am) 9 miles. With a short "test" to see where my recovery is.. 3 miles in 16:48 with my average HR 155/ Max HR 160. Mile one was 5:40 with a max HR of 160, mile two was 5:34 and my HR dropped 2 beats, mile three was 5:34 and HR max was 158. PE was 4-5 out of 10.
I don't think I'm over training. I hope I feel this good on Feb 17th..
Which brings me to my next challenge- planning the hardest part of any schedule for myself.. the dreaded TAPER. It's easy to simply push yourself to your limits.. but planning to rest adequately and also not allow your metabolism to shift in the wrong direction is an art. Brad Hudson talks about tapering intensity not volume in order to race a marathon well. If you do too much intensity in the final weeks (intensity being faster than race goal) then you will essentially be un-teaching your body to run at goal marathon pace. The metabolism required to run 26.2 miles is unique, this is partly why the marathon is such a challenge. At the level that I someday hope to be at, race pace is a fine balancing point at just below LT.
Metabolism, pacing, tapering and nutrition are keys.
Right now I feel good about the training I have done since May 9th of last year. That is sort of the day that made me realize I may need to walk away from Ironman. I had always promised my wife I wouldn't hold on to a dream that wasn't going to happen. I had just finished an 80 mile ride with Tim DeBoom that nearly crushed me.. it did in fact crush my spirit as I struggled immensely to simple ride at his moderate effort. He seemed to be bored while I was dying.. I realized then, that where I wanted my fitness to be (like Tim's) was maybe never going to happen. I know it has been there but I never executed my races smart enough to exploit my fitness. The year I placed 12th pro at Ironman Hawaii I raced like an idiot and completely blew my shot at placing well within the top 10. If I would just have backed off in the first 13 miles (1:21:00) of the run, I would have placed well within the top 10.. stupid. I also erred on not resting enough over the years and missed my window. May 9th.. I got home and leaned my bike against my work bench and it is still right there.. tires flat, cobwebs in the frame. Anyway- I digress.
I've worked hard since then and my improvement has been ok. I think in another 4000 miles I may just start to resemble fast.