Last week was not a good week for running.
After my race I took Monday completely off. On Tuesday I was eager to check out my new gym (finally got around to switching memberships about 1.5 months after moving…). This was fine in theory but the only running I can tolerate on a treadmill is a workout and trying to do a workout 2 days after a race– even if the race was “only” 6.2 miles– did not go well. My 8 mile run ended up being only 3.25 miles. Yeah…
The rest of the week was a bunch of really sluggish runs. I thought about attempting another workout but then decided to save my energy for one more long run during the weekend. But I still felt tired on Saturday after nothing but easy miles(aside from the aborted workout on Tuesday) during the week . I could not figure out– and still haven’t exactly figured out– what was going on. I was getting plenty of sleep, eating well, didn’t have any other symptoms of illness. After reading about top marathoner Ryan Hall’s decision to retire, I started to wonder if maybe I too was nearing the point where 12 easy miles a week would be a challenge.
Needless to say, I was concerned about getting through a long run, especially one that would be my longest distance since January 2014. I had planned on 15 miles with 3 easy, 3 at HM pace, 3 easy, 2 at HM pace, 2 easy, 1 at HM pace, 1 easy. I went to bed early(ish) on Friday night and had an actual meal on Saturday morning (2 slices of toast with peanut butter and banana). Basically, I did everything I feel like I should do before a long run but don’t always do because I also like maintaining a social life and drinking beer and eating junk food.
As I started my run I told myself that no matter what happened, I would run 15 miles. They might be the slowest miles of my life and I might have to drop the HM pace miles but I was going to run 15 miles because getting in a few runs over 13 miles before I run a half is such a confidence booster for me and something that was lacking before I ran 3M last year.
Amazingly, after a week of awful running, things came together on this last long run.
I think the weather (mid-40s and clear) helped as did eating more than a Clif Bar beforehand. I’m also getting better about keeping my easy paces easy.
Getting through that run made me feel excited about 3M again and it also made me feel excited to taper. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy about a taper before! This training cycle hasn’t been perfect but I hope some of the fatigue I’ve had recently is a result of pushing myself during workouts and races. Hopefully it will all pay off on Sunday with a PR.
This is my taper week schedule:
- Monday: Rest
- Tuesday: 6 miles total with 4 @ HM pace (7:47, 7:52, 7:49, 7:55)
- Wednesday: 5 easy
- Thursday: 4 easy
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: 3 easy
- Sunday: 3M Half Marathon
Other race week activities include trying to get extra sleep, foam rolling, and avoiding alcohol. I don’t drink a ton in general but I avoid alcohol for at least a week before a goal race in an effort to stay as hydrated as possible. (I’m still drinking coffee though– trying to quit that would be ugly!).
Also, quitting booze for a week makes the post-race beer taste just a little bit better.