The last time I wrote about Boston, I was feeling pretty certain that I'd be there as a runner, not a spectator - and I was absolutely determined to do everything in my power to remove any lingering doubts.
Now, a few weeks later, those doubts don't stand a chance.
What's happened in those few weeks?
I moved from a 10-mile long run, to a 13-mile long run, to a 15.5-mile long run.
I increased my total weekly mileage to just under 26 - pretty much a 'normal' mileage week for me. (not a normal marathon training week, but I'll take it!)
I threw a few tempo miles into one of my midweek runs, and ran several sub-8-minute miles in a row - something I haven't done since October - and it was really, really fun!
I continued swimming, and I continued lifting weights, and I continued getting on the elliptical, and I took a few more bike trainer classes.
I stretched, and iced, and kept up with my PT exercises, and had a few PT appointments and one acupuncture appointment.
What's also important is what I didn't do - I didn't run as far as I wanted to (yes, 15 miles is a long way, but I'm itching to get in that 20-miler). I didn't try doing any real speedwork. I didn't add in a 4th or 5th run in any of those weeks, even though I've been oh so tempted.
Patience is key for me right now. As much as I want to be ready to tackle those 26.2 miles, I need to be cautious and careful to not overdo it and end up back on the sidelines.
A new issue has helped me to maintain my cautiousness - some pain on the ball of my right foot after my long runs.
I'm not freaked out about it, because it only flares up after the long runs, and it goes away within a day's time. I will see my podiatrist about it, just to get his opinion and diagnosis, but I'm not going to let it stop me from running Boston.
One tactic I'm trying in the meantime is new shoes.
I've been loyal to my Mizuno Alchemys for several years, and it's a little unnerving to try a new type of shoe, but although the Alchemy provides the stability I need, it's far from cushioned, and I think having a little more cushioning will help with this pain on the bottom of my foot, so I'm going to try out a pair of Saucony Omni and a pair of Brooks Adrenaline. Hopefully one or both of those models will make my feet a little happier.
And as another step on the road to Boston, I have a half-marathon this weekend, which I'm really looking forward to. It's been months since I raced, and I'm anxious to get back out there.
I truly have no idea what that's going to mean, in terms of pacing. I've been running relatively well for my shorter midweek runs, and when I run by myself for my long runs, I've been able to comfortably hold a pace between 8:30 and 8:40. I'm truly very curious to see what will happen when I just let myself go. It'll be an interesting experiment.
And after that - onward and upward - hopefully to a 17- or 18-miler the following weekend, and a 20-miler the week after that.
And through it all, I keep my fingers crossed that my shin and my foot and every other joint and muscle and ligament and tendon continues to cooperate.
This morning I finally got a rush of nervousness about Boston - something I had yet to experience this year.
I've felt a lot of things - disappointed, anxious, concerned, sad, sometimes a tiny bit excited - but unlike last year (when I experienced it nearly every day!), I hadn't yet felt that flurry of nervous butterflies that made me pause and take a deep breath.
I loved feeling it this morning. That nervous energy is one of the things I love about racing. It's such an integral part of the journey, and it's instrumental in keeping you motivated and focused, and come race day, it's almost magically transformed into a rush of adrenaline that you can barely contain as you stand in your starting corral.
I've missed those butterflies, and I'm thrilled that they're finally back.
45 days : )