Let me repeat that. Best words ever: It’s taper time!
It is two weeks until Rock and Roll San Diego, and I have completed the hardest part of my training. Alan and I ran our last long run on Sunday, 20 miles (my second 20-miler in two weeks). Now, we will gradually taper down first our distance, then our pace, with the expectation that on Sunday, June 1 our legs will be strong and ready to have a great race.
My training has not been perfect, but I do feel ready to take on the marathon for the first time in seven years. It may not be pretty, but I do know that, one way or another, I will finish the race. As always, my exercise induced asthma, which has caused me to drop out of only two marathons out of the 37 that I’ve started, which will determine whether I have a great race, or struggle just to finish. We will see.
The 20 mile run on Sunday was, well, I think it was the toughest run I’ve ever done (except maybe this one). While we were fortunate that the sun pretty much stayed behind the clouds, it was still hot, up to about 87 degrees when we finally finished.
I did fine until mile 16, right after a stop at a fire station that is five miles from home. It is a perfect spot to stop, get some ice and water, take a gel, and (hopefully) regroup for the last part of the run.
Well, that last part didn’t happen. After I started running again, I just couldn’t get it together. My asthma kicked up, my body wouldn’t cooperate, and I spent more time walking than running. In fact, my total time was more than a half hour longer than last week’s run. I really don’t worry too much about my average pace during the long run, but it is a good comparison to highlight just how bad I felt this week.
Earlier in the week, I managed only a few miles, with my migraine last Wednesday taking away my only longish mid-week run. I ran three miles on Saturday, which was fine, but in spite of running 20 on Sunday, my total for the week was under 25. I plan one more good tempo run this coming Wednesday, then I’ll be resting up on my way to the race! Fingers crossed that things go as planned!
Some pictures from the week:
Yes, my desk is a mess. But that little cutie pie in the middle always makes me smile. It is Teddy Bear, Kierston’s darling Doodle, and his smile always makes me happy.
From Saturday, sporting my Sweat Guru tank that my Ragnar teammate gifted the team with. BTW, Jamie finished her first 100 mile race over the weekend (which makes me feel a little guilty for complaining about my 20 miler).
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this shot of an excited Olivia at lunch time. I think her jump is at least twice her height!
I’ve been using Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator as part of a campaign with Vega and Fit Approach. I really think it helps my recovery (I have purchased more to continue using it in my training).
Sunday, though, was just beyond anything that even Recovery Accelerator could help. Alan and I each drank a glass, then I had more than a quart of coconut water, plus some plain water. In spite of that, when I went to lay down for a while, my calves and toes kept cramping so badly that I couldn’t lie still! If I wasn’t careful, my toes especially, would cramp up and basically freeze in a painful, pointed position.
Fortunately, after a little more time, food, and liquid, this seemed to abate, so by the time I am writing this post, my legs no longer hurt. Compression socks helped too.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been wearing the same top in all of my recent long runs. It is a top that I purchased from Lorna Jane, more as a yoga top than for running. But, and this is a huge but, it has been so comfortable, plus I don’t chafe when I wear it, that I have decided to wear it during the marathon. It’s pretty too.
As I’ve gotten older, chafing has become a big problem for me, both on my arms and legs. I actually have a scar on my legs from the chafing during my last Palm Springs Half Marathon (and I was wearing a running skirt that had not previously caused it). I haven’t totally decided on the shorts/skirt I will wear for the race, but believe me, a lot of thought goes into the choice (way beyond how it will look!).
It’s been a while since I could dress like this for a marathon! Sorry about the bad quality. It’s a proof (they used to mail them to you in the olden days) that has been taped on my fridge for years. I think it actually is from the Rock and Roll Marathon back around 2001. But wearing a sports bra and short-shorts is not part of my current reality.
So, I am on my way. Two weeks to go, then it is time to Rock and Roll!
Stayed tuned on Wednesday for some tips on returning to the marathon after a (long) layoff.
How was your weekend? Any long runs, events, or great fun?