I am officially in my taper for Glass City on April 24th. I will admit immediately that I have be quite laid back in this training cycle with regard to how I approach my training plan.
This is the first marathon cycle that that I have truly enjoyed, I have found the runs and the plan more “do-able”, and I have battled with fewer injuries/nagging pains.
*****KNOCK ON WOOD******
My peak run was this past weekend, and I topped out my training at 17 miles. I was aiming for 18, however Michigan was hit with blizzard last Sunday…and then a rain shower (shout out to my amazing running buddy Emily who did 13 with me in that beautiful weather). So I gracefully bowed out a mile early. I have reflected on this 1 mile a lot because it’s really been annoying me- despite being told that the 17 miles I ran, and in the weather I ran in was probably equivalent to 20…. If I do an honest self assessment I could have physically done 20 (it would not have been incredibly enjoyable) but it’s the fact that I cut my peak run short is making me wonder: have I been too laid back?
The bottom line is – I am not going to find out until April 24th.
This laissez faire mentality is either going to help me hit a goal, or I am going to run on total fumes for the last 6 miles (I mean we all do that anyway right?!?!).
Here is why I think I will be fine- I have the best base training I have ever had going into a marathon. I took “time off” after Chicago last year- but I took time off of long runs. I came back in both November and December to do 80+ miles each month. It wasn’t 100, but I was running 5 times a week most weeks.
Since January I have hit 100(+) each and every month, I have already done 4 half marathons this year, pr-ing one of them!
Another reason I feel “ok” about going into this marathon is looking back at my recovery. A big thing I began doing last summer were recovery runs after my long runs – I don’t think I did that great of a job with them last summer, but it was something I continued doing- running longer on Saturdays, and then an easy run on Sunday.
As a result (another huge knock on wood moment) – way fewer injuries/pain issues- and that is even with me admitting I could have been better with foam rolling and stretching (I really will get there someday).
This less than traditional approach I have taken has also allowed me to pay more attention to what and how much I am eating during my runs and focus on fueling and hydration. It has also really highlighted to me how out of control my acid reflux can get, and reinforcing the need to actually take my medication.
So bottom line, I have felt good. I have never ran this much and continued to feel so good. I have never been so confident with my plan for fueling during a marathon.
And worse case: today I was told I am not a real marathon until I have a DNF on my record…. so there’s that.
So my plan for the next 8 days:
-Start carb loading- there will be a lot of sweet potatoes in my future this week
-Taking my acid reflux meds as prescribed every day
-Stretching and foam rolling
-Easy runs- I’m not shooting for speed-work this week.
-Lay out my race plan, and go through it, daily
My current plan, is to go out with the 4:25 pace group, that breaks down to 10:06 miles, which is pretty conservative compared to how I have been training- historically in marathons I have a hard time staying calm in the first half of the race, i think this will be a good way to keep a lid on things, hopefully to get me to mile 20 at the very least, but most importantly I am just subscribing to the “I am going to try hard and believe in myself” mentality, and see where it gets me.
At the end of the day I truly believe I can get through this race, it just may not end up being the epic pr I have been aiming for. But I have heard before, and I truly believe this- every marathon teaches you something, in this case this marathon may teach me I’m insane for not doing more long runs, or it might teach me that it’s ok. And to be fair, at this point it is hard to speculate- I don’t know what I don’t know.
But at least I have a plan. Right?