The peak weeks are finished. 5 weeks at 70 miles a week. I did it.
I don't think I've gotten much faster, but I definitely have developed more endurance. I think my half marathon proved that. I had the speed to go 7:40 for ten miles, and I was able to bump that up to 13 miles for the half marathon. But my tempo pace still seems to be right there at 7:40. Hopefully what this means is that I can hold an 8:10 pace for a lot longer than I used to be able to -- 26.2 miles? We shall see.
I have to remember that despite all this insane training it's just a race. I've had a lot of friends or acquaintances that have bonked or DNFed on recent races they spent months training for. I guess the important this to remember is that I don't just do the training for the race outcome. The training itself is the biggest benefit, not whether I can cross the finish line in 3:35. The training is where I've met good friends, where I've had some of my best solo thought processing, where I've pushed my limits, and where I've squashed some of the stress that comes with being a full time working mother.
So now the taper begins... (and at 58 miles this week, which is where I peaked the last training cycle, it doesn't seem like much of a taper.)