In spite of this success, evolving circumstances have called for an adaptation to my training program. This time around, under the advisement of Coach Tom McGlynn and the RunCoach program, I've focused on quality over quantity. I've maxed out at 70 mpw, but each and every run has served a purpose. I've done higher quality long runs than ever before and consistently worked out twice a week. In addition to a different training philosophy, my mileage has been lower because I've had to gradually dig myself out of a hole left by untreated anemia and four years away from the road racing circuit. The plan is to continue increasing my mileage in the next cycle, though the emphasis will remain on quality over quantity.
My mindset is also somewhat different heading into this race. Like my self-expectations for Marine Corps, I have high hopes for myself going into the Eugene Marathon. Where I differ is that I no longer consider finishing a victory. I know that I can go out and finish a marathon tomorrow. This is not why I race. I have tiered goals. In other words, "I would be over the moon if I ran X time," "I would be happy if I ran Y time," and "I would be satisfied if I ran Z time." Anything outside of those times would be a disservice to my long-term goals. Finishing a marathon when you feel sub-par, for whatever reason, is a mental victory. But it's a trophy I've already earned. My sights are set on new challenges and new accomplishments.
I feel as physically and mentally prepared as I could be with two weeks to go. As Kara Goucher said, "Racing is the fun part; it's the reward for all the hard work." I can't wait to let loose and have a blast in Eugene!