So. Close. I'm allllllmost to the taper. This past week was the peak for the season - 96 miles for week. Why not make it an even 100, you ask? I was tempted, but on Sunday by the time I ran 8 miles, then ran 2 more at the gym, then taught BodyPump, then came home and did yard work for 2.5 hours, I was beat. I decided that the 100-mile-week milestone would have to wait one more season.
This past week can be described in two words: tired and slow. I think all of the miles caught up to me this week as my body was feeling pretty beat up for most of these runs. While I complain about it, I secretly love peak weeks like this. There's something about knocking out each of the long runs (and double runs!) on the schedule that makes you feel invincible. I also really enjoy being able to eat tons of food to fuel all of the miles. I try to make most of it quality food, but I'll admit I allow myself a few more treats than usual to celebrate a high-mileage week.
Let's recap it up! I started the week coming off of a really great run. I was up in Gettysburg with my family visiting my in-laws over the weekend and had to do my last pace-mile long run up there. Let's get something straight: I did NOT want to do this run. I was nervous about having to do an 18-mile run w/12 miles at pace solo and on unfamiliar (and hilly) terrain. In the days leading up to it I even emailed a few of my running friends to get their opinion: push the run to the following week so that I'd have company on the pace miles? Move the run to two weeks from now to be able to do it on a flatter course in more of a true Erie marathon course simulation? It took a good friend of mine about two seconds to figure out what I needed: A good kick in the pants. He saw through my excuses and knew that I needed to get over my anxiety, gather my courage and just go do it. Once he refused to give me an out, I knew he was right. I just needed to go and get it done. So I ran 18 miles, on my own, on a hot day up in hilly Gettysburg - and had my best pace-mile run to date: 18 miles with 12 of them at an average 6:40 pace. I was stoked. So with that awesome run to kick off this week, I got to work.
Monday: 10 miles, 8:06 avg. pace. The high from the awesome Saturday run had worn off by this point and I felt like this one was more tiring than it should have been. A tendon around my ankle was killing me and I started panicking that the hills and severely cambered roads in Gettysburg had wrecked my foot. Made a quick appointment to get it looked at. Taught BodyPump later this afternoon and felt like I was digging deep to find the energy.
Tuesday: 11 miles, 8:27 avg. pace 2nd run: 7 miles, 8:57 avg. Ran a few miles on my own and then ran a friend's 5x1000m workout with him at the track. Then met my mom at the Y for an easy 7 on the treadmill. Had Graston & ultrasound on peroneal tendon in ankle later in the day and was extremely relieved that it seemed to help. The tendon felt much better, but still a bit strained. Pushed my track workout to Thursday in hopes it would give it a bit more time to heal.
Wednesday: 12 miles, 8:12 avg. pace 2nd run: 4 miles, 8:57 avg. So thankful for a friend's company on the first run of the day. The humidity was killing me and I had to remind myself multiple times that this was still preferable to the icy cold 20-degree runs of last winter. The ankle tendon was still bugging me but it thankfully felt much better. Whew. Ran the second run of the day at the YMCA before my core class.
Thursday: 12 miles, 8:16 avg. pace. 5x600 today on the schedule and Pfitzinger's book must have read my mind because that's all these tired legs could handle. Didn't even have a pace in mind - just set out to do them at an uncomfortably fast level. Thankfully I had my rabbit (my speedy friend Kevin) again to make sure I didn't wimp out. My legs were TIRED for this one (taught BodyPump at 6:30pm the night before) and if it's possible, the humidity was worse than yesterday!!! This was one of those runs where you think to yourself on the warmup "how on earth am I going to run faster than this?". Managed to get out a few solid intervals (paces for the 600s were: 5:57, 6:08, 5:54, 5:40, 5:40) but it wasn't pretty.
Friday: 22.2 miles, 8:38 avg. pace. Starting at 4:18am made for an early alarm but I got in 7 miles on my own, then met Kevin for 2.5, then ran with my Dad for 10 miles at his pace, then finally ran a few on my own to finish up. Whew. Had a giant waffle at my house afterwards (carbs!!!!!) and it was SO GOOD. Needed to get this run done today since I had to leave early on Saturday to get to my nephew's birthday party in DC!
Saturday: 8 miles, 7:57 avg. pace. This was all I had time for before hopping in the car to DC. I felt sluggish on this one but the cooler morning (60 degrees!!) made my legs feel better than expected.
Sunday: 8 miles, 7:58 avg. pace. 2nd run: 2 miles, 8:57 avg. pace. Don't let the average pace fool you: I felt like I was barely moving on this one. So very tired. Ran laps around the track just for some flat ground. After a long day yesterday I was wiped out this morning. Had a coffee after the run and prayed it would kick in before my 2 extra miles at the Y before teaching Pump! As I mentioned above, I was sorely tempted to make this an even 100 miles for the week, but was beat. It'll have to wait :)
Total: 96 miles
Overall, I'm feeling...optimistic. And anxious. I'm a bit paranoid that something random is going to take me out at the last minute (twisting an ankle steeping off a curb, pulling my back taking groceries into the house, etc.) and all of the hard work over that last 6 months will have been for naught. I am sure that all marathoners feel the same way as they get to the end of the season - there's nothing worse than having something crop up at the last minute that derails all of your training! My poor family is going to be in for a rough ride the next few weeks as I try to temper my anxiety and pent-up energy as we creep closer and closer to race day.
I've got one more week of moderately high mileage and then I hit the taper. I'm so close, you guys. I'll take all of the good vibes, thoughts, and prayers you care to send. I just want a shot at it. 18 days to go!!