I have officially entered my "Second Time Around Taper Week." One would think I was a pro at it by now, but I am truly just riding it out by the seat of my running shorts. I am not quite sure what the "proper" training is for tapering for one marathon and then having to kick training back up for a week before tapering for a second marathon. I am hoping what I have done this past week is enough to get me to the finish line at the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday.
Here is what the past week of training looked like for me:
Ran 5 miles at the Astoria Park Track. I originally was just looking to do 4, but once I got out there it felt good to stretch my legs and clear my head from all the craziness of the NYC Marathon being cancelled at the last minute. This run just felt so easy and that is what I needed.
No run planned for the day. After I got into office, I was told by a co-worker that the Philadelphia Marathon was adding 3,000 more bibs to the closed out race for NYC Marathoners. I immediately got excited and completed my application for the lottery and crossed my fingers that I got selected. I was once again pumped and quickly tried to figure out what my running would look like for the rest of the week just in case I got into the race.
Ran 3.5 speedy miles on the treadmill during my lunch hour. I started the first mile at a 5.5 and after each mile I increased my speed by .2. The last half mile was at a 6.1 speed.
Excited because today is lottery picking day at 5pm! Ran another speedy 3.5 miles on the treadmill at lunch. I decided to start my pace out with an even number of 5.6. Increased my speed by .2 after every mile. The last half mile was at a 6.2 speed. Felt freaking awesome.
I tried not to be too excited about the possible marathon on the 18th. I didn't want to get my hopes up just in case I didn't get into it. So when I got the email letting me know I was selected, I felt like a kid at Christmas! I chose to run a slow recovery 3 miles on the treadmill at lunch. I stayed at a 5.4 pace for the whole ride.
Rest Day Please!
I knew I had to do some sort of a long run to see where I was at with my distance. I had been tapering for 3 weeks before the NYC Marathon and then when it was cancelled I didn't even attempt any sort of a long run that Sunday. I had family in town and didn't really know of the organized runs until after the fact. I don't have tv, nor any other racing friends, so I was kinda out of the loop. Needless to say, trying to come up with an ideal distance for my long run wasn't easy. I didn't want to do too short of a distance and leave myself unprepared for race day, nor did I want to do too long of a distance that would leave my legs exhausted for the race. In the end, I decided that I would run anywhere from 15-18 miles.
So off to the Rockefeller State Park Preserve Trails I went early Sunday morning and 15 miles ended up being the magic number completed. For having missed one long run in the past 16 weeks, I was amazed at how good I felt during this run. I knew I wanted to take my pace a little slower since I wasn't quite sure how everything was going to go, but after the first 3 miles, my pace just fell into place and I felt great. At least until I hit mile 10.5 where I hit the Sleepy Hollow Trail, as indicated in the picture below:
I like to call this part of the run the "Slow Painful Death Trail." This part of the run isn't long, it's just very steep in a few spots and after running on legs that hadn't stopped to rest at all, they began to say "Oh He$$ No!". It took all I had to get to the top of the hill and I somehow managed to run another 1.75 miles after reaching the top to get to 13 miles before I stopped at the car to rest, refill my hydration belt with new bottles and visit the bathroom.
After that, did I want to go back out and run 2 to 3 more miles? My heart did, but my legs were saying a big fat "No Way Man." I chose not to listen to my legs, and managed to tweak out 2 more miles to get to 15. When all was said and done, I was very proud of myself. Even though I didn't hit 18 miles, I knew that with this run I was prepared to finish the Philadelphia Marathon because the trail run is a ton harder than the nice, mostly flat course I will encounter on Sunday.
Now I am at a taper race week again. I am choosing to follow the original race week training plan I did 2 weeks ago. I will run an easy 11 miles during the week just to keep my legs fresh for marathon Sunday. I will add a little more carbs and salt to my meals. Nothing crazy. I don't really believe in carb overload. I will spend this week getting my race stuff together to prepare for heading to Philly on Saturday. I am excited that I am finally getting to run my race! I am so thankful that Philly made room for us NYC Marathoners!