Just one more. That's it? I'm pretty baffled by how that's even possible. Ideally, we should do our last long run this weekend, but since we did our second to last yesterday (Wednesday), I'd like to give us more than just a few days off. It means decreasing taper from 3 weeks to 2.5 weeks, but I really think we'll be ok with that.
Yesterday's run was... weird. We didn't leave work until about 3:45 (despite my "goal" to leave at 3... and then remembering I had a meeting at 3. arg.). That meant we got to our running site (the Indian Head Rail Trail, site of our last long run 1.5 weeks ago) and got changed and hit the road at 5pm. That meant the sun was already setting and it would definitely be dark for most of the run. The plan was to do 4 miles out and back on one leg of the trail, then 6 out and back on the other leg. Well... the best laid plans and all that. We did 8 and then the next 2 with no problems. Then Nick needed a break so I ran on ahead for a little. And realized how dark it is. And how isolated I felt... and then I started freaking out. In reality, the trail is practically in the back yard of lots of houses in the area, but it was pitch black (we were wearing neato Amphipod reflective LED vests... HIGHLY recommend for comfort and visibility) and cold and I was totally alone. So I turned around a wee bit before the 6 miles of that leg were up and met back up with Nick so we could head back towards the car and maybe finish 20 miles. Then things went terribly wrong. Not really. But I did get very annoyed.
Some backstory- my much beloved Garmin strap broke when we were in Ireland. I carried it during the 10K we did over there (53 minutes. Still not over that) and it was annoying but it worked. During the 10K, it was super irritating to carry the watch and I kept touching the bezel by accident and changing the screen. I had also used it during night runs a few times but still had not figured out how to reliably make the backlight turn on. So, between my sticky/sweaty fingers, carrying a water bottle, and fumbling with the watch to get the backlight to turn on so I could see mileage, I managed to turn GPS off. I realized this and promptly started whiiiiiiininggggg. I felt silly and since I'd gone slightly off the original plan, I didn't have a definite idea of "this is where we need to stop." I played with the watch a little, grumbled, and grumbled some more. After a little over a half mile, I figured it out and got GPS going again. I was irked though, because it started counting up from 16.1 miles... and I thought we were actually over 17. We ended up finishing at 18.5 per my watch, in 3:05. I think we actually did closer to 19.3, which would mean around a 9:33 pace which is amazing. It felt comfortable and I definitely wasn't breathing crazy hard. I think during our previous 18 I got pretty close to the much fabled "wall" that everyone talks about with marathon training. I definitely hit a point of thinking that I could not finish (which I never got to during the MCM last year). On the run tonight I certainly wasn't joyful or anything, but the last mile was not insufferable either. Good things. Of course, this run was after 10 days of reallly light running (just the 10K in Ireland and 4 miles on the tmill on Monday). So... who knows.
Anywho. 23 days until the marathon. One more long run. One 10K (the MCM 10K! Pretty excited to be back and NOT doing the marathon!), one 5K (same one I ran in like 85 minutes last year the week after the marathon). It's all passing very fast.