2011 ended up being a good year for me in the marathon front.
I finally went under 2:50 in Edinburgh in May. It was more challenging than I had expected. Weather did not co-operate at all. Most of the details are now muddled in my head, but the highlights are rain, hail and head winds, especially the last 10K. I was worried I would not hit my target time, but I was able to come under 32 seconds with what was then a PR at 2:49.28. Of course the moment I crossed the finish line, the sun came out. Scotland is afterall know for its variable weather.
I was not sure what to expect in Chicago in October; I found myself at the starting line not sure what time to target. Even though I kept running well through the summer, I did decrease volume, missed some quality workouts and overall I was not as dedicated coming in as I was for Edinburgh (where I expected to have a good race). For some amazing reason I felt really good from the start and knew I was going to have a good race. I just let the legs do their jobs, I did not focus on time. I just wanted to be sure I was hitting the 5K markers under 20 min (for a sub-2:50). I surprised myself with a 2:45.12. I would be lying to say that it was effortless, but it was easier that I thought it would be. I was happy.
It was my plan to run less after Chicago (regardless of time). I have since then been racing shorter distances (with PRs in both 5K and 5 Miles), but have been having a hard time increasing volume. I have been running only 4 times a week and my weekly mileage is rarely over 40.
How can I find the motivation back? A running buddy has suggested to take a whole week off. I may take him on that. Perhaps I should just sign up for races in the fall and hope that that will force me start training and give me a reason and focus to run. We will see...