I ran four fast miles this morning. I finished in 35:43, (9:23, 8:57, 8:52, 8:31). I’ve been really taking it easy as far as speed goes lately and have been pretty unhappy with my times because of that. Higdon recommends not really doing speed work while training for your first marathon, so I’ve done very few runs that included intervals or really pushing myself to run fast. That’s been working for me from an endurance standpoint. I’m able to add the miles I’ve needed to and I’ve been right at the edge of pushing my body too hard, but so far have not crossed the line. I’ve managed to finish all of the required miles and I’ve never been so sore that I had trouble on my short runs after a long run.
Mentally, though, I’ve been finding this really hard. I like speed. It’s fun to run fast. So today, I decided to really push myself. My parents live at the bottom of their subdivision. The first mile and a half is mostly inclines with some flat. At the mile and a half point, there is a steep downhill and then another half mile of incline. Usually that’s the first half of a loop that I do and then I continue through the subdivision on a road where the ups and downs are steeper, but it generally takes me back down to their level. Today I ran the uphill and then turned around and ran back the way I’d come. I knew that if I could really push myself on the first couple of miles, the last couple would be mostly downhill and I could really let myself run. It felt great and it’s nice to know I can still hold a sub nine pace for several miles. After I get through the marathon, I really want to start shooting for a 2 hour half.