1) I'm injury-free: Who knows what could happen injury-wise in the next four weeks? I rolled my ankle 10 days before Boston 2012, and had to take a deferral until 2013. A marathon is difficult enough when I don't have any injuries. The more time I spend training the greater the chance that I will overdo it (or do something stupid) and end up in injury jail.
2) Any improvements in fitness from now on will be small: I feel as though I'm as fit as I'm going to be for this marathon. I can knock out my quality (i.e. tempo, strength, long) runs now without a problem. I've been on my training plan for the last 13 weeks, and since February of last year I've probably averaged 40+ miles per week. So, how much will two and a half weeks of quality runs really improve my fitness?
3) I am close to my ideal racing weight: I am reading "Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald and am following his running nutrition methodology (for the most part). I've been eating lots of lean protein and salads, and I have brought my weight down 12 pounds since February. How much longer can I keep up with this healthy eating?! I'm looking forward to a rich German meal washed down with a giant German beer and a big slice of apple strudel on October 11th.
|Near mile 23 of the Chicago Marathon 2014 (src)|
1) I need a little more quality: They say the most important quality work is done in the weeks just before the marathon. I have seven more quality runs and they are set to be the hardest so far. If those seven runs help me to build just a little more strength in my legs, maybe the last 6.2 miles won't be as grueling during the race. If these runs help to improve my finishing time by two minutes that may be the difference between a 3:06 (not a PR) and a 3:05 (PR).
2) Maybe I could still lose a couple of pounds: They say that an extra pound equals one extra minute of marathon finishing time. So if I can somehow shed two or three more pounds in the next two weeks, I would (theoretically) be about two or three more minutes faster during the marathon without expending any extra effort. Plus, I wouldn't have to lug that extra weight around for 26.5 miles for which my joints will surely be thankful. I'm only giving myself two more weeks to shed any weight, because during my taper, I will need to start fat loading and it's not good to focus on weight during a taper.
3) It should be cooler! I hope I'm not jinxing anything here, but October is usually cooler than September, so for each degree it's cooler - I'll be just that much faster.
|Me and Declan with beer post-race 2013.|