Well so far this year the weather has been extremely cooperative. We have had fronts move through every once in a while, but they have mostly been confined to the early parts of the week, allowing the snow to mostly melt by the weekend. As a result, marathon training is in full "gear-up" mode with a 14 miler last weekend and 16 miles this weekend. Since last year I have dropped my long run pace significantly, and my intervals/tempo paces have dropped too. I hope to keep these paces around where they are now as I ramp back up the mileage, but so far things are feeling pretty good with two 50 mile weeks down already. The big task now is to not gear up too quickly and peak too early, I'm trying to keep the mileage out of the 60s until I hit March. I am also considering a tune up race in April. I was looking for a half marathon 4 to 6 weeks out from the marathon that I could use as a hard race test. I found one today that looks interesting, so I have updated my links on the left.
I think I'm far enough down the road now that I will be able to finish the training necessary for a spring marathon. If the weather is crappy for the early long runs it starts to get to the point where you don't want to bother with it. But once you make the investment in a few 2+ hour runs, it's harder for the weather to throw you off your game. I have also come to embrace the treadmill this year, with my speedwork and tempo runs being done on it exclusively. Unlike the track, where my body can slow down as it gets tired, the treadmill does not care about my weakness. If I set it to a 6:05 pace, it will continue in that fashion until I finish my interval or I fall off. That can be a good motivational technique.