There's nothing quite focuses the mind on training than receiving your marathon number and associated paraphernalia through the post.
And that's exactly what happened yesterday - our postie brought our numbers and chips etc for the York Marathon (4 weeks today!).
Yesterday's run had already been planned and was a nice 12 miler with my new "favourite" shoes - my Salomon trail shoes. Up over by the wind farms and a loop and a bit of High Wood.
Today? Well... it really did have to be a long run, and I wanted the pace to be "not too slow" (not exactly hammering along either mind).
So, I had a plan - there is a "loop" that often do that is about 11 mile - if I do the loop twice that would be 22 mile (the distance I was aiming for). Also, and this is the bit I was banking on, because the 11 mile loop is so familiar I generally have a "pace" that I do it in. If I could keep the pace for the two loops, that would fit the bill. Rather than carry anything to drink I was also able to "hide" a bottle of water about half a mile from the house that I was able to have a drink from at the half way point.
Other than the weather being a bit hot and windy the plan pretty much came together.
I was going to be slightly short of my target, so I threw in an extra wee loop at the end. Up the access road for the wind farms towards Weatherly and then back down to our bit.
This had the added advantage of throwing in an extra "tough" bit just at the end when I was starting to flag a bit.
Ended up at 22.5 mile in 2:53. Felt good pretty much all the way round, though my legs are a bit tired now. Three more weekends of that type of run, and then treat myself to one week of taper just before the race (maybe go for 24 next week).
I wish I'd done a Spring marathon this year. By the time I do York it'll be about 19 months since my last one. Long enough for doubts to get in an niggle away at your confidence.
This afternoon we were out foraging. Oh yes - it's that time of year when I get to recycle one of my tired old jokes......
Anne's been in the kitchen this afternoon doing an impersonation of Bob Marley ... she's "jamming".
Whether this batch will prove worthy of any awards at next years flower show will have to be seen. Smells nice though.