And so the hypochondria begins...

It's 5 weeks until my marathon which means the hypochondria has officially set in. I can't have all this training go to waste by picking up a flu bug, so be forewarned that if you so much as sniffle or cough around me during the next 5 weeks, I will have no choice but to douse the both of us with Lysol while I freebase Vitamin C. 

I woke up this morning a little stuffed up and with that metallic taste at the back of my throat that always comes along with sickness. I'm pretty sure it's just fall allergies kicking in, but I'm drinking hot tea and packing daytime Nyquil in my purse, just in case. 

I'm getting excited for my race, more excited for the training to be over. My body is starting to hurt all the time, which is always a sign that it's time to wrap this up and move on. I'm still not sure what goal to shoot for in the marathon. My long runs and tempo's have been a little more sporadic than I'd like, but I still think I'm pretty much on track for a 3:35 marathon--maybe a 3:30 if I don't mentally crack. 

I'm toying with the idea of running without a watch. I ran 16 miles without one yesterday. I'd been hoping to hold an 8:20 - 830 pace. Around mile 11 my friend Cindy, whom I was running with, looked at her watch and then at me and said, "I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised when we finish." And I was. 8:10 miles. I'm confident if I'd been wearing my watch and monitoring my time, I would have been gasping to hold an 8:20 pace. Not knowing is often better. What scares me, though, is that I'd go out strong in the first half, overdo it, and crash and burn on the back half of the course. 

I'm going to do a little test this Thursday. I'm scheduled for an 11-mile tempo run. I'm going to wear my watch and not look at it until I reach the halfway point, but try to stay right around where I think an 8-minute pace is. We'll see how good a judge I am. 

Meanwhile... this is vegetarian cooking weather! Stews, casseroles, winter squash and crock pot meals... YUM. I love a good salad but I do believe I have had my fill of baby spinach for the year. Bring on the hot and hearty cooking. Is there anything better on a fall night than sipping a small glass of wine while food bakes in the oven and things bubble on the stove, filling the entire house with warmth and savory smells?

My friend Katie just posted this delicious looking recipe for Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew with Garbanzo Beans on her blog. That will be Saturday's meal after a long, (I hope) cold run.