6 nice easy fastish blustery wintry miles (52:57, 8:50 pace).
Lungs still sore, but rest of body benefiting from effects of taper. Almost came to a complete standstill as I ran into a great gust of wind around mile 2 - fallen leaves blizzarding - a cyclist passed me and turned around to say hello, I was very happy to behold the smiling face of Triathlete L.! She had been out riding for about four very windy hours already, she said she was ready to be home - I guess she still had about ten more miles back to Brooklyn...
On an unrelated note, I regret to report that in the last couple weeks, I have completely given in to the temptation to blow my nose on my sleeve, setting a bad example to small children everywhere.
Week 17 total: 16.5 miles
This time next week the race will be over. I've only got three little mini-runs for this week (3 miles, 2 miles, 2 miles and I suppose I'll run just for 10 minutes or so the day beforehand?), so this was my last real actual run pre-marathon.
I've had several small setbacks in training (the hamstring injury in September, the illness last week), but on the whole it has gone very much as it's supposed to, with fairly noticeable increases in speed, stamina and endurance. I don't know that I have a secret weapon, but if I do, it's that I often run on hills but am doing a fairly flat race; and that the time I put in swimming makes up for the relatively low run mileage. I wish I could have had a couple more really long ones, and in general I would like to run higher mileage in 2009, but I have enjoyed the training a great deal and am pleased with how it's gone.
I took the plunge and signed up for the 4:00 pace team - I think it is worth a stab at it, it may be that this is just too ambitious at current levels of fitness and experience, but there is no way of knowing unless I try! And I have promised myself in advance that I will take whatever comes my way without excessive self-criticism or post-race dissection - if I finish half an hour slower than that, or more, and find the last six miles utterly horrible, it will be my own responsibility and the time will still be well within the bounds of respectability - because, really, finishing a marathon at all is highly respectable! The splits will be informative, at any rate...
(The race site promises some form of athlete tracking, but with no details as yet.)