 strides/accelerations, 300 jog, then 3x800 (800 jog) at marathon pace