I made it to the official taper! This week we started to take things down a notch ever so slightly but now, the real taper begins and I’m very excited. This time around, I’m just looking forward to running this race, as if it were a performance of sorts – one where all of the hard workouts and challenges and good times get to be put on display. When we began the cycle, I was focused more on running a time (specifically 3:32) but as training went on, it became more about performing a solid race (no matter what time that may be). Certainly, I feel in really good shape! But this focus on the process has shifted my perspective. Time is secondary. Performance is where it’s at.
That said, I move up an age group (age on race day will be 35, yikes!) and so I have to run a 3:40 (or slightly faster) to qualify for Boston. Qualifying has been the goal in my last three attempts and it’s what motivates me to run these long races. I think I can do it this time. I just don’t know what the time will be. My plan is to go out between 8:24-8:30 pace for a while. I’ll know in the moment if/when to adjust pace but I feel confident going out at the 3:40 pace for this race.
More importantly, this race has historically had crappy/weird/oddball weather over the years. Last year it snowed! The year prior (when I ran the half) it was incredibly humid. So far, I’ve had a few weekends of training in hot weather and also some very rainy weekends in which to practice but it would be foolish to not have to keep in mind that a more conservative approach may be needed for this race. If that’s the case, I will oblige.
So, taper begins. Things are getting very, very real.
Monday: 60 minutes and didn’t feel as sore as I expected!
Wednesday: 76 minutes with last 800 workout on the track – 10 x 800 @ 3:30 with 1 minute rest. When coach first mentioned early on in training that this would be the goal to work up to for 800s, I shrieked at the sound of it. I never did that many 800s and I never did with that little of rest. But alas, the day arrived and I felt strong and surprisingly in control. I took a rep to warm up (3:40- oopsie!) but after that I consistently hit 3:30s and 3:25 on my last one.
Thursday: 58 minutes easy on the treadmill with lower body strength training (one of the last heavier lifts before the race).
Friday: 47 minutes late afternoon run in the rain, legs were feeling decent post-lift.
Saturday: 82 minutes with 3 x 2 mile (1 min rest) at 7:47 average pace. My legs were not feeling decent on this one, post-lift. The 48 DOMS seemed to set in which made for one of the last good practices of running with fatigue. Aerobically, I felt great but the leg soreness lasted the entire workout! I kept it on the treadmill to give the legs some rest from the roads but it seemed to not matter. I also did upper body strength training after the run.
Sunday: 2 hours, 4 minutes – 14 miles with 5 at marathon pace (8:29, 8:25, 8:23, 8:21, 8:17). The weather was gorgeous and I got to run most of this with James (during the daylight!). On the 5 mile portion, I felt in control and just kept envisioning the race.
Total: 7 hours, 27 minutes (approximately 49 miles)