Next week I'll start a 20 week build for the California International Marathon on December 6. In preparation for the work ahead I've spent the past ten weeks building up a tolerance for mileage again with four weeks at 100 miles, one easy week at 58, three more weeks at 100, one week at 57, and the current week. I've managed long runs of 16-18 as well as at least one 14 miler each week, and I've also tried to implement strides, strong uphill running, moderate-paced runs and even a few 4 mile evaluations and the occasional workout of repeats around 5K pace.
As for the body, turning 38 last month has resulted in more gray hair in the beard but not many other changes. I'm starting some runs slower than I used to, and I'm running my doubles (3-4 a week) at pretty slow paces (usually 7:30 pace at the fastest except for when the Wednesday night gang lights things up). I seem to be adapting to the miles about the same as usual, and aside from an achilles scare last week and a few of the old familiar iliopsoas complaints I'm doing well.
As for specifics on the build, I'll be sticking fairly close to what worked well for NYC last year, but I'm hoping to work in a bit more time at paces faster than my current marathon pace earlier on. The training will still follow the usual Lydiard model of base conditioning, hills/transition, speedwork, specific pacework and sharpening and taper, as this has worked well for me in the past.
I'll try to start writing a weekly wrap-up of how the training is progressing, though as usual I won't make any promises. Races leading up to the marathon in December include the Saguaro 8-Miler on September 7, the 8K Run and Roll on October 4, the Get Moving 10-Miler on October 11, the Oracle 10K on October 31, and possibly the 5K Cross-Country Turkey Trot on November 26. I'll have to make most of these races into hard workouts without a taper, and I'll be focusing much more on recovering fully from them rather than tapering down for them.
All in all, the motivation is high and I'm really looking forward to marathon day. Like NYC last year I'm going to be joined by several of my friends for this race. James, Jason, Justin, Lucas and Sean will all be training hard for this marathon, so I'll have some good company for many of the long runs and possibly even some workouts.
As for the family, life is good. Our daughter starts first grade next week and turns seven next month, and our son (who just turned 4) is heading back to preschool for a few days each week at about the same time. My wife is still baking up a storm, and in fact just this morning revived me after the bonk on my run with waffles from scratch, eggs and fake sausage. I live a charmed life and I'm grateful for it. I am trying to keep most of the family details out of the blog, but if you are interested you can always find me on Facebook for that stuff. Thanks for sticking around.