Well, week four on the Pfitzinger/Douglas 18-week, 55-70 mile/week training plan is behind me (actually week 5 of the plan, since I started on the second week), and I feel like it was a pretty spectacular week. I thought with the highest mileage load to date in the plan, I'd have a really hard time with completing all of the workouts, but in the end, I just went out each day, and did what was on the schedule.
the week started with a 9 mile run with 5 miles at lactate threshold, which turned out to be a steady 6:50 pace, followed the next day by a 14 mile Medium-Long run that went quite well, then a 5 mile recovery run, a 12 mile MLR that went swimmingly, another 5 mile recovery run, then ann 18 miles long run with 10 miles at Marathon race pace.
This last workout I was sure would kill me, but in the end, I just kept running until it was done. I planned the 10 miles at Marathon Pace to be mostly downhill, although the terrain was rolling, in an attempt to emulate the downhill that I'll experience over most of the Colorado Marathon Course. It turned out to be the fastest 10 miles I've ever run, with an average pace of 7:14 (surprise, surprise). Of course, I realize if I will have any chance of averaging something around 7:30 over 26.2 miles on race day, I will need to be a little faster than 7:30 on the downhills, so I saw the 7:14 average as pretty promising.
As far as what those 10 miles felt like... I would never have thought that I was running them that fast. I was just running steady and cruising the miles out. No hard push up to lactate threshold or anything like that. Just a good solid, gradual downhill run.
It was a good lead into this week, which is a "recovery" week on the schedule. Lower mileage and lower overall intensity programmed into the workouts. I'll summarize my experience of this week once it's over.