And so it ends. Week 17 of the 18-week Hal Higdon Intermediate II Marathon Program is history. This morning, I joined a few other Houston Striders on a fairly easy 8-mile run from Memorial Park to Jackson Hill and then Sabine Bridge, round-trip. Ran the last 4 miles at marathon pace of 8:35, just to re-assure myself that I can handle that pace without too much effort, at least for a few miles, in cool to moderately cool temperatures. Which was the case this morning; it was probably in the high 50's to low 60's for the duration of the run.
Barring lousy weather (wind/rain, who knows what) I really should be able to run the Mohawk Hudson Marathon next Sunday in less than 3:55 - which is my Boston Qualifying time. Five minutes under would be good, 10 minutes under would be ideal, and a new PR of less than 3 hrs 42 minutes would be a bonus. With almost no exceptions, the training cycle went off without a hitch, despite record-breaking temperatures the entire summer. Today was literally the first really cool day since 'Week 1' more than 4 months ago. It is about a week out, so things will definitely change but right now the weather forecast for Albany is upper 40s at the start, upper 60's at the end. That would do just fine, although ideally I would like the start temperature to be closer to the mid 40's. We'll have to see how it all turns out!