Well, marathon training week 2 was MUCH better than week 1. It probably helped a lot that I only had a 3 day work week and I ate and/or drank nonstop. I haven't trained in November/December since 2012, but I have to say it's not too bad so far. It turns out it's possible to have a "fat drunk November" at the same time that you are marathon training; previously, I skipped the marathon training part.
Week 1 I died in pretty much every workout, but this week I had 5 good runs for 41 miles total. The first hard workout was a Tuesday track workout: 2000 tempo/200 easy/1600 tempo/200 easy/1200 tempo/200 easy/1000 tempo/200 easy/600 tempo. Before we started I dubbed this the "ladder of misery", but it ended up not being too bad. For the first few intervals the tempo pace doesn't feel that hard (I was running ~ 6:45), then once it starts getting hard the interval gets short. Then on Thanksgiving I had a solid 8-miler with 4 @ "marathon pace". MP is in quotes because it was actually about 15 sec faster than my goal marathon pace, but it felt relaxed and I don't mind training with a buffer. We were at my aunt & uncle's house near Santa Cruz, meaning I got to run on the beach and this view during stretching wasn't bad :)
Obviously, the rest of the day was spent eating and drinking. A lot.
Friday was an easy run through the Forest of Nisene Marks. On Saturday, I took a rest day and spent time with the family in SF eating and drinking even more.
Then today I did my first fast finish long run. It was a 16 miler with target 8 miles @ 9:00 pace and 8 miles @ 8:00 pace. My legs felt good (probably from the rest day Saturday) and I ended up with the first half @ 8:41 and second half @ 7:43. I felt strong the whole time, which I attribute to having an infinite bank of calories within my body from the day before.
We rounded out the week by decorating our place for Christmas. I'm on travel for work next week and I don't anticipate really training, so maybe I'll check back here again in week 4. Happy holidays!