Three runs in the last five days, which means five workouts in seven days. That’s right about on target. Off-days are important, but they always make me nervous. I’m afraid that things are going to come up immediately afterward, and all of a sudden I’m going to have three or four off-days in a row, and lose conditioning.
I haven’t gone over thirty minutes yet, and two days I only got in twenty minutes, one because of scheduling constraints, the other because I just didn’t have it in me. It’s amazing where the mind can go even during a short run. Within a mile or two, I can feel good enough to think I could set a time goal, and tear up the marathon course (at least by my personal mediocre middle-age standards), and before I know it, I’m feeling like the idea of even completing a marathon will be an impossible stretch, a set up for failure and embarrassment. Both mindsets are completely believable to me—within minutes of each other!
The best run of the last three was yesterday in a downpour, which was the best once since . . . the previous one in a downpour, which got me thinking about weather. Minnesota’s two marquee marathons, Grandma’s and Twin Cities, used to practically guarantee cool weather (ideal for 26.2 miles); however, in recent years, they have resembled long-distance saunas. When I ran Grandma’s in 2006 (my first and only marathon to this point), the humidity at the start was frighteningly close to triple digits, and by the time I hit Duluth, the sun was baking the streets of the town, with no shade anywhere. When I watched the 2006 & 2007 Twin Cities Marathons (both sunny, hot, and humid) I was happy to be on the sidelines cheering and had no desire whatsoever to participate. Part of the reason I decided to register this year was because it’s been such a cool, gray spring that I managed to convince myself that October 5, 2008 might actually be a traditional, cool autumn day. I’ll be crossing my fingers for the next five months on that issue.