Swim: 0 m/112,725 m
Bike: 20/1,277.9 miles
Run: 14.2/581.1 miles
Well, it’s finally taper week. I’ve finished all of my “training” workouts for this cycle – for the rest of the week it’s just a couple easy runs with a few intervals thrown in to keep things loose.
I finished up the meat of my training plan with an 8.2-mile run in my neighborhood this weekend. I wasn’t going to settle for anything slower than a 6:59 pace after having run 10 miles at 6:56 a couple weeks earlier. Sure enough, I finished up my run at an overall 6:45 pace, with the first 2 miles serving as a warmup at about 7:30 and the last 6.2 at a 6:31 average. I ended up running a 40:22 10k on the crazy hills of my neighborhood (proving that some of the numbers in this post might not have been too far off the mark).
My mind and body are already in taper haze. I’m so excited for this weekend – the weather is looking great and I know that my training will serve me well. I had a cold last week but it’s gone now and I’m feeling good. But waiting is the hardest part, particularly when my stress outlet – running – is pretty much off the table this week. And I happen to be off work the two days before the race, so that’s even more unstructured time that I have to ponder and stew. Spending time on Daily Mile or perusing race reports from last weekend’s New York Marathon only increase my anticipation and nervousness.
I have some thoughts on what I’d like to accomplish this weekend. My main goal – running a half-marathon PR – is pretty much in the bag unless something completely unforseen happens. That might sound a little cocky, but I’m comfortable with that outlook since my PR isn’t all that fast to begin with, and I’ve been training consistently faster all year. I’ve done six long training runs this cycle that have put me at the half-marathon mark at least 8 minutes faster than my standing PR. If I had to put a number on it, I’d say I plan on finishing Saturday’s race in the low 1:30’s or – dare I say it? – breaking into the 1:20’s if everything falls into place.
I’m aware – perhaps more than many other runners – that anything can happen during a distance race. Many people have hit the wall during a long race, but fewer have collapsed and been carted to the hospital – which happened to me at Mile 24 of my first marathon five years ago. But I’m finishing up my strongest training cycle to date and I’ve done everything I can do to ensure a strong race. Now my success is subject to the whims of fate. If things fall in my favor, I’m looking at a groundbreaking race this weekend (relative to my own running career, of course – no one else is going to care about my thousandth-place finish!).