Taper taper taper!!
I am not a heat lover. Ask anyone who’s run with me in the late spring; I’m more likely to take off my shirt than half the boys out there. My midriff sees more year-round sunlight than most people’s kneecaps. And it’s not because I’m a show-off or anything; believe me, as much as I love my body I’m well aware of the evidence that I enjoy plenty of snacks and beer. Nope, it’s not that I think I’m hot. I’m just…hot.
Now that the weather is cooling down suddenly running has become fun again. I’m able to successfully complete five miles while keeping my shirt on! I’ve also started tapering down for my October 6th marathon, which means I did my final speedwork: the dreaded Yasso 800’s.
And wouldn’t you know it, in this perfect running weather, even though the sun was shining bright, I totally rocked this workout and averaged 3:31, never slipping over 3:34.
In theory that puts me right on target for my original 3:35 goal, right after I announced to the world I wasn’t going to try for the BQ. I killed the hell out of those 800’s. I confess, my target was 3:30, just so the pacing math would be easier, but with all my other speed workouts resulting in running 800’s 5-10 seconds slower than target, I didn’t expect to hit the numbers I did!
The difference was definitely the weather. Every other speed workout I’d done up to this point had been 90° F or higher, every one had been sunny, and nearly all had been terribly humid. So this time, on a sunny but temperate day I finally managed to hit the numbers I’ve been working so hard for, after a whole summer of being disappointed by my results! What that says to me is that maybe I’m doing better than I thought!
So far though, my plan is still to play it a little conservative on race day, and pace for a 3:40-3:45. Wineglass is a net downhill course, and friends who have run it before say that it’s easy to make up time in the second half, so if I’m feeling really good who knows, maybe I’ll be able to pull it out!
Here’s what I’ve been up to:
When last I left you (four weeks out): Felt the comeback coming on along with the cool autumn weather.
Sun – TWENTY-FOUR MILES, baby! I wailed on all 24 of ‘em too, keeping an easy run pace (with the exception of a little slump between 14-16, and even picked it up to 8:50′s around mile 21, when I saw my friends E and R in the park and picked up my feet to stick with them for a little bit!
M – 5.5 miles, relatively fast!
T – off
W – 8 miles before work
Th – a sad attempt at speedwork – but we had a freak hot day and I wound up running 8 miles, including 5 sad 800s. Vowed to complete Yasso’s the following Tuesday.
F – crammed in 3 before work
Sat – 8 miles of setting a hash trail
Last week (three weeks out): So…yeah, maybe doing a really hard speed workout during taper isn’t totally advisable, but it’s a three week taper. And…well…I just really wanted to get this workout in, for my own peace of mind!
Sun – off
M – 14, easy pace
T – wound up having to work; pushed speedwork to Wednesday
W – 8 miles, including those badass Yasso’s:
Th – 6 miles recovery
F – crammed in 5 before work
S – crammed in another 5
Total: 38 miles
This week (two weeks out): HOLY CRAP, I’M ONLY TWO WEEKS OUT! I can definitely feel the taper crazies. I feel lazy, like I’m not running enough. I have the urge to overstep my plan and add mileage. I’m obsessing over race strategy (especially pacing), and minutia.
Sun – Felt like going to the hash; ran 4 miles easy pace.
Mon – 8 miles easy pace
Tues – off
Wed – 2x 2mi @ 7:50 (1mi rest) 2mi wu/cd [8 total]
Thurs – 45 minutes, 6-8 strides
Fri – 55 minutes, 6-8 strides
Sat – 30 minutes running or cross-training
Total: about 30