Tobacco Road Marathon: Week 13 & 14 of 16 (Peak week & taper, finally!)

Taper is here, finally!!

Last I checked in, I was having some run-disrupting soreness in the back of my left calf, which has thankfully passed. Monday was a planned rest day, but on Tuesday we got some snow (the first snow of the year!) so the gym closed and I wasn't about to try my 400m repeats on icy streets. There no snow infrastructure here, so the streets and sidewalks just stay iced over until things melt again. So, my "peak week" finally got started on Wednesday. Kind of lame, but  oh well.

Double-screen work from home day (and, it's beginning to look a little more civilized in here!)

Double-screen work from home day (and, it's beginning to look a little more civilized in here!)

Because of the extra day off, I went into my 400m repeats on Wednesday feeling like a million bucks. I could have done 20 of them -- they felt that easy. I felt smooth and powerful. It was a rush!

On Sunday I set out for my long run. I'm feeling more and more nonchalant about 20 miles, even though I still dread them. This was my third and final 20-miler, and probably the first time ever I attempted to push the pace a little on a training run this long. I finished in 2:52, an 8:32 pace. My goal was GMP+30 seconds, (8:42), so I'm thrilled, and relieved! Strangely, the second half felt better than the first half. That never happens!

Week 13

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: Snow day/unplanned rest day
  • Wednesday: 6.25 miles: warmup, 10x400 in 1:45, (7:02, the last two @ 6:58), with 400m RI, cooldown.
  • Thursday: 10 miles on the bike, about 40 minutes.
  • Friday: 10 miles with 8 @ GMP (8:12). 
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: ~~LAST 20-MILER~~ (8:32) 

Total running miles: 36.25

Total training time: 5:57

All in all, I was pretty annoyed that my training got a little messed up and I missed a workout (a bike workout, but still), but my long run was awesome, so, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Bring on the taper!

The next week I checked my plan and saw that my workout was 8x800s, which threw me for a loop because in my mind, taper = easy running. Additionally, I kind of hate 800s, and the more I have to do the more nervous I am. But I did my best to get amped up for it and by the time I got to the gym, I had talked myself into a set of 10 for the full Yasso experience.  And even though Yasso calls for equal rest in between intervals, my plan said to rest for just 90 seconds, so that's what I did. I knew if I could finish this workout I would feel like a million bucks. I did, and I did.

Running fast and effortlessly at the end of a training cycle is the sweet, glorious payoff after so many weeks spent shuffling inelegantly on the sidewalk, eyes on a goal still far in the distance.

We got a lot more snow on Thursday, and everything lurched to a halt, again. The next day, I headed to the mountains with a bunch of friends. The result was that I had three unplanned rest days in a row. Kind of a bummer, but oh well. I've had a very consistent training cycle so I don't think a few disruptions at this stage are going to ruin anything.

Weekend retreat

Weekend retreat

Week 14

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 7.7 miles: 10x800 (3:31) with 90 sec RI
  • Wednesday: 11.5 miles on the bike (45 minutes)
  • Thursday: More snow! Everything shut down. Unplanned rest day
  • Friday: Left town after work / unplanned rest day
  • Saturday: Rest/hike
  • Sunday: 12 miles with 9 @ GMP (8:12)

Total running miles: 19.7

Total training time: 5:39

I've been a pretty inconsistent blogger these days, but I am hoping to drop in at some point to share my goals for this race and feelings about this training cycle. 

12 more days!