Race week is here! It’s official! I got my final race instructions, the weather forecast for Sunday is showing up on my iPhone and the taper sluggishness is in full effect (it may even be starting to wear off).
Despite having a pretty tough long run at the 2 week-to-go mark (20 miles with last 6 @ MGP), these last 2 weeks of my taper have been lower mileage weeks than I have run before my past two marathons (that’s one big advantage of having a coach -he can tell you what to do during training and what NOT do during taper). Last week I experienced quite a bit of sluggishness – I was very tired despite sleeping 8-9 hours a night and my legs felt tight and heavy on every run. Despite knowing this was a side effect of the taper, the doubts started to crawl into the back of my mind.
However, this week is a new week and time for a new attitude. I’ve put in the work and now it’s time to reap the benefits. I’ve been training VERY hard late September for this race. That’s over 7 months of tempo intervals, tempo runs, strides, recovery runs, speed work, and long runs. Countless 5:30 a.m. wake up calls and lonely miles, many of which were before dawn. I’ve worked my butt off and I know I deserve to qualify. Back in October at the very beginning of my training I ran the Long Beach Half Marathon and tried to break 1:50 and failed. I couldn’t even run my BQ pace for 13.1 miles and I knew I had work to do (finish time was 1:51:32). I kept working hard and got my half marathon time down at the Surf City Marathon in early February down to 1:46:37. That’s when I knew I would be cutting it close and I needed to hire a coach. With his help , I ran a half marathon 5 weeks after Surf City nearly 4 minutes faster (1:42:48). Finally my race times according to McMillian’s Pace Calculator were telling me I could qualify.
Hard work and dedication have provided me with the fitness and mental toughness to qualify for Boston on Sunday at Eugene. I’ve gotten used to being uncomfortable thanks to my coach’s tough tempo interval workouts. Knowing that he would be analyzing my data after each workout motivated me to push myself to the brink each time, often feeling like I was going to throw up because I was working so hard. During those last 6.2 miles of the Eugene Marathon I hope to pull out my memories from those hard workouts and remind myself that I can push through. I won’t give up.
My motto post Easter weekend binge was to Eat Clean Until Eugene. I promised to cut back on sugar (1 dessert/week), avoid all alcohol and stop drinking coffee. I can’t say that I did any of those things (oops), BUT I have been eating pretty clean. I’ve had a drink or two on several occasion but never more than 2 in one sitting. I’ve had dessert, but not as frequently as in the past and usually just coconut milk ice cream or some dark chocolate. And coffee – well, we’re back together. I can’t quit you coffee!
I’m not beating myself up about the above. I really have been eating a mostly clean, plant based diet and I feel good for it. I could have cleaned it a bit more but at the end of the day, I’ve done just fine.
My taper workout schedule this week looks like this:
- Monday: Yoga (as always)
- Tuesday: 4 mile easy run
- Wednesday: 30 minute run with middle 15 minutes @ 8 min/mile
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: 3 miles easy with 3 x 100 m strides
- Saturday: 2 miles easy
- Sunday: 26.2 Miles in 3 hours 30 minutes (more on my coach’s pacing schedule in the next post!)
In addition the above, I plan to eat well, sleep a ton, stretch, foam roll and get a sports massage (Wednesday). My left quad and IT band are still feeling tight but actually feel better after I went after them really hard with the running massage stick on Saturday (it was actually sore to the touch on Sunday but now is better!). And of course, starting Thursday I will be upping the carb intake (but not too much as I have in the past!).
Race plan coming soon!
What is your favorite thing about the taper?