It’s officially taper time!
How the hell did that happen??
It feels like this training cycle has flown by, and in a way it was all leading up to now – taper time. It’s what we fantasize about during heavy training weeks and hate when it’s actually happening. I’m pretty sure 99% of runners love to hate the taper. Both physically and mentally, it’s just hard to change things up, trust your fitness while running less and start thinking about the race that all of a sudden is not so far away. I think the hardest thing for me is trusting that the hay is in the barn, and even though it was full steam ahead for many months now is the time for the body to repair itself and get ready for a great race. So far so good though, as I’m starting taper week #1 with a rest day after a great night of sleep.
But before we get into this week, here’s how the last heavy week of training went:
Monday – 4 miles super easy, 50 minutes vinyasa yoga
Tuesday - 11.5 miles: ~2 miles w/u, 5:00 minutes on, 1:30 rest, 10:00 on, 2 rest, 15 on, 3 rest, then reverse back down to 5:00, ~3 miles c/d, strength (abs, arms)
This is a long workout, and one of my favorites because the intervals allow for you to ease into the pace and I feel like I get quicker as the time goes on. Betsy and I did this one together for the first three sets before she had to head home and hit our goal paces (~7:40-7:45/mile) right on. After she peeled off I finished the last two sets which were largely uphill in CP, so it felt challenging but doable. There were two instances where dudes tried to catch and pass me during the workout once I passed them, and let me just say they were not successful. Seriously guys, sometimes it’s ok to be chicked.
kinvaras, Greek yogurt/granola/fruit = perfect workout combination
Wednesday – 9.25 miles easy, strength (legs, abs)
Thursday – 10.25 miles steady, strength (abs)
Wanted this run to be a progression like last week, but it was still humid as hell so just kept the pace steady and felt pretty good
Friday – 8 miles easy, strength (abs, arms0
Saturday – 22 miles with 10 @ marathon pace
Ok. So this run was probably the best run I’ve ever had. Ever. And it’s funny because I had some pre-run anxiety during the week and was pretty nervous about how the run would go. I knew my goals and how I wanted it to turn out, I think I was just questioning my fitness and being my usual semi-uptight self. Just do your best, is what I kept telling myself when the nerves hit. I know, it’s kind of dumb to stress that much about a training run, but I couldn’t help but thing this was The One that would test my fitness. Especially since my last two 20 milers were less than awesome.
Anyways, the actual run. Woke up at the usual time (~5:30), ate a banana, stretched and headed out. It was about 56 degrees and absolutely perfect running weather, and kind of impossible not to love being out there. I fell into a grove and just enjoyed it as the sun rose. You’re going to remember this run for a pretty long time, I told myself as I looped on the bridle path. After about 7 miles I headed down to the West Side Highway to get to work with the MP miles. Felt like I was flying, and before I knew it 10 miles had passed and I was on my way back up to Central Park to finish the run. Felt super strong even through the last few miles and could have gone another 4.2 if you know, I was running a marathon or something.
Sunday – 7 miles easy, strength (abs)
Total: 72 miles
Betsy also had a great run on Saturday, and I think we both had silly grins on our faces as we texted back and forth and traipsed around Manhattan. I was running errands downtown and wanted to tell everyone (the salesperson at Kiehl’s, Whole Foods cashier, person sitting next to me on the subway, lady in Union Square with the baby kittens, etc.) that I had just run 22 miles and it was awesome. There is nothing better than that kind of runner’s high, even if all of those people would have just looked at me like I was nuts.
SEE! 22 miles!
So again, this means it’s taper time. The plan this week is to drop mileage by about 25% of my peak, so I should hit around 55 miles with a long run of about 16 miles. I’m not a fan of drastic tapers, but definitely know the mileage needs to start dropping to allow for the necessary rest and repair for race day. Just have to keep the eye on the prize, which is now less than 3 weeks away (ahh!).
Question: How do you taper? Would love to hear thoughts!