I've never actually had one of these before. For my first training cycle, I was laid low by a sinus infection and, except for a two mile shake-out run the day before Sleeping Bear, I took the whole week beforehand off from running. And, as I've mentioned ad nauseam, I battled injuries and illness leading up to my season this spring, so I didn't run for 12 days before the marathon, and hadn't been running very much beforehand either.
While I've freely admitted to essentially bailing on Hanson's the last few weeks, I've still been running five or six days a week, so I finally can actually taper down. And I have to say, I'm definitely a fan. I'm running enough that I don't feel like I'm losing fitness, but I feel more rested, physically and mentally.
I'm starting to hit the easy paces Hanson's prescribed for me, except now they feel truly easy. Instead of gutting out every run, I've been pushing the pace a bit because it feels fun and good, rather than like death.
|I'm sure this is exactly what I look like.|
Wednesday, September 17
Why can I never remember what I do on these days? I think I managed to work in a nap.
Thursday, September 18
4 mi easy, 11:41 min/mile
After running nothing shorter than five miles for months, it felt so bizarre to turn around at the two mile mark. I already noticed my legs were feeling perkier than normal.
Friday, September 19
I watched terrible college football, and it was wonderful.
Saturday, September 20
3 mi easy, 11:44 min/mile
I cranked this one out before watching MSU spank Eastern Michigan. (Seriously, I know tune-ups are important, but if you have to pull your starters in the first quarter, it's pretty out of control!) Even though it was quite cool, the sun had heated up the asphalt to the point that it was uncomfortably warm out on the trail.
|At least I didn't forget to snap the ball.|
Sunday, September 21
8 mi easy, 11:21 min/mile
This run was one of the best of the training cycle and was a huge confidence booster. I set out at the same pace I plan to use at the start of the race, but I felt like I was floating, so I boosted my pace every other mile. I finished feeling strong and invigorated. Now the real question will be if I can do that 2+ more times Saturday.
Monday, September 22
Having a Monday off felt so scandalous.
Tuesday, September 23
3 mi easy, 11:08 min/mile
I probably ran this one a tad too fast, but I was feeling good, and the pace felt easy.
I know quite a few people complain about tapering, but I love it. It's like an early reward for the hard work. (I know the race is the true reward, but that's a pretty painful reward at times!) I feel like I'm primed and ready to go. I'm a tiny bit antsy, but I think a lot of that has to do with a slow period at work giving me lots of extra time to contemplate the race.
I'm also just so excited for this trip! I love the West, and I can't wait to do some light hiking and exploring on Friday. Plus I get to see Michael after a few weeks apart. Oh, and I get a chance to try this fabulous creation.
|Who knew Nebraska was hiding such a wonderful and terrible secret?|