Last week was both a peak week and the beginning of the taper. It was the beginning of the taper since I reduced my mileage by 20% from my peak mileage, but it was peak because it contained 3 hard workouts, all of which made me feel even more prepared to crush this marathon in two weeks.
Rest Day. I was exhausted from the 5k Saturday followed by the 22 miler on Sunday so this was much needed.
PM: 3 miles easy. I almost skipped this run, which was supposed to be 5 miles. This seems to be a common theme when I leave it for after work. But, I knew that my Wednesday tempo workout would feel WAY better if I shook some of the tightness out with an easy run. I was definitely glad I did!
AM: Threshold Run. 2 mile warm-up, 2 x 15 min @ half marathon pace, 3 min recovery between, 2 mile cool-down . This was another confidence booster! This has been a regular workout for me going back to the Spring when I was training for RnR SD and I’m happy to say it was the fastest average pace I’ve held for the 15 min segments! (7:29, 7:27). In fact, I looked up my data from the same workout in September and on average my paces were 12 sec/mile faster for the 30 min tempo! I love seeing progress, but it’s especially great to see it in the middle of such high volume training.
AM: 6 miles easy with Asia! My first run with Asia since she got married. It was so nice to catch up. She and Jeremy ran the RnR Las Vegas the Sunday before without much (any) training so she was still sore so I was thankful she joined me!
10 miles with 8 @ MGP. Thursday night was my monthly girls dinner party with my college friends and this was our big Thanksgiving dinner. Our meal was amazing but I ended up sleeping poorly and feeling bloated all night after eating such heavy food. I also knew rain and wind was in the forecast so when I got in bed past 10 with a 5:30 AM wake-up call, I had low expectations for how this run would go. When I woke up, I could hear the rain, but Mike and I got up anyway. It was lightly raining and the temperature was in the high 50s but since it wasn’t pouring, we ran. I wore a tank top and capris to try to simulate SOME sort of cold that I’ll be experiencing at CIM and found that after just a few minutes of running I was totally comfortable (if you aren’t from Southern California I know that 57 probably doesn’t even sound cold to you).
My legs actually felt pretty light which was somewhat surprising and as soon as I started the race pace portion, I knew it was going to be a good run. I finished the 8 mile portion at an average pace of 8:01 and found myself having to hold back at times. It certainly didn’t feel super easy, but it felt comfortably uncomfortable. During a lot of the run I grew increasingly excited for CIM – I’m ready for this race and actually very much so looking forward to it, pain and all.
I smiled as I ran down my street and saw the rainbow for the first time. Everything is falling into place!
Saturday was a LAZY day! Mike and I got 9.5 hours of sleep, took a walk and lazed around, then got BACK into bed, slept another 2 hours, and then got up and go in a short 3 mile easy run plus 10 minutes of yoga. I was planning to rest but I wanted to shake out my legs before my long run and again, I was glad I did.
18 miles (plus 0.8 mile warm-up) @ MGP + 20 seconds. The goal for this run was to simulate race day. Unfortunately, we kind of messed it up by attending another Thanksgiving potluck dinner the night before, so we didn’t get to eat our pre-race meal. Given that we’ve had it enough at this point, I think we’re ok. We did, however, wake up early, eat our pre-race breakfast and even go get coffee because even though we’re not drinking it now, we do plan to drink a little bit on race day (probably half a cup). We also did a short warm-up, which wasn’t in the training plan. We did dynamic stretches and nearly a mile warm-up (I’ll probably do about a 1/2 mile warm-up on race day). We even sang part of the national anthem!
As soon as this run started, my legs were tired (are you surprised!?). I thought it would wear off, but it really never did. The plan was marathon goal pace + 20-30 seconds and my personal goal was to negative split the run. I wanted to start out at 8:30-40 and ease down and finish with my fastest miles last. That’s exactly what I did, although I never really felt amazing,with the end in sight I was able to get in two fast final miles: 7:58 and 7:50, for a total overall average for 18 miles of 8:20 pace. This was quite the confidence booster and I proved to myself that I can run on tired legs.
It’s taper time now and I’m taking it VERY seriously. I’ve been very hard on my body the last 5 weeks especially, running over 215 miles in that time with plenty of speed work and race pace efforts. It’s time to relax. My plan had 2 hard workouts this week plus 1 next week and I’m completely throwing one of them out, and I’m reducing the length of both of the others. I’ll still have some intensity, but there is no need to get crazy. It’s time to rest and prepare. The work has been done. Time to let it sink in.
- Totals Miles Run: ~49
- Total Strength/Stretching: 1 hour
- Total Time: ~7 hours
What is your favorite part of the taper?