With my first really long training run under my belt, here's the week 4 training update:
Week 4 target mileage: 35 miles
Week 4 actual mileage: 36.1 miles
Target cumulative miles through last week: 131 miles
Actual cumulative miles through last week: 126 miles
Training miles to go: 495
I feel I'm getting into a rhythm now. For the first couple of weeks of the training program, I wasn't dealing well with the fact that I *had* to follow a specific schedule; it was a big mental shift to go from a mindset of 'I'll do around 30 miles this week' to 'I have to follow a specific day-by-day plan if I'm going to get in all the appropriate training allowing for work trips, vacation, etc.' It's also a big deal for me to have gotten through the 18+ mile run last weekend as it gives me confidence in the training program and new insight into the mental and physical challenge of stretching out the distance to 26.2 miles.
Although today's run was shorter than plan (by two miles) it was great to turn in a performance with some speed and to see that I'm feeling quite good.
The big question now - which I've mused about before - is whether to set a specific time target for the marathon or whether my goal should (just) be to finish. I've heard arguments on both sides - including advice from a friend who has done multiple Ironman races to consider you first marathon a 'catered training run'. Something to think about as the training progresses.
Variance: (5.0) miles