And it's not even winter yet! We are only 1/3 of the way through autumn, and I am already bemoaning the short, cold, wet days to come.
Before I continue with my whining...I know that I have nothing to complain about compared to the winter weather that will be endured in much of the rest of the country. I know that the worst weather we endure will probably be balmy compared to Chicago, North Dakota, Michigan, and even the east coast. I know that. I know that.
Still. I fear that fall and winter weather will put a serious crimp in my running style. Oh, I will be running. I will be getting in the miles. I will maintain the quantity of my running (pretty much, anyway). But the quality? Oh, I fear that will suffer.
I see it already. It's hard enough to get up and outside in the darkness that I have been starting way too late in the morning most days, meaning that even the quantity of mileage is slightly compromised. But I am also sluggish, and nervous of tripping in the semi-dark (there are streetlights, but it's dim and shadowy), and my easy pace is taking a real hit. My string of "no runs over a 10-minute average pace" has ended just like that. Many of my individual miles have been hovering around 10-minutes (which isn't horrible), but when you average that with my molasses slow warm-up miles it is quite likely that I won't end up with an overall pace under ten.
(And don't even ask about the quality of my speedwork. Ugh.)
This is bothersome because I believe that my marathon pace tends to end up just a little bit faster than my easy pace. If my easy pace gets slower, my marathon pace probably will too.
Now, I'm not to concerned about how this will affect the Tucson Marathon. Tucson's gonna happen, and while I'm trying to train for a strong performance, I don't think I am going to change the outcome drastically at this point. Maybe I'll do a little worse than Portland, maybe the same, maybe even a little better.
My real concern is that training for Eugene is going to start in January, during the darkest, coldest, wettest months of the year. Fun! Hopefully I'll have some New Year's mojo going for me at that time....