Things are back to normal after my HM last week. Oh, how I missed the normal. I am finding that the more my body gets used to longer training hours, the harder the taper is both physically and psychologically. Paradoxically, I did enjoy having more time, and being able to do things I don't normally do (well, more like enjoying having done those things rather than the actual process).
I noticed a few things about my tapers: 1) I always get sick (mild cold), but that does not affect my performance; 2) I always gain weight but it goes away after I go back to training; 3) I race best when I am about to get my period (I complained about feeling yucky to my mom before my last race and she told me she used to perform best before her period; then I checked my training logs and noticed that all my PRs are in races where I got my period either during the race (oh, yes, lots of fun!) or a couple of days after); now I wonder if there is any data on that, hmm, must check that out*; 4) taper works for me when I keep the training schedule the same, but reduce length of workout (rather than give myself full rest days).
I had zero soreness after the HM. I think this was a function of my fitness level, and the little help from my trusty E21. I don't remember ever having a race where I felt so good the day after, and managed to run some tough workouts the week after the race.
Back to normal means hours in the saddle, laps in the pool, miles on the road and, of course, going back to Fresh Pond for the weekly race. We had a bigger crowd today, but conditions were bad, since we got lots of rain, little snow, and then chilly temps yesterday. I ran 1 mile easy and 4 miles @ @ 7:25, and then waited around about 5 min for the race to start. I felt good from the beginning and raced a bit with 2 other women I had not seen there before, but easily passed them withing a half mile from the start. And then, I had to walk. Not because I was tired, but because there were about 3 50 meter areas within each loop with shiny ice that were non runnable. I was a bit pissed because my pace would slow down on these sections, but ended up feeling OK with no getting a PR. I ended up running 30:50, which is 20 seconds slower than my PR over there.
After the race I started talking to the second woman and realized that we work at the same hospital and we live in the same town. She told me about the Liberty running club at Harvard (geared toward women) where she trains, and invited me to join. I am really excited about this because unfortunately all my running friends are a bit too slow for me to run with now, and they are not really interested in training and improving. I am planning on joining the club after my last half marathon (in 3 weeks).
On the way home from race I bonked really bad, and ended up in a coffee place drinking coke and eating a blondie. I felt amazing after (of course) and managed to run the last 2 miles of hills back home at a pretty good clip.
* looked up the research, and it is a bit inconclusive (of course). However, apparently luteal phase (preperiod) is beneficial for endurance running (high estrogen favors fat burning for fuel and lower lactic acid accumulation); the follicular phaze (starting with first day of period) is beneficial for short distance, fast running (low estrogen).
Building a clock
7 months ago