Taper officially started on Saturday, after the last 20 miler! My mind frame has switched from training to tapering immediately thereafter. So on Monday afternoon, I decided that since I am not officially training any more, it is OK to take it easy and bike indoors, rather than brave the rain as I normally do. This made running on Tuesday a must. I normally study the running schedule a week before - it helps me to get over whatever worry I may have about the workouts - but did not do it this time. It's taper time, workouts should be oh so easy now. Well, I was wrong. On Tuesday I was faced with a 7 mile run, with 4 miles of speed, 8X800 meters @ 6:46 average pace. Let me tell you, this took me by surprise, and I was not happy about this. It's like thinking you are done with all the hills in a race, and all of a sudden another one appears on the horizon. I did not have a lot of time for pity parties, so I had to get it together quickly. The weather was beautiful and I focused on that. It was too cold for shorts, but I still wore them. I warmed up for a mile @ 8:50, and started to run the repeats on the bikepath, on the way to the track. It is so much easier for me mentally to run repeats on the road rather than on the track (something about how oh so boring it is to run in circles), but everyone says the track is easier on the legs, so i decided on a compromise. The 3 repeats went really well. I have gotten much better at not going out too fast, and I am more relaxed if the average pace approaches the target pace.
1. 800 @ 6:42, 3:27
2. 800 @ 6:41, 3:26
3. 800 @ 6:34, 3:21
Once at the track, I was really hot. Shirt came off, and I ran in shorts and a sports bra. The field in the middle of the track was occupied by the Arlington Highschool Baseball team. Balls were flying left and right, and I debated whether I should be running on the track at all. On the other hand, it was nice to have some company, something to watch during the repeats. I had to skip over a couple of balls, and that added a bit of excitement to the run.
The 5 repeats went well.
4. 800 @ 6:42, 3:20
5. 800 @ 6:43, 3:21
6. 800 @ 6:43, 3:21
7. 800 @ 6:35, 3:17
8. 800 @ 6:33, 3:15
I was happy with myself that I finally learned how to run at a consistent pace, and not go out too fast. The repeats were faster than I had planned, but they felt so easy this time around. I don't have a heart rate monitor, but I did not feel out of breath or tired in any way. This experience was very different form the "all out" feeling I used to experience during these repeats. I guess the program works.... It would be interesting to run a 5K again, as I think I have gotten speedier:)
I ended the run with 2 cool down miles @ 8:30. It's funny that 8:30 is my cool down pace now:)
My mood was much happier than when I started it. I have since learned that "taper" only means decreasing number of miles ran, not intensity. Rather, intensity needs to be maintained so that one does not loose fitness. Aha, now I get it... So next week, when I have to do another 7 miler with 5 X1000 meters repeats, I'll have time to adjust mentally and I won't be surprised again.
The rest of the week should be easy, 6 mile tempo and 13 mile long run. Bring it on!!!!
Building a clock
7 months ago