Yesterday's run was a pretty good confidence boost. Matt and I drove over to Huntsville to run these miles on the course. I need practice on the course. I want no surprises on race day. I had a slow start because my body wasn't yet ready to run. I had to stop a couple of times early. Once my system had everything worked out, I had a very strong run.
Once we hit marathon pace, it felt very sustainable. The plan called for 20 total with 14 at MP. We went more like 22 miles and I did about 15.5 at MP. I certainly could have continued at that pace for at least another mile or two. That's not to say that it was easy or that it didn't hurt. But the idea of running 26.2 at that pace did not seem out of reach.
One thing I've discovered about marathon pace is that it feels easier to find when I'm tired. Early in a run, I struggle to hit it. I'm either too fast or too slow. I need some practice hitting it with fresh legs. Late in a run, it almost feels natural.
Today, I did the usual 10 mile loop in Athens with Lanier. He was feeling good today, so we did a few low 7:00s at the end of the run. It was a fun run in great weather. I was surprised by how good I felt after yesterday's run.
I hope to stay healthy and injury free for 5 more weeks!