I had something of a breakthrough during my run yesterday.
It's been two months - almost to the day - since I decided to run the marathon, and I've been pretty hard-assed about sticking to my training schedule. The runs get done. Increasingly, though, they seem to have been getting harder, and I was finding it more and more painful to get through each workout. It's not that I get out of breath - that's not a problem - it's more that my legs get heavier and heavier, until I'm humping across concrete. It hurts.
Yesterday I realized I was just trying to go to fast. I am about halfway through my initial 16-week program, with the goal of building up stamina and running about 30 miles a week. I've decided that the next 8 weeks are all about stamina, and speed is not even going to come into it. The following 16 weeks - the countdown to Vegas - well, let's see how things go then.
It was amazing. Once I'd made that decision, I slowed down to a 10.5 / 11.5 mile and really, really enjoyed my 7-mile run. Usually I go round the lake, but yesterday I ran to Fremont, and then continued on the Burke-Gilman trail along the canal. How have I lived in Seattle six years and not been here?
When I lived in London, I regularly cycled to work along the Regent's Canal, from Caledonian Road or Bethnal Green to Ladbroke Grove. I'd forgotten how much I love canal scenery. In London, the towpath took me through the zoo. Here there are no gazelles, but there are crows and seagulls battling it out on the water.
Canals were purely functional. They weren't designed to be beautiful. They just ended up that way.