Saturday, September 19, 2015

T-15 days and the taper crazies

The Portland Marathon is in 15 days.  Well, to be more exact, 14 and a half days.  But who's counting?  I haven't updated in a while because I have been BUSY!!  Busy running, busy working (school started back up), busy studing (yay for Graduate School), busy being a mom...the list goes on and on.  With everything going on in my life, running has become my peace.  It's my 'me' time.  Running has been the time where I can clear my mind, enjoy nature, and be alone.

Melanie and I finished up the meat of our training last week.  We worked our way up to two 20 mile runs...and we rocked them!  We were both pleased with how well those long long runs went, and now we are one week into the three week taper.  I don't really count the first week though, because the mileage is similar to stepback weeks and not enough to where I really feel like it's a break.  Although mentally, the taper crazies have begun!

I trained hard.  I did all of the runs that were scheduled (minus one while we were on vacation and one while I had strep throat).  I hit the intensity on all of the tempo runs and speed workouts.  I hit the mileage...and then some.  I know I did everything I could.  But naturally, I'm still doubting myself.  I had an 'easy' 12 mile run this morning.  These are the runs that are the hardest for me.  I think when I have an 18 or 20 miler on tap, mentally I know I'll be outside running for what feels like forever, and I'm mentally prepared for it.  When my schedule says 12 miles, it seems so short in comparison, but I fail to realize how far that really is. Those are the runs that feel like they drag on and on because, shouldn't I be done by now?

Today's 12 miler was good.  I felt strong and comfortable and even managed the mileage well mentally.  Then I got home and realized how slowly I ran.  I wasn't trying to push it or run fast (Heaven forbid I mess up the taper), but surely that comfort level should be faster than that, right?  Ahhhh, one of the classic taper crazies.  How the heck am I supposed to maintain an 8:11 pace for 26.1 miles when I can't maintain an 8:30 pace for 12 miles?

I know that I did everything I needed to do during training, and now it's time to trust in the training.  This same training plan (minus the speed work) helped me run a phenomenal race last spring in Denver.  I know it's effective.  I've been reflecting back on my training log a lot this week - comparing this training cycle with the last one.  I'm right where I was with the last one in terms of how I was running and how I was feeling about it.  That gives me a lot of reassurance.

Other taper crazies have been milder.  Like today, all I did was run, nap, and eat.  Really.  I'm SO hungry and tired.  I was supposed to get up and start my run by 6:00 am so I could get home and bake muffins with Cupcake.  But for the life of me I couldn't drag myself out of bed until 8:00...we made muffins then and I managed to make it out the door at 9.  I don't think I've ever left for a run that late in the morning, I usually prefer to be home before the kids are awake.  But today, I enjoyed it.  And I love that I still went at all - that means I can sleep in tomorrow before sitting around, watching football, and eating all the food.

I'm anxious to see how the next two weeks play out in terms of taper crazies as the mileage starts going down next week.  I actually get to run a 3 mile run.  I don't remember what that feels like.  And two four milers?  CAKE!!  Woohoo!!!...for now.

15 days til the marathon.  15 days to obsess over my fueling plan (I think I've decided on it), my outfit (that's important stuff!), my pacing strategy, and other important things like convincing myself to stick to my resolve to run this marathon without the help of my garmin telling me my pace.  Scary stuff!

One last note, I'm SO EXCITED for this race!!  I love that I get to share it with such an amazing friend and running partner.  I'm the luckiest person in the world.

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