Well, I got through most of the first week of the "real" training (using the Hansons Marathon Method) and then went on vacation. I thought my time away would feel like a rest but quite the opposite was true - I came back feeling physically wrecked.
I had also started a couple of serious writing projects right before I left and was able to use the time away to really focus on habit-building around those - and came back not wanting to give those habits up or put them on hold.
So I woke up early on Monday morning facing the first of the Something of Substance runs for the week... and thought, Nope. This is not going to be sustainable.
I went ahead and put in the miles (though I pulled back on the intensity of it all) and that was fine, and then later that day I pulled up another possible training plan from the Runners' World SmartCoach program, which I've used before. And the next day I reviewed the concepts from Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel by Matt Fitzgerald, a book I highly recommend to all serious runners. And then I just let things float around in my head for a while.
And then on Wednesday I made myself some tea and pulled out a pencil and a calendar and made up my own training plan, one that I think incorporates most of the essentials (and most of the mileage) of the Hansons method while having a greater focus on the kind of running I like best, and will therefore want to do, and being a bit easier on my schedule as well, so I don't need to give up any newly minted writing habits.
And if I don't hit the time goals I had set my eye on with the Hansons method, well, there was never a guarantee of that anyway. I have yet to finish a marathon feeling sure and steady throughout, and that is really where my first focus needs to be. I think I know what I need to do in training to achieve that goal and I think my new plan actually allows more room for focusing on my weaknesses (in-race nutrition, proper carb-loading and tapering, consistent and persistent pacing) while giving me more opportunities to play, to enjoy my running.
Because that, my friends, is what it is all about.