Training Widget

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Taper Time

I am in the midst of my first ever marathon taper. While I've tapered for a number of half marathons before, this is a whole new experience. As of right now, I have to say I actually like tapering. That's a highly uncharacteristic statement for a runner to make. As a general rule in the running world, tapering is a four letter word. But, being that I've trained for this event using a three day a week training plan, I'm actually getting to run more frequently during the taper than I did during the previous 13 weeks. The runs are now shorter, but I ran four times last week and plan to run four to five times during the coming week. And, since running is my drug of choice, getting to partake of it more often makes this particular taper a positive experience.
After running our longest training run (20 miles) last Saturday, I was stunned by Monday's three mile run. I didn't have a pace in mind and went out with the intent of just going out and putting forth a good, solid effort. Imagine my surprise when that yielded 8:26/minute miles. There was a time not too long ago when running at that pace would have been a threshold workout for me. I'm not saying it was a stroll in the park, but it was very manageable and felt great. Then on Tuesday I went out and ran four miles at a pace of 8:15 minutes/mile. Apparently all those Wednesday sprint and hill workouts did serve a purpose!! It's a good feeling to be reaping the benefits of all the summer's hard work.
While I'm excited about my newfound speed, I am slightly concerned about starting too fast come race day. My race pace goal is somewhere in the neighborhood of 9:30/mile. I will be running with Chris and Tiffany, so surely between the three of us we can maintain a disciplined pace.
As of now, I'd say my level of marathon anxiety is healthy. I am looking forward to the race, and have managed to stop the constant obsessing. So, for now, things are good. I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts... because I know at some point I will surely lose it!!

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