Happy Friday! Happy October!!! I'm very excited to announce:
I'm officially in taper mode!
For those that don't know, tapering is the week (or 3) before your big race where you cut back on the miles & intensity of the workouts in order to start saving up the energy for your race.
My last big weekend is included here, but after that, it's all downhill baby!
Saturday: Steady pace run: 1 mile warm up, 5 miles between 8:40-9:10, 1 mile cool down. Again, this steady pace run the day before a long run is intended to put some fatigue in the legs to help simulate marathon fatigue. This run went pretty well. I'm starting to get to the point where I think "oh man, I'm not sure I can do that workout" and then be pleasantly surprised when my body cruises through it. Not easy, exactly, but comfortably hard. Splits were: 9:48, 8:48, 8:56, 8:44, 8:45, 8:42, 9:28.
Sunday - 16 miles with fast finish. On top of having the steady pace run yesterday, the fast finish long run is designed to simulate late race fatigue, and teach your body to push through the tiredness. I had great weather for this run, fueled well, but still was not sure that I could accomplish those miles. Most of the run averaged around 9:45-9:50 pace. The fast finish miles were supposed to be miles 12-15 at 8:30 or faster, then 1 more cool down. I'm happy to report that those miles went great!
8:26, 8:22, 8:16 - Bam!
Not only faster than 8:30, but negative splits! Rocked it :o)
Monday - Today was supposed to be a bike day, or maybe yoga. I decided to be kind to my body and get an extra hour of sleep. I'll probably do some additional stretching this evening after my strength training (hips & lower leg) exercises. But that extra hour of sleep was quite nice.
Tuesday - Taper Cutdown (1 mi warmup, 3 miles @ 8:55, 3 miles @ 8:30 or faster, 1 mile cool down). This run is designed to have you practice your marathon pace, and "blow out the tubes" with a few faster miles. Today I had trouble holding MP. It seemed like my body either wanted to run faster, or 10-15 seconds slower. No in between. But I managed to do alright with my paces: 9:38, 8:54, 8:48, 8:49, 8:34, 8:20, 8:20, 9:53.
Also, my neighbors have added this to their front yard.
While she is pretty, she definitely scared the crap out of me the first morning I ran by her.
Wednesday - 8 miles on the bike, average speed 13.8mph. It's amazing what a little air in the tires will do! I was wondering why it was so much harder to get my speed back up out of the 12 mph zone. Hey, I'm still learning here! One thing to note about this ride: it was only 28 degrees! I had to break out the pants and long sleeves, gloves, etc. There was frost on some lawns this morning; I don't think I have many outdoor rides left for the year. I should probably start looking at indoor trainers.
Thursday - 6 easy miles, average pace of 9:38. Brisk at 37 degrees this morning, and I'm totally loving it. My legs felt tired, but I found myself really having to slow down constantly. Maybe because of the cooler weather?
Friday - Another 6 miles at easy pace. I am slightly confused at my body right now, because my legs are definitely feeling tired and heavy, and yet I'm having trouble keeping these runs at my slow pace. Average pace for this run was 9:33. Is it really because the weather has cooled down? It was 30 degrees this morning! Maybe because I've been working on my form a little? I'm not sure. Anyway, I hope this translates well to race day!