Holy friggin' cow are we ever close to marathon day.

I had a little scare this week with my hip. It had been bothering me since the last long run. Wednesday's 8 miler was pretty painful - almost to the point of stopping. I was a little leary of the Saturday run, but was able to complete it without any sharp pain. A little discomfort, but nothing I couldn't manage. I did pick up a foam roller to work out my IT band between now and race day, but think I'm in the clear. Saturday's run was laps around Lake Junaluska up in the mountains. Beautiful scenery and great weather, perhaps a little payback for all the recent rain. On more of a down note, it looks like we've lost one of our runners. Nathan has been fighting off knee pain for the last month or so and has come to the conclusion that he won't be able to run the race. Definitely hate it for him, but it's a little more motivation to finish it myself.

I thought I'd take a few minutes this week to catch up on some stats, since I've been tracking them religiously. I started this plan somewhat fit from cycling season, so I had a decent base fitness. But all this running has really dropped some pounds. I'm down somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 pounds from where I started, tipping the scales at a whopping 161 lbs (my wife affectionately refers to me as Skeletor). A lot of that weight loss was upper body strength, but my body fat percentage has dipped to around 12%.

The runs themselves have also improved. Lower average heartrate (low/mid 130s for the past 3 weeks, down from high 140s at the start back in October) and a mostly consistent pace (9'30" - 9'50" on average) as the mileage has gone up. All said, things are really working according to plan. As we continue to taper (great articles on the taper period here and here), I'm confident that the work we've put in will pay off, and that I'll recover, heal and be ready for 26.2. In two weeks...