A saying that gets thrown around a lot on my training website (RunnersConnect.net) is that "the hay is in the barn." Basically, it means that you've done all the work you can this training cycle, and it's time to relax and put that hard work to good use. Reap what you've sewn, if you will.
With less than 3 weeks until my marathon (20 days!), this is where I'm at. I've done all the hard work. Now it's time to start tapering, get lots of sleep, rest, recover, and maybe get my nutrition on point a little. (Definitely an area that I still need to improve).
After this morning's run, I've officially completed my toughest month of training. Seriously, when I looked at the training plan for this month, I was not sure how I was going to accomplish all of the workouts. A) they were tougher than anything I've done so far, and B) they were much longer - 8-9 mile workouts in the middle of the week!
But I'm happy to show you this today!
Every run is highlighted! I did it!
Honestly, completing each run and workout just helped boost my confidence. Some runs I went in thinking "no way can I pull this off", and then I'd be pleasantly surprised when I was successful. This month has given me so much confidence going into my race. Sure, there will still be some anxiety, nerves, and lots of doubt. Hopefully I can draw on some of the workouts I've done this month and think "remember when you ran those 3 miles at a sub 8:30 pace in the middle of your 16 mile run? Yea, you can do this too."
I have to laugh when I think about how I'm officially in "taper town", but I still have long runs of 12 & 8 miles, plus 6-8 mile workouts. My training plan likes to keep the mileage up in the taper period so your legs don't get stale, but also helping to blow off a little of that nervous steam.
The pace bands I ordered from Races2Remember showed up yesterday in the mail, with a sweet note from one of their employees wishing me good luck.
I've never used a pace band before, but I figured it's worth a shot. Math is never my strong suit, and math after running 15 miles is like asking me to perform surgery while doing a headstand - bad idea.
So, it's starting to feel official! The hay is in the barn, and now I've just got to ride it out the next few weeks, stay healthy, and hopefully have a great race!
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