The second half of my training cycle is off to a good start. I ran over 60 miles this week including a 20 mile long run. And my workouts were strong. I did feel a little creaky when I started some of my runs but once I warmed up I was able to hold a steady relaxed pace every day.
At the same time I survived the first real threat to my marathon training program, a two day trip from Los Angeles to Durham, North Carolina. I flew out Tuesday morning and returned Wednesday night, a double-whammy: my tempo run was also on Tuesday morning and then I spent almost twelve hours in planes with a three hour time change in between.
Since consistency is so important for training, I stuck to my scheduled runs and fit them around my travel schedule. I ran my 10 mile tempo workout before sunrise, went straight to the airport and following up with a nine-miler that started at 3am according to my body clock.
North Carolina running is a world away from Southern California. When I left the hotel it was 30 degrees outside, almost 30 degrees cooler than my usual morning runs. But more striking than the temperature was how everywhere was so green.
I mapped a nine mile loop near my hotel that followed country roads, passed by a farm and detoured along a dirt trail that was about to be swallowed by the woods.
As I flew home Wednesday night I was tired but filled with a sense of accomplishment. I was able to follow my training plan even as the workouts intensified. Back in Los Angeles, I ran my first 20 mile long run and closed the week with a relaxing recovery workout.