I started an 18-week program, 5 runs a week, on December 18. Race Day, April 25, will be the beginning of week 19.
Tonight I did my last run for week 11; tomorrow is just a swim, then Sunday begins week 12. I'm getting there.
Sunday, Feb. 14, the beginning of Week 9, I overdid it a bit. I was scheduled to do 26K. I ran with a group for what I thought was 21, then added what I thought was 5. I was hurting by the end. I checked my distance, and I had gone close to 28. I was sore by the end of it. I wasn't fully recovered for 10K tempo on Tuesday evening; I cut that one a bit short. Partly because of soreness, partly because of fresh snow/storm/poor footing, I skipped hills on Wednesday and did them Thursday. I ran as scheduled Friday (10K steady) and Sunday, beginning of Week 10 (19K). That felt good, but I nevertheless cut back on Tuesday evening tempo run. Hills went OK Wednesday, but I skipped Thursday (once again a storm--Al Gore weather), and ran Friday. Last Sunday, beginning of Week 11, was scheduled for 29K and I did that, feeling not too bad. So this week I did all five runs, including 8 hills Wednesday. This week's total: about 60K, much more than 47 the week before that, and roughly tying 58K in week 8. Week 9, despite the problems, was 54.
What amazes me is that my right leg, which was getting quite sore, especially on uphills, could actually heal while I'm doing all this running--cutting down on my distance only slightly, keeping up hills and long runs. I said several times in 2009, when I was running half marathons, that the training works, and I'll say it again now.
I do very few stretches before a run: squatting while spreading out my knees, maybe three times, then swinging straight legs, forward and back to work the hips, 10 times each. (My sports therapist said in the fall that my hips were tight, especially my left, and this was contributing to soreness in feet and legs). After a run I do several groups of stretches, trying to culminate in pretty serious work on core muscles. I always start a shower as cold as I can stand, and hold my legs under the cold water. For a while I was doing at least one ice bath a week, but I haven't done that for a couple of weeks now.