The hardest part of any training cycle is the two weeks of taper. Two weeks before race day (Boston), I tried to cut my mileage by about 20%. For simplicity I’ll assume my regular mileage is 70 per week and thus I should be at 56 for this week. Did I succeed? Well you’ll have to keep reading to find out.
The hard part about the “taper” is that as your body is healing your mind begins to break apart. You start to feel like you’re hitting a wall within a mile of a run when last week you felt more confident than a bull past mile 20. A pace that felt easy a few weeks ago, suddenly without warning starts to choke you. All of a sudden you begin to freak out about all the people who can run faster or further or better than you. It takes every bit of will to calm yourself down, to remind yourself that you love your more talented friends and that no matter what, there will always be others more awesome than you, but that doesn’t make you, yourself any less awesome.
The other part that makes this week so crazy is that it was pretty much my busiest week for work as far as the spring is concerned. Yes, I could run before work, but convincing yourself to wake up at 5AM to run is a little bit difficult when you only came home from work at 10PM or later the night before. In an ideal world where tax season and marathon season don’t conflict, I would have liked to get in more 8-10 mile runs instead of scattered and repeated 5 milers, but it is what is.
Like they say, when life puts you in a box
Make a fort of it. Okay maybe they don’t say that, but I wanted to insert a cute Jack photo to distract myself from potential more whining.
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 10 Miles
Ran 5 miles in the morning before work with farleks of sprinting, catching breath, repeat. 7:27 average pace for a sweaty 5 miles. I ran 5 more miles after work with a group of friends for the Marathon Sports event with Bart Yasso.
Wednesday – 5 Miles
Another early morning run where I tried to keep a pace while my eyelids barely opened.
Thursday – 7 Miles
One of those hard runs that felt easy because I was fueling on stress. I ran on incline 3 between paces of 7.3 & 7.5 MPH, something I usually reserve for incline 2 and only felt a little strained. Felt great after the run though!. Average pace 8:25.
Friday – 7 Miles
I lost track of pace but I was on incline 2 and had to stop here and there to check email. So no fun, but I’m happy I got to see some miles to add to my tracker.
Saturday – 18 Miles
3 slow easy miles with the group run from Blog & Tweet Boston. I was going to continue running but it was too cold and I had too much swag. Instead I retreated back home, procrastinated. Finally dug out my hat and gloves and hit the pavement. What face is that? That’s the crank face of someone wearing a hat and gloves in April.
15 Miles as my final long run before Boston. Although what really defines a long run? More than 13? 20? double digits? I can’t decide if the run was good or bad. Things were perfect for the first 12 miles, then I hit a wall, and I went into a coughing fit. I couldn’t decide if I was hot or cold and really struggle to pace up for the final 3 miles. My pace before my choke down was around 7:50. None the less, it felt good to see 15 miles in sub 2 for a training run. I know I’m ready, just have to keep reminding myself.
Sunday -11.3 Miles
I saved Sunday for trails. The trail group I look up to does this one trail weekly at 8AM. Sadly I am nowhere near their pace and instead am determined to practice it once a week until I can keep up and am less scared of each pebble in my path. I always hate confessing this but my love for trails isn’t exactly there. I’ve had good runs, but each step is a struggle. I kept the pace at 12:30 minutes per mile on Sunday and felt slightly disappointed in myself. I know patience and practice, patience and practice.