Monday, June 20, 2011

Last long run & taper week

Saturday's last pre-race long run turned into Sunday's last pre-race long run (hosted a baby shower Saturday, too busy).

Goal: 10 miles @ 8:22 pace 
Actual: 9 miles @ 8:02 pace + 0.6 mile cool down 

I was feeling great and I really was trying to hit an 8:22 pace instead of 8:02. While running, I concentrated on my form and technique: I held my head high, tried to stay light on my feet, was conscious of my arm back-swing and tried to keep them from crossing over the front of my body, attempted to keep a shorter stride & land on my mid-foot, and for my route, I tried to run a straight line and cut nice lines on the turns & curves. This all kept me VERY busy.

The consequences of Sunday's great paced run?
Monday = SORE. 

This is not ideal considering I only have five more days to rest before running my FIRST EVER marathon, my second key race in the Master Plan for 2011 (for kicking ass) (Draft 5). 

This is the "taperest" week of the three-week taper that includes just two pre-race runs and I've decided to do no cross-training (i.e., no Monday swim or Wednesday bike) but will spend some time walking and doing yoga. Final marathon training runs:

  • 6 x 400m track workout @ 1:39 w/ 400m rest interval 
  • Easy 3 mile run @ marathon pace 
Since I'm sore Monday night, I'm thinking running a track workout Tuesday morning is not the best idea. I will delay that until Wednesday. With one day of recovery, my 3-mile run should be...Friday...oops. Nope. So I guess I'll stick with that track workout but skip the easy run? Or should I do it Thursday as scheduled, meaning I would have two run days in a row? That's typical for many of you but definitely not part of the FIRST program.

My taperest week is all out of whack! And to top it off, my legs feel ROUGH.

I'm sore.
My IT band is screaming at me pretty much all the time.
I'm obsessing and undecided about whether or not to carry water with me.
The weather forecast changes daily and even though that will only affect whether or not I wear sunglasses and how much salt I take, it's still messing with my head.
I'm tired.
Did I mention my IT band is KILLING me? 
Can I really run my target pace or am I delusional? Is my body picking this week to fall apart? I don't FEEL like I'm becoming more rested!
Still trying to figure out how to get to the start: taxi or light rail to free shuttle from downtown?
What to eat the morning of the race? 
I usually get up, drink some Perpetuem, and run. This time, I'll have up to THREE HOURS between waking and actually running so what would be a good breakfast to tide me over? 
And if I do eat, do I still take that Perpetuem right before running as I normally would or skip it?

So many questions and not enough time spent working out to distract me from my neuroses.


  1. You will be fine. Too much thinking. Good luck!

  2. Don't bother with the weather until the day before. Rest will be good this week. There is not one workout you can do that will make you faster or stronger by marathon day. Conversely, missing any one workout will not make you slower or weaker. Chill - you will be great on race day,.

  3. I'm with Jamoosh...I was going to say, perhaps you need to skip the track workout. Maybe just do a light recovery run and then your run on Thursday. Your body needs the rest and then it'll kick into gear when you need it to.

    Sounds like you're definitely dealing with a little dose of taper madness. what feels right. Don't stress! You've got this!

  4. Rest, rest, rest! Jamoosh and Anne are right- overtraining the week before a marathon can be disastrous but undertraining the week before generally causes no problems whatsoever. So excited for you! Best of luck!

  5. I've heard lots of marathoners go into body-picking mode during a taper, and also have experienced it myself. Its easy to dwell on every small twinge and constantly rethink your training when you suddenly have more time on your hands and aren't burning as much energy.

    My suggestion for breakfast--eat something light, like toast and jam 1.5-2 hours before your run AND drink your Perpetuem as normal. You've trained with it, so don't stop now!

    Good luck with the rest of your taper/rest week and the race!!

  6. you killed that long run! You'll do great this weekend!

  7. so many questions and I have so few answers for you.

    Just want to say that you're going to do wondefully!!! It will all come together.

    Take care of your IT band, though. That would be my main concern right now.

  8. I have faith in you, Alma! I wish I could just take my head off and set it aside until race morning, because I am also driving myself crazy, and I'm only doing the half.

    You've done the work!

  9. Good luck figuring this all out. You will do great. Take care of the IT Band.

  10. Wow.. Rest will be good this week. Is there an exercise you can do that will make you faster, stronger marathon day. On the contrary, the lack of any exercise will not make you slower or weaker.

  11. Clearly, I'm late to your neurotic party...I think you should skip the track workout (can't believe I just said that) and take two easy 3 mile runs before race day.

    I've never run a full, so what do I know anyway! Good luck!

  12. I would definitely skip the track work out and just run the distance of the track workout easy, than do the scheduled easy run on Thursday. I've only run a 1/2 so you might need more rest but take the rest. I might not even do the yoga or anything else strenuous (unless the yoga makes you feel good!) Good luck!

  13. I get so excited to read your posts about marathon training! You've gotten so fast! I think I may be a bit more excited for you racing this weekend than me. I kind of want to come cheer you on instead of doing the Padden tri... :)

  14. I say no speed work. Its supposed to be a taper :) i promise you will be fine and 1 workout missed won’t be a big deal. you need rested legs!! bfast-bagel with peanut butter? your mind is just getting to you-you will be fine for this race-better than fine-you will kick ass. don’t know about the rest of the stuff and seattle. hard to believe you are in my shoes from a year ago!!

  15. GL this weekend!!!!

  16. My favorite pre-race meal is a peanut butter sandwich with a banana cut up inside it. Then, I'd bring a banana with you, just in case! I've had problems when I haven't eaten enough, so I always worry about it. But, that's what I'll be eating Saturday morning. Good luck!