It’s Wednesday – Hump Day of Taper Week. This is always the worst day for me. I’m so close to race day, in fact, I’m so close there is no turning back now. Yet, at the same time it feels like an eternity is looming between me and the starting line. T-minus 3 days!!
My taper week has been shaping up rather nicely & thankfully we’ve finally had some cooler weather so I can actually enjoy my morning runs! I’ve gotten through the first few days of light running without too much of a freak out & I look forward to taking a relaxed approach to running for the next couple of days.
Tuesday: 10 min warm up, 4 by 5 mins at threshold (7:00 min/mile pace) with 60 second recoveries, followed by 10 min cool down.
Wednesday: Easy (8:45/mile) 30 mins, drills, strides, stretches.
Thursday: Easy 5 miles, drills, strides, stretches.
Saturday: Easy 20-30 mins (3ish miles) with strides & stretching.
One step closer to being awesome.
To be honest, I am handling my taper much better than I have in the past. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve finally gotten my anxiety under control; if I don’t care anymore since I’ve already achieved my BQ; or if I’ve simply matured as a marathoner. Of course, it is probably a bit of everything. After my wonderful run in Toronto, I’ve let go a bit & accepted that I really do know how to do this. I don’t have to be afraid – I GOT THIS! I’ve also learned how to make better use of my pre-race jitters. Instead of compulsively checking the weather, I’m focusing on things I can control, like my race strategy. My color coordinated race notes.
I’ve committed the course map to memory & have decided which aid stations I’ll utilize, when I’ll take my gels, and just how conservative of a start I’ll aim for. I’ve broken my race down into 5Ks, but of course we all know that will go out the window once the gun goes off. My main goal will be to keep the mile splits between 7:25 (too fast) and 7:38 (conservative) with a half time under 1:39. Because the elevation profile is pancake flat, I don’t have any hills to work off of. Hills are my forte, so we’ll find out if this course will help or hinder me.
I use FindMyMarathon to find races, but also because they have an awesome tool that calculates course specific split times based on a goal finish. This has worked very well for me in the past in terms of getting to know a foreign course to prepare for hills, splits, aid stations, etc.
In the final quarter of training I sat back a little. I still had some pretty aggressive workouts, but the mileage began to taper off as I approached the final week of training. I’ve had several quality speed sessions, including some great hill work, as well as a five mile race thrown in. I’m primed & tuned & ready to run!
So, here’s a look at the weekly breakdown:
Week 13: 46.4 miles – longest run was an 18 miler with 8 of those at marathon pace.
Week 14: 40.09 miles – including 5 mile road race, and an 11 miler with 6 at m-pace.
Week 15: 37.37 miles – 2 threshold workouts & an easy 10 miler.
Week 16: an anticipated 20ish miles, plus the marathon on Sunday.
So, all in all, I’d have to say that I’m feeling conservatively optimistic about this one. I’ve put in a lot of hard work & there is just nothing left to be done. In the past 15 weeks I’ve improved my fitness, increased my weekly mileage, and gotten faster. In a few more days we’ll put it all to the test.
I got this.