My goal race is on April 25--a Boston qualifier at Waterloo, Ontario. Less than 12 weeks to go, which means 10 weeks of really hard training. I'm doing 5 runs a week, totalling 50K for now; 2 swims; 1 ice bath; lots of stretching. Some aches and pains, but so far so good for injuries. This week is the second week of miserable cold--Al Gore weather.
When I run with a group on Sunday--my long run, as it is most people's--I am conscious of staying slow--heart rate in the low 120s, the low part of "medium" range, a pace of 6 1/2 minutes or slower. (My goal race pace is 5.2 minutes). Steady pace about 6 minutes (Thursday and Friday), tempo pace about 5.5 (Tuesday and Wednesday). I end up well at the back of the Sunday group--I think most of them just don't believe in going that slowly, regardless of their goal pace. I have it in mind to maintain at least three quite distinct paces in training. (Hills are different, and eventually I will do some actual speed drills with something more like sprinting). Similarly I'm thinking seriously about doing walk breaks for at least the first half of the big race--10 mins running, 1 min walking. Yes, you can feel a bit ridiculous, but there is lots of evidence that this is the best way to maximize the benefit of your training when you are a weekend warrior.
Always learning, and I enjoy Runner's World magazine. There are lots of inspirational messages. This month, in an article on Kara Goucher, her psychologist says of training: "This isn't a linear process. There are challenges. There is adversity. There are setbacks. But over time you learn to handle the adversity."