Humans look for signs to predict the future. We're pretty good at it, but far from perfect. Two contrasting signs emerged this weekend.
1) My HR on the 7+ miles on the Oak Hill/Campus loops at Pineland was very low for my 7:49 pace. I had the static-induced HR spike during mile 2-3 but over the last 4.3 miles, which was net uphill, my pace was 7:43/mile and HR averaged 136.5 (77.6 MHR). Compare this to April/May, when I last ran Pineland. The chart above shows five data points - the four to the right are from the spring and the one to the left was yesterday. I'm basing my marathon training on my Mother's Day 5K time from May (which was reinforced by my Beach to Beacon 10K). Either I'm now in much better fitness or my watch was broken or I was having an intense parasympathetic experience.
2) I scanned the results of the Maine Marathon since 1998 and was stressed by the uncommonness of sub 3 marathons among runners that are about my 5K/10K speed.