Well, it feels like one at least, with temps skyrocketing into the mid-to-upper 40's over the past couple days. No complaints here - anytime I can wear shorts out running in January is just f-i-n-e by me.
Speaking of running, I got in an easy five miles this morning to loosen up the 'ol legs for some track work tonight - not sure what Kevin has on tap for us, but then again I'm probably better off not knowing. I'll just show up and do what I'm told. Consequences be damned.
In terms of my overall training scheme, this will be my last "up" week around 90-95 miles in the current cycle, followed by a "down" week of 70-75 miles, which coincides nicely with the GBTC meet on the 22nd. I'll be opening up there with a 3K, and will be looking to run in the 8:25-8:30 range, which would be the fastest I've ever opened up an indoor season - hell, it would be the fastest I've ever raced a 3K, period. My PR is 8:33, run at this very same meet two years ago. I'm confident enough in my current fitness level, however, to know I can run at least that fast - just gotta go out there in two weeks and do it, simple as that.
In other news, Meb Keflezighi announced this morning that he'll be running Boston this April, which is great news, both for the sport as a whole and the Marathon itself. In the past decade or so, John Hancock has failed to attract many of the sport's top athletes to the race - losing many to the notoriously "fast" London Marathon - so this announcement is certainly a step in the right direction. With Meb's recent commitment to run on April 17th and two top-ten American finishers in last year's race (Alan Culpepper 4th, Peter Gilmore 10th), hopefully more top American marathoners will follow suit and help bring some prestige and pride back to the Patriot's Day classic.
Now, don't get me wrong, I know it's not that simple. There's a lot of behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing that goes on for any of this to happen, but what can I say, I'm biased. Being a native New Englander, I'd like to see Boston be the race that get excited about - there's a lot of tradition here. From the stories Hodgie has told me, back in the day Boston was THE race if you were an American marathoner. These guys ate, drank, and slept it - from Hopkinton center, through Natick, up the hills of Newton and back down into Cleveland Circle straight to the finish line. Heck, run sub-2:15 and most years you were lucky to break the top-10. Bottom line, the field was DEEP. For my own selfish reasons, I'd like to see a return to that. Round up the top American runners, check their egos at the door and have them come duke it out. For this to happen, of course, all the right cards need to fall into place, but it seems that they're finally starting to get stacked up properly. Hopefully, the trend continues.
I've got a few little projects that I'd to take care of before heading to practice tonight, so I think I'll finish up this entry with the following quote that just caught my eye:
So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we don't just sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we've satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.