Steamtown Marathon Diary: Just Call Me Coach

Weeks of uncertainty have come to an end, as I have officially been hired as an assistant coach for my Alma mater. It’s not a particularly well-paying job, but it feels to good to have another notch for my resumes in the future. Plus, in a way, I’m basically getting paid to train for the marathon and now I have a dozen training partners (my former teammates) with whom to run. Win-win situation, right?

That said, I’m overjoyed that I’ve gotten a few weeks of consistent running in, with this past week coming in at 75, which is the highest I’ve been all summer. I got out of the city most days this week and had the pleasure of running on some nice trails up in Forest City and White Haven. I did a solid tempo run with a former teammate of mine who’s also training for Steamtown on Wednesday. We did six miles in about 5:59 pace, going negative splits the whole way. On Friday, I did a non-intense progression run, gradually bringing the pace down from a 7:30 first mile to a 6:15 final mile. It was nice to just get my legs moving toward the end and open up my stride.

Finally, the long run this morning was really solid. After I felt a little weak toward the end of my previous 20 miler, I figured I should try out energy gels and see how that worked out. Well, I can’t say that consuming one did make me feel better (remember, as the philosopher David Hume discussed “correlation does not imply causation”) but I know I felt stronger today. My usual long run group and I drove up to mile 6 of the Steamtown course and did the last 20 of the course. Though I’ll freely admit I felt tired by the end of it, I wasn’t struggling to finish and I don’t feel nearly as beaten up as after my first 20 miler almost two months ago. My training didn’t go exactly as I would’ve liked to this summer, but I can’t be too dissatisfied. Several weeks over seventy miles, three 20 milers and a handful of good workouts. Not too shabby.

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