There is no doubt that the training over the past 11 weeks has helped me -- both physically and mentally. Today was an easy run -- 10 miles with my Runners World chart having me target 8:40 per mile. Naturally, I took a few seconds off this target and was looking for 8:20's.
The weather was cool today, which was great, but it was also quite windy. Heading south with the wind at my back was no sweat -- really. I kept to paces of between 8:13 and 8:23 per mile for the first five miles. Then I started heading north, with the wind in my face -- and I started to really work. Even still, my pace was actually better than in the first five miles, ranging from a tough 8:21 down to 8:07 on the last mile -- again, heading north.
The run felt really good -- but I know that if we have similar strong headwinds in Corning, there is no way I'll be able to keep up a marathon pace for three-and-a-half hours.
Again, my feeling is that if it isn't too warm and if I don't have a headwind, hitting my BQ target in Corning is definitely do-able.