18 days until the North Carolina Marathon! With the exception of yesterday, I feel strong. I ate crappy yesterday and kept putting off my hill run until I admitted to myself at 7 PM that it just wasn't going to happen. But that's okay. That's the first run I've skipped in a loooong time. I'll do hills on Wednesday and make up for it.
On Saturdays I've been doing 15 and 18 mile runs with my running partner, Marshall. And--knock wood--feeling good. Legs feel strong, back doesn't hurt, even my right knee which likes to give me grief has been behaving itself. This Saturday will be 20 miles and then we do an easy 11 the following week and then the marathon.
Marshall and I are going to try running together during the Marathon. It's a tricky thing to do. Often one person feels better or worse at certain points of the race and you don't want to hold your partner back if they feel strong and can speed up just as you don't want to be held back yourself. But we've trained together on long runs for months now, our pace is identical, and we're both aiming for the same time range (4-hour-ish).
My concern at this point is being unfamiliar with the course. Mentally it helps me to know that "Okay, a hill is coming up here," or "There's a nice downhill around the corner where I can relax." I'll drive the course before the race but it's still largely going to be an unknown. That and the weather are the biggest potential obstacles. Hoping for moderate temps and no humidity.
Just hanging on mentally at the moment. No more slacking like last night allowed. Speaking of which, I'm heading out for a 6-mile tempo run right now. Marathon, here I come.