This week I’m logging around 45 miles – half as many as I did at the peak of my training a little over a week ago. I find it totally mind-blowing that for this same race one year ago, the peak of my training was just shy of 50 miles.
I have come a long, long way over the last year.
My body is feeling good and strong. It is enjoying the extra rest. I can almost feel the energy building up in my legs. The tightness that kind of lingers in certain spots is gradually loosening. My mind is adapting … I would be lying if I said I don’t feel like a crazy person much of the time. Because I DO really feel like a pretty major kook. But in my heart – I trust the taper. I believe there is magic in it and I know that when it’s time to run my race I will be able to spread my wings and fly.
Each week during this training cycle the honey badgers and I have met at the local high school track on Wednesday mornings. As a result, Wednesday is possibly the hardest day of the week for me – and therefor the most rewarding. This week was the last HARD track workout of the training cycle because next week we will just run a couple of goal race pace miles around the track – more an exercise of controlling our energy and pace and holding back when we want to go fast than it is working to get faster. At this point, the hay is in the barn and we are not making gains in speed or fitness. We are making gains in confidence and saving our energy for the big day.
This week’s workout was the following (with a 1 mile warm up, 2 minutes of active rest between each interval, and a 1 mile cool down):
1:23, 1:22, 1:26, 1:24
I ran these all by feel, which is so awesome because with each passing week I’m really learning how to dial into listening to my body while I run and especially when I push myself. I felt so elated when the workout was done – so completely satisfied. I finish these workouts feeling as though I’ve simultaneously tapped myself out and filled myself up. I know I could keep going if I had to, that I am always reserving some bit of heart and energy for myself. And I am doing more than I ever would have dreamed I could possibly do.
Yesterday I checked in with the McMillan calculator and was really surprised to see that my paces were all in the range for a 3:05 marathon. What!?! I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to shoot for exactly on race day – I know without a doubt that I’m going to listen to my body and to my heart, that I am going to give it all that I’ve got and that I’m going to run a SMART race. I want to come across that finish line knowing that I gave it everything I had, yet completely spilling over with happiness and gratitude.
One more long run to get in the books – 12 miles on Sunday. And a few more miles to go after that, before I line up at the start line on October 28th. I cannot wait for this race!