long run reflections & some taper thoughts

This weekend my long run was *just* 16 miles.  The plan was to execute the first 10 miles of it at my long/slow pace of around a 9:00 mile and then run the final 6 miles at marathon race pace.

For the past month I’ve been doing my long runs on Sunday mornings because my Saturdays are packed with my kids’ soccer and tee ball games.  This has meant running on my own because my training group meets on Saturday mornings.  This weekend though my husband and I had plans on Saturday night.  Plans that involved actually not being in our pajamas by 8:00pm – we were going to go have a grown up evening with good friends!  So with that in mind Robert and I decided he would hold down the fort and get everyone to/from their sports while I ran on Saturday morning.  That way we could be out late on Saturday night and I could even drink some wine without worrying about having to run Sunday morning. This was a good plan, until 10 minutes before we went out our daughter started complaining of a headache and then proceeded to get very sick. Date night derailed.  Such is our life with three young children!

So anyway, Saturday morning I was super excited to meet up with my running buddies and share some miles with them.  It was a beautiful crisp fall morning and the run was delightful.  I ran the first 10 miles with my friend Justin.  We haven’t run much together this season so it was especially great to chat and catch up with him.  We executed those first 10 miles right on plan, staying somewhere around a 9:00 pace.

Mile 1: 9:14
Mile 2: 9:18
Mile 3: 9:02
Mile 4: 9:03
Mile 5: 9:09
Mile 6: 8:45
Mile 7: 9:04
Mile 8: 8:59
Mile 9: 8:50
Mile 10: 8:52

For the final 6 miles we wanted to run race pace.  I am still trying to figure this out for myself, but am thinking I am going to aim for around an 8:20 average pace for my marathon.  What!??!?  Wow, yes that is my plan.  With 2 weeks til race day I have to figure this out now, not in the last day or two before my race.

I felt really strong on Saturday and these last 6 miles were great, though not completely consistent.  I am happy with them though:

Mile 11: 8:02
Mile 12: 8:22
Mile 13: 8: 23
Mile 14: 8:02
Mile 15: 8: 08
Mile 16: 7:54

I capped my week off yesterday with a three mile recovery run during which I had stomach issues.  Total mileage for the week was 36.  This week I am planning to cut that even further and run closer to 20 miles ALL WEEK (including a 12 mile run over the weekend).

I have been thinking a lot about my taper, and am coming up with some goals for myself.  I will elaborate more, but these are my taper goals in a nutshell:
1) reduce mileage reduce mileage reduce mileage, as much as I may be itching to run I need to cut it back.
2) foam roll, stretch and use my “stick” every single night for at least 20 minutes
3) sleeeeeeep. as much as humanly possible given that I have a baby who does not really like to do this at night.
4) eat CLEAN. hello, stomach!?  Do not let my food choices sabotage my race day. The sweets can be a reward after I kick the marathon in the booty.  Enough said.
5) hydrate like it’s nobody’s business, every day for the next 2 weeks. nuun and water galore.
6) figure out my marathon goal and pace strategy. It has been floating in my head for months, and I am dreaming big but have been hesitant to really put it in writing.  I think it is time for me to buckle down and face these goals and really get myself excited to tackle them.

That’s it for now.  Next post I plan to dig deeper into these taper thoughts and really commit myself mentally and emotionally to this phase of training.  It is almost Go Time!!!

5 thoughts on “long run reflections & some taper thoughts

  1. Great job on your fast finish long run! I never could nail those in my last training cycle. I'm hoping to have some good ones leading up to Houston in January.

    You're going to do great in your race. Just stick to those taper goals. They sound perfect to me!

  2. awesome splits for that long run!! Girl, get that plan on paper because YOU CAN and YOU WILL. You have done the work, now go reap the reward!!! You are going to have a stellar, epic race. Love your taper goals. Enjoy it, friend!!

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