Last week, my adventures in Advanced Marathon Training continued with a taper week as we prepared for the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. I was looking forward to the decreased mileage, but I forgot that with a taper week comes taper tantrums. I developed all sorts of cranky aches and pains. Sometimes, marathon training is more mental than physical, and this was one of those weeks. I’m proud to say that I plowed through each and every training run as prescribed, and it paid off!
Sunday (3/20) :: 17 miles w/7 at MP. This was not a great run. It was warmer than I like. I had to bargain with myself to maintain marathon pace mile-by-mile. And, we finished the 7-miles at marathon pace uphill. Everyone else was having a great day, which made it feel even worse. But, when I checked my splits after the run, I wasn’t that much slower than last week when I had a great 22-mile run. Mind over matter, I suppose.
Monday (3/21) :: Rest day. I had a hot date with my sports chiropractor for some intense active release therapy.
Tuesday (3/22) :: 7 miles w/3 1-mile repeats at 15k pace. This was my chance to get revenge on the track after last week’s pitiful performance. Although I doubt I will ever love track workouts the way many of my training partners do, I am learning to accept them as a necessary part of training and getting faster. If nothing else, the faster I get, the sooner the workout is over! My pace was a little slower than it should have been, based on my goal marathon pace, but it was pretty close. I had a steady first mile repeat, slowed a bit on the second, and knocked it out of the ballpark on the third. I even had a little kick at the finish! I probably wasn’t supposed to, because the primary goal was to run each lap consistently, but it was a nice confidence-builder.
Wednesday (3/23) :: 6 miles in Zone 1. I met two great training friends for an easy run on Katy Trail. Afterwards, we hung around a nearby coffee shop and talked running — training progress, race strategy, running clothes, you name it. I had a million and one things going on with work, with our current home, and with our potential new home. Perhaps that’s why I had no problem ‘hiding’ at Starbucks for an hour that morning. In hindsight, it was exactly what I needed. My running family means the world to mean. They make me feel ‘normal’; they make me laugh; and they keep me grounded. One of my biggest fears about moving to Lake Grapevine had been that I would be leaving my running family behind, but I left that morning with the new-found realization that if something is important to me, I will make time for it (regardless of where it is and, by the way, it’s not that far) so I should live wherever I want. Duh, right?
Thursday (3/24) :: 5 miles in Zone 1 w/6 20-second strides. A funny thing happens once you start regularly running long distances … it’s hard to justify getting up early ‘just’ to run 5 miles. So, I didn’t. I got an extra two hours of sleep and ran in the neighborhood instead. It was a miserable run. I tried to shake it off by reminding myself that taper-week runs are always terrible, but it still left me in a funk.
Friday (3/25) :: Rest day.
Saturday (3/26) :: 3 easy miles. Why are pre-race shake-out runs always so terrible? When I ended this run, I turned to Brad and said: “When will I have another good run again?” His response couldn’t have been more perfect: “April 18th.” I would gladly accept a crappy run every single day between now and April 18th to have a great run in the Boston Marathon. Perspective defined.
On Sunday, it was time to get my game face on for the half marathon. I won’t spoil too much here because this event is worthy of its own race report. But, let’s just say that I finally had a good run. 🙂
~your busy little B