Yep, it’s that time!!! TAPER TIME!!!
Can’t believe it’s already here–after 13 weeks of training, I am 3 weeks away from the big day and…
and I’m not sure how I feel….excited? Yes. Scared? Yes. More scared than excited? Kinda.
Maybe nervous is better. I’ve worked so hard this training cycle. Harder than the first time I did Phoenix Marathon (I was 7 months post pregnancy so any hard core training was just not feasible with 2 under 2) and way harder than Marine Corps Marathon (my dream race with no real goal goal). This time, I’m no a mission to get a sub 4:30. So I def have a goal. My paces in my training lead me to believe that I can meet that goal but the unknown of race day is what has me nervous. I just won’t know until the day arrives. That’s hard.
Anyway, last week was a good week of running. I was suffering through a nasty head/sinus cold–I don’t know what was going on but my head and nose and throat were not happy–but I still managed to get some decent runs in.
On Monday, I stayed home and rested. I knew I wasn’t well and wanted to give myself some recovery time. But I was back at it on Tuesday meeting up with my run club buddies. One of my friends who I hadn’t seen in months was there. She doesn’t do cold very well so rarely if ever, makes it out during the winter. But with warmer temps in the Valley lately (I’m not even going to tell you about our awesome weather), she was there and ready to run. I love running with her because she. is. fast. But like achievable fast. Like the kind of fast I can do if I push myself but can’t do if I tried to do it every day kind of fast.
I used to run these paces with her last spring but hadn’t really been pushing myself lately like that in a while. I have a 10k next weekend that I’d love to run in that pace–my PR is from that race last year and I love to beat it. We shall see.
Wednesday was Yasso’s at the track. Last week I averaged a 4:10ish 800 for the 7 that I did. I was hoping to keep it more at the 4:06 I’d done two weeks prior. Wednesday night? Success.
Nailed the track workout and rode a pretty awesome runner’s high the rest of the night:
8×800–4:08, 4:06, 4:06, 4:02, 3:58, 4:02, 4:02, 3:58 (with a short recovery in between each set)
By Thursday though, I was exhausted. My head and throat were really bothering me and I felt like the 4 miles I had planned wouldn’t be as helpful as a day’s rest. So I took the day off. Not completely though. Salt tagged me to take on Day 4 of the prAna challenge she’s been doing and attempt the following yoga pose:
There’s really not a whole lot of bending going on, but I was a good sport and shared my yoga “pose” with the world anyway lol! I took the rest of Thursday and Friday to stretch and foam roll and try and get myself healthy for the weekend.
Because Saturday I had my second and LAST 20 miler!!!
I wasn’t sure how I’d do considering I wasn’t feeling 100% and I told my husband that if I felt like I couldn’t go on or that I was doing more harm than good, I’d call him to get me. Luckily, I didn’t have to do that as the run went pretty awesomely.
My friend that I’d done the first 20 with agreed to the insane start time of 4:15 a.m. There were 4 others who’d decided to also start in the middle of the night (I swear, I love my running group. We’re all a bunch of crazies) and we all got started right away. 4 of us 6 were running similar paces (me and Jen, and 2 others) so we were in good company. The first 10 miles went by smoothly and without a hitch and before we knew it, we were halfway done! It had seriously felt like it’d flown by. And it kinda had as we’d done this 10 faster than we’d done the first 10 in the previous 20 miler.
We took a potty break after mile 10 and then headed right back on. The short break had made my legs a little stiff; I could especially feel it in my left knee, but I kept trucking. I made it to mile 15 still feeling good and took a GU. With 5 miles left, I was pumped I’d been running so well. Miles 15 and 16 chimed away both at 9:17 and Jen and I looked at each other incredulously–whoa there! We regrouped and continued on. I could definitely feel my left knee but the pain wasn’t anything intolerable and I finished the 20 miler feeling really, really good with the run.
I was very pleased with the run and I felt good the entire way. Even running out of water at mile 18, I felt good. (I was running with my hydration pack–I don’t plan to during the race.) My knee hadn’t bothered me throughout but when I was done, oh boy. It was pretty instantaneous. As soon as I stopped, I felt my knee start to bruise and swell. It was super tender to the touch.
Once I was home, I immediately iced and that helped. I had to run (not literally, thank God) to my daughter’s soccer practice so I didn’t have much time to ice but as soon as that was over, I was back with the ice pack on the knee. I’ve been icing twice a day since Saturday and it’s already feeling better. I don’t want to psych myself out at all or let negative thoughts start to creep in. I know I’ll be fine and I know that I’m prepared for this race and I know that regardless of the outcome, I’m already super proud of my training and how far I’ve come as a runner.
If someone had told me a couple months ago I’d run 20 miles (for the second time!) at a 9:44 average pace and still feel like I could’ve kept going……no way I’d believe them. No way.
And there you go! Three more weeks until the big day–here’s hoping the knee heals and February 28th arrives with sunshine and perfect weather 😀
Total miles: 29.02
Water intake: B I missed my water goal 3 out of 7 days but did have one super stellar day (Saturday) where I drank a zillion gallons.
–How was your running week? Did you race or have any races coming up?
–What’s your taper strategy? How do you keep from getting the “taper crazies”?