Colfax Training Week 16: Taper Week 1 = DONE!

Happy Monday!

Congrats to everyone that raced this weekend! I won’t give it away, but I saw on Instagram that a BUNCH of PR’s fell. Great job!!

I am now in the second week of my taper… and I am just terrible at this. Not only did I skip a run last week for no reason at all, but my paces were WAY TOO FAST! I also ate total garbage (seriously, Captain Crunch Cereal). I am supposed to be taking it easy, eating well, hydrating, and I totally botched those goals. I need to get a handle on myself!

I did have a great weekend paddling the Kansas River. I’ll post about that later, but here is a picture from where Frank and I camped Saturday Night.

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Beautiful sunset over the river.

Last Week:

Monday: Yoga

Tuesday: 5.1 miles – ended up race pace, was supposed to be easy + Yoga

Wednesday: Last speed work! 7 miles (WU+4×800+CD) + Yoga

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: Yoga <- Why didn’t I run my 6 miles? No idea!

Saturday: 4.1 miles with run group (too fast) + 4 miles recovery pace

Sunday: 13.1 miles LSD <- ended up race pace…

Total: 33.3 miles

As you can see those paces were just too freaking fast. I am hoping that a week like this didn’t burn out my legs for the race. I feel good, but running too fast in training just wastes energy.

The speed work on Wednesday was really fun. In high school, I was a sprinter. I ran the 200 and the 400, but my coach always wanted me to do longer distances and pushed me towards the 800. Unfortunately, I hated the 800. It is a real suffer distance. So, pushing through the suffering by doing some 800’s was really good for my head.

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Apparently when they say the trail is closed, they mean it. I ran around this sign and ended up in ankle deep mud.

The long run on Sunday was a little weird. Manhattan, KS has had a lot of flooding lately, so the main trail that runs through town was very muddy. There was a section that was completely washed out and I had to climb around the mud up to some trees, but I still ended up pretty messy. I set out on the run hoping to keep things around the same pace I usually do my long runs (9:35-9:45/mi), but just could not slow down. The miles kept ticking by and I just kept getting faster. Overall, my pace was 9:01/mi, about 5 seconds per mile faster than race pace. Luckily I felt good and fresh, so maybe this whole taper thing is working.

So, another week is in the books! I am going to try to be better this week, especially about food and water. I’ll be running my last double digit run (woo!) before the marathon and then it’s basically done. I really only have a few miles left before I walk to the starting line out in Denver.

How was your training this week? What is you next big race?

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Thinking Out Loud: The Taper Crazies

Let the taper crazies commence.

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Today I will be linking up with Thinking Out Loud. I am going to talk a little about my thoughts (mostly anxieties) heading into my first marathon. Those of you who have run marathons, feel free to chime in and tell me that this is normal (or not). In fact… I think everyone should just conclude that I am going nuts.

  1. So… What happens after mile 20? I have run two 20-milers and they were HARD. I felt like I could have kept running, but the run was 45 seconds per mile slower than my goal pace. I’ve been warned that a marathon is a 20-mile warm up for the worst 10K of your life… but I didn’t feel 10K racing worthy after my 20-miler. I felt like eating a ton of bananas and sleeping. Do I hit “the wall” after mile 20? And how do I run through the wall? Does race adrenaline REALLY get you through another 6.2 miles after you have already run 20? Seriously… I feel like at mile 20.1 that I my legs will go into self-destruct mode and I’ll end up walking the last 6 miles.
  1. I had a few great weeks in my training… but not every week was great. Sometimes I cut runs short because I felt over-trained or that an injury could happen if I pushed stuff. I don’t feel like I was completely consistent in my training. Should I have pushed a little harder? Will those missed miles come back to haunt me? Ok… now I am just sounding crazy.
  1. The first week of my taper calls for 40 miles. THAT’S A LOT OF MILES! Am I tapering enough? What if I am not properly rested? I don’t feel sore or anything from last week and my peak week was 55 miles, but I still feel like 40 miles is a lot. I’m worried that if I don’t taper enough I am not going to be able to finish this marathon. Next week I hit 28… which is substantially less and makes me feel a little better, but I feel like if I don’t taper enough this week that I am not going to be well rested enough come May 15.
  1. I’ve been pouring over race equivalency charts (yes, I’m that crazy) and based on my half marathon PR and other times that I’ve run during this cycle, they predict that I should have no problem cracking 4:00:00. But I am not so convinced. I know that people are often unprepared for the mental battle that happens towards the end of the race. I’d like to think that my consistent yoga practice will help me remain focused and present, but I am not so sure. I am worried that I’ll crash and burn and potentially not even be able to finish. There are plenty of people with better half marathon PRs than me that have not run a marathon in less than 4:00:00. 26.2 miles is FAR… like farther than I like to drive, no less run! A lot can happen in the course of 26 miles!

These are the crazy worries that I have been having. I know… this is the taper crazies, but I feel like they are real. These are real problems heading into the race and I want to have a good time. I don’t want to hit the wall and end up crawling my way to the finish. I go through moments where I am thinking this will be no problem… that I’ve trained hard and I’m prepared. But then I remember that no one is REALLY all that prepared for their first marathon. This is a really hard race and a really long distance that I should respect and not take for granted. I keep going back and forth… seriously… This is four days into the taper. I am already going nuts!

Thanks Amanda at Running with Spoons for hosting Thinking Out Loud and thanks to all of you for being so encouraging throughout my training ups and downs.

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What are your taper crazies like? Do you find yourself doubting your training as you head into a big race?

Made it to south Florida!

I made it to Florida! The way here was certainly not easy! My flight was cancelled and I was forced to change my entire itinerary. I didn’t make it home until about 11:30 pm, but after a good night’s rest, it seemed pretty worth it. It is nice to have some warmer weather AND I get to hang out with my favorite dog.

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I woke up him to take this picture. He has a case of bed head here.

Oh and my parent’s cat too (she doesn’t cuddle like Elly).

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I do miss Elly!

I’ve been doing a bit of a taper heading into A1A. On Tuesday, I went for a run on the dreadmill because it was just way too cold! On Wednesday, before my flight, I managed to get myself out and moving for a marathon paced tempo run, despite the cold. I finally managed to feel comfortable holding my goal pace for Colfax.

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The river was looking super nice!

I am definitely feeling a little nervous heading into A1A. I feel tired and a bit overtrained and I am just not sure if I can hold a PR pace for 13.1 miles. Although the extra mileage that I’ve been putting on my legs during marathon training has certainly improved my fitness, I’m not sure that it has improved my SPEED. I feel like I am ready to run a super long distance… but just not very fast. Maybe I’ll wake up Sunday morning with super legs. It’s just hard to imagine holding under 8:30 paces for over 13 miles. I know that I tend to show up strong at races, but I do tend to feel inadequate during training. Unfortunately, there will be no pacers to help me reach my goal of under 1:50:00.

Whatever happens… happens. Regardless, I plan on having a good time!

I am excited to see both Kristina and Ally on Saturday! It’s going to be great to finally meet and wish them good luck on their races. Also, Lizzy is doing the LA marathon on Sunday, so wish her good luck nabbing that new marathon PR!

Anyone racing this weekend? Do you usually feel unsure of yourself heading into a PR attempt?

Help! This taper is killing me!

I have the taper crazies… So bare with this crazy person post.

Saturday is my big race and I am not ready, like at all. I hope that is just the taper crazies talking, but my running has been TERRIBLE lately. I struggle to finish runs, my long runs feel like a battle, and I just don’t feel right. Since moving to Kansas, I have had the worst allergies and I simply can’t breath. Not getting good, full breaths really messes up my running. I’ve tried several different medications (Claritin, Allegra, etc), but they all made me very drowsy… and a little high. I spoke to a pharmacist about it and he suggested Flonase, since it is a nasal spray and likely won’t give me the drowsy effects, so I am hoping that will work. I just don’t know if it will kick in before Saturday (I am still sneezing like every 10 minutes). It’s amazing how bad an easy paced run can feel when you can’t get a full breath.

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So I guess I am adjusting my goals a little. I am going to run with the 1:55 pace group, which would be a PR for me… just not the one I wanted. I think given the hills and my allergies, even 1:55 will be a stretch. In fact, I am afraid that just finishing the race will be a problem. Paces that once felt easy are hard, and I don’t know how I am going to deal with those hills.

The hills are going to kill me...
The hills are going to kill me…

I can’t tell if this is an actual problem, like I am not ready, or if I am just scared (and crazy) because it is race week. My confidence is wavering and I am not trusting my training anymore.

Hospital Hill Half is not the only thing on my mind these days. Next week I officially begin training for my first marathon. On Saturday, after Hospital Hill, Frank and I are headed to Boston for his job. I’ll just be tagging along for the ride (and to get some much needed work done). However, this means that my first week of training for the Chicago Marathon can be on the Boston Marathon course. Couldn’t be more cosmic, right?

I don’t feel ready to start training for Chicago either. I’m scared of the long runs, especially since just finishing an 8 mile run has been a struggle these days. If this is just the allergies, I need to get it under control.

Tomorrow, I am going to the expo to pick up my packet, and I’ll try to write a quick post then. Keep some good vibes coming my way this weekend, as I think my lungs will need them. 🙂

Do you lose confidence before a big race? Do you have any good allergy remedies?