5 days in Chicago
17-mile long run
At the outset, I had every intention of designating this a "down week." On the heels of four weeks in a row at 100+ and with an expo weekend looming, it only made sense to throttle things back. Then Monday had to come along and turn itself into a holiday, and before I knew it I was already 20 miles in and significantly ahead of schedule. Still, I paid the numbers no mind until I did some cursory math before heading to expo setup on Thursday and realized hitting triple digits was still achievable. At that point I felt neither great nor terrible, neither fresh nor exhausted, so with little to lose (except more sleep) I decided to forge ahead and aim for five weeks in a row. Fortunately I managed to juggle all my responsibilities and achieve the mileage as well as the victory on Sunday, which means...
...this next week is absolutely, positively devoted to recovery. That's not to say I'll have much down time since 13.1 Boston is next weekend, but I plan to curtail the doubles and drastically pull back the mileage. In part this is designed to strengthen my chances of taking home some cash money at this weekend's race, but with Philly "only" 10 weeks away the bigger goal is to freshen up so I can begin my true marathon-specific buildup first thing next week.
Speaking of Philly, one interesting and completely anecdotal factoid: Last October, 10 weeks prior to the Olympic Trials marathon, I finished 13.1 Dallas just a hair under 1:20. Roughly doubling that time and adding a minute will give you my Trials finishing time of 2:41:06. Ten weeks from now I'll toe the line at Philly, and if the same formula holds true I wouldn't be disappointed in the least.
Looking back on this "Summer of Malmo," I'm really proud that I set out a seemingly ambitious training goal and hit it out of the park. Initially I'd just hoped to string together a bunch of 90-mile weeks, but after my first foray into triple digits in late June I decided to see if I could keep the trend going eight or nine more times. Ten weeks later, I've hit a total of 1,089 miles--an average of exactly 98 miles per week for 11 weeks straight. For me, someone whose body is used to succumbing to aches and pains all too frequently, this is no small feat. Many people would argue that there is no victory in training; that success derives solely from the end result. But for me, that race day triumph would not be possible without the confidence gained from owning the process. At the end of this process-oriented summer I am excited to say that I feel healthy, confident and--after a week to rest and recharge--excited to start working toward the end goal that will bring all this training to fruition.
10 hours ago