Marathon #2, Week 17, the Countdown Begins!

Monday.  Let the taper begin!  It’s hard to believe this is really the last img_1288week of training.  The next 2 weeks are really all about resting and recovery, although this week my mileage will already start to decrease.  Mondays are recovery run days, so after my usual nap following class, I headed down to the river again for a nice slow recovery run.  I’m breaking in some new shoes for the marathon, so I wore them today.  So far, so good!  All in all, I had a great run.  The slower pace felt good after the race on Saturday.

Tuesday.  Yep, track night.  Slightly cooler temperatures have made it easier to get out the door for those speed workouts.  Tonight’s workout was a 1000 meter lap followed by laps of 800 meters, than 600, 400, and finally a 200 meter lap with 200 meter walking recoveries between each lap.  It felt surprisingly easy!  I don’t know why that was.  Maybe it was the cooler weather, although I’d like to think it’s because my fitness level is improving!  Either way, it felt good to be able to run those distances at a fast for me pace, but that also tells me I probably need to move up to the next pace group to continue to challenge myself.  Ugh.  It’s hard to think about running even faster!

Wednesday.  Because I have to go see the eye doctor tonight, I decided to get in my tempo run right after class.  It just so happens that our class workout was a leg workout.  But I threw my backpack in the car, pushed start on my Garmin, and hit the pavement.  Holy moly.  My legs felt like lead, and I struggled to keep a 9:30 pace.  Even though, technically, that would have been tempo pace, I wanted to get to about 9:00/mile.  After about a mile or so, my legs loosened up, and I was able to keep my pace at about 8:50 to 9:10 for those 7 miles, even with tons of hills.  Don’t ask me why I picked a route with tons of hills for a tempo run AFTER leg day!  Anywho, I got it done and wound up with another one of those sweet headband sunburns.  In November!  What happened to the fall weather?  I also discovered apple cinnamon flavored Hammer gel.  Super yummy!  It’s seriously like eating the gooey part of an apple pie without the crust.  So good!img_1258Thursday.  My legs are pretty sore after yesterday.  Thankfully, today’s workout was upper body.  We have 16 miles coming up on Saturday, and because I should be starting to decrease my miles, I called it good after the workout.

Friday.  Rest day.  Yep, lots of naps and snacks.

Saturday.  It’s hard to believe this is our last really long training run.  The marathon is just 15 days away!  I was feeling a bit tired and unmotivated when I woke up, so I wore my finisher shirt from my first marathon for inspiration!  img_1303I also decided to work on some logistical aspects of running a long race today, like how to carry everything I need for the race.  A couple of things I discovered in April was that it’s sometimes hard to find what I need in my running belt and that Ziploc baggies can kind of be a pain in the tushy when you’re on the move.  I discovered that layering my  nutrition works well.  I put the gel I’m going to use first on top so it’s the first thing I grab when I open the zipper of my pouch.  That way I’m not searching for what I need; it’s all in order.  I also found a bottle with an easy open top (much better than a baggie) that fits into img_1309the pouch of my water bottle for electrolyte capsules–along with my mustard packets.  I’ve also discovered that when my hands get cold (which is frequently on our morning run, even though the rest of me is warm), I have a hard time tearing open packets of mustard and gel.  Today, I just tore a slight tear in each of my mustard packets before dropping them into my pouch.  It wasn’t enough to allow the mustard to seep out but enough of a start that I could easily open the packet even with cold hands.  I’ll definitely be doing that for the race and will do that with gel packets as well.  I also wore my new shoes.  This was the longest run in them, and at the end of the run, my feet felt great!  The run today was good.  We were a small group, so even though our schedule called for race pace, we started out way faster than race pace.  We ran that pace for about 13 miles, but then, one member of our group started to fatigue and was struggling to maintain.  So we slowed the pace and eventually ended up walking the last 3 miles or so.  But that’s okay.  Our overall pace ended up almost exactly where we should have been, and we know we can run 16 miles.  We’ve done it many times during this training season.  The walk actually felt really good.  My legs were still a bit tired from leg day this week, and walking was a good way to get tight muscles loosened up after a kind of fast 13 miles.  All in all a good run!

So this week I got in 34 miles.  I feel good about my training this week.  Let the countdown begin!

Goals for next week:

  1. Take it easy.  I plan to only do body weight exercises or super light weights for upper body.  Runs will be at recovery or base pace.  I probably won’t do speed intervals this next week.  Tapering begins in earnest, and preparing for the race at this stage is all about rest and recovery, as hard as that is.
  2. Continue to gather nutrition for the race.  I’ve ordered some Accel gel and picked up some Hammer gel and Bonk Breakers today, so I’m pretty much set.  I just need to figure out what I want to take when.img_13063.  Rest, stretch, and roll as much as possible!

Talk to me:

Do you have any big, exciting events coming up in the next few weeks?

Author: Juanita

Thanks for dropping in! I'm Juanita. People tell me I don't look like a Juanita since I'm red headed and freckled with super pale skin, but what's in a name, right? I'm a 40-something, single (as in no kids, never been married) gal from Oklahoma. I'm a nurse and most importantly, a follower of Jesus. I love chocolate, am scared of heights, and petrified of snakes. After my fortieth birthday and coming to grips with the fact that I was obese, I discovered I'm a runner and a CrossFitter, and that there's a whole lot of life left to live. I just had to get past the fat, stare down the fear, and realize that 40 is not too old for new beginnings. So this is the story of my struggles and adventures in the quest to live a healthy life in mind, body, and soul.

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