Chicago is a mere 13 days away.
Taking a look at my training right now, I feel like I am in pretty good shape for Chicago. I am in comparable shape to Austin and the good news is that Chicago is a faster course.
Giving me even a little more confidence was that I finally broke 19 minutes on a 5k this weekend. OK, so I have not run a 5k in over a year. That's why I decided to enter the local Plainfield Harvest Fest 5k to see if my speed work was progressing.
My goal was to run an 18:30. I was really nervous on whether or not I could do this. I haven't run intervals over 1200m and I simply not as strong on the shorter distances.
Did I tell you that I hate 5k's? They f'n hurt. The good news is that I achieved my goal and ran an 18:22. (Official time was later posted as 18:25 - but I trust my watch).
I ran splits of 5:48, 6:02, 5:56 and the final 0.1 mile in 0:36. This earned me another 3rd place age group finish. More importantly, this time lines up with a 2:59:03 marathon time, if you ask Greg McMillan anyway.
If I take this 5k result and compare it to the strong 22-miler that I knocked out last Sunday, I am feeling pretty good about my progress.
The takeaway on the 22-miler was not necessarily the pace of the splits, but rather how I felt so strong toward the end. Granted, I wasn't running race pace until the final couple of miles. Nevertheless, I felt stronger on this run that I have on any other training run of this distance in recent memory -- and it was at the tail end of another 70 mile week.
I feel like I am right on the brink of a 2:59. It's all about rest, recovery and mental preparation from this point forward.