The one major challenge I've faced in the past week is that it's been incredibly hot here in New Hampshire. Now, I'm used to the unpredictable Spring weather up here, but 90+ degrees in April - that's ridiculous! Anyway, I forced myself out for 4 miles today in the heat with the hope that my body will acclimate a bit to the warmer weather before I run the marathon. Last year, marathon day in Vermont was one of the warmest days that I had run in to that point, and I think that contributed quite a bit to my crash in the last 10 miles of the race. Today, the first 2 miles went well, but the last 2 were brutal, and I was definitely feeling the heat. It's easy to forget what running in 90 degree weather can do to your body, but I'm still glad that I did it.
One other major change from this time last year is that I have yet to run any local 5k races. My only 5k so far was the Royal Family 5k in Epcot Center in early March (~20:10), and I have no idea how far I've improved since then. Thus, I'm planning on doing my first local 5k this weekend so that I can gauge roughly where I'm at fitness-wise. I'm not sure quite what to expect, but I'll be happy with anything under 20:00 at this point. My thinking is that by not tiring myself out by racing excessively like I did last Spring, I can put in more good-quality long runs - I'll let you know if this pays off in about a month....
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