The first week of taper ended with a 13 mile run, for a total of 26 miles, 7 miles less than what I ran last week. I know this is nothing compared to the 50-70 miles that others run as preparations for marathons, but hey, I did 5 2osh milers during this training cycle, so that is something to be proud of.
After a 6 mile tempo @ 7:38 (goal pace 7:50) on fairly flat grounds, I was ready for some hills today. Sue M and I debated whether to go on the course again or not, but I wanted to be home on time so that Chris could play some tennis. As such, we decided to avoid the commute, and, for old time sake, run our winter course Arlington, Cambridge (Fresh Pond), Belmont hills and back in Arlington. My plan was to run 13 miles @ 8:23 or so.
I had a terrible night sleep. Sleep is one of the best things I do, and I normally can sleep on command, anywhere, anytime. We had friends over last night so I went to bed around midnight (it's taper, right, I can get away with less sleep). I did some running related reading (aside from work, this is my reading these days), turned off the light, and was wide awake. All I could think about was the race, but in an excited, rather than nervous kind of way. So even though I was unable to sleep, I actually enjoyed myself and was not concerned about running on little sleep. At 3 am Petru started calling that he wants to sleep with us...he was actually good and getting him into bed helped me sleep soundly until 6:45 am, when it was time to get up. After my usual breakfast, I ran .5mile to meet Sue M. We started on our way a bit too fast, and ran @ 8:10 on the downhill of the bikepath, slowed down to an 8:20, and then to an 8:29 by the time we hit Belmont. Getting on pace when I run with others is always difficult, because I tend to accomodate their pace, or what seems natural, rather than keep paying attention to staying on my pace.
The monster .8 m of the Belmont Hills seemed hard, but easier than it felt during our last encounter. Both Sue M and I agreed that training on these hills has made the Newton hills seem like cake by comparison. At mile 9.5 I said good bye to Sue M and decided to pick up the pace so that I could get to the target pace of an 8:23. I was still fatigued from the hills, but knew that I would feel better on the flats, and then there are some short rolling hills coming up that I wanted to run on to get my quads ready for the last few miles of the marathon course. My pace got faster and faster, and my legs felt strong on the downhills. I ended up with an average of 8:16 - does it ever happen to you that you start running faster and faster but the perceived effort stays the same - and walked .5mile home sipping water and doing lunges. I rushed into my icebath and even managed a shower before Chris had to leave. I streched a bit, while Petru played his guitar, had some food and played with my boy for the morning. We both took a much needed nap. My legs feel a little sore, probably bc of the faster pace, but nothing that a good strech and roll later can't fix.
Looking ahead, I'll have 22 miles next week, and 10 the week after. I will probably swim and bike less during the last week as well.
On a different note, I got some information on transportation during marathon day. Looks like the bus will leave from MGH at 6:30 (yikes) which means a 4:30 wake up time for me if I want to eat and take care of bathroom issues (yikes, yikes). Those travelling to Boston, I suggest getting a hotel in Hopkinton or Natick, so that you don't have to wake up at the wee hours...it is going to be a long day!
Building a clock
7 months ago