Monday, April 4, 2016

Taper Week 1: Isn't this supposed to be easy?

I'll admit, I was hoping to be writing more exclamation points indicating excitement about how last week's workouts went.  Things like, "I crushed it!"  "It felt so easy!!".  

I'll ruin the surprise: That is not going to happen.

It was the first week of a three week taper period.  My coach said, "We are getting closer and you should start to be feeling better on every run."  

I wanted that to be true.  My first workout for the week was 1.6 miles warm up, strides, 2 x 3.5 miles @ 7:00-7:10 pace followed by 1.6 mile cool down.

This workout felt fine.  The challenge was mostly mental for me as it was dark and instead of staying in my neighborhood doing loops, I ventured out, not really thinking that it was going to get dark soon and I would have to make the journey home in the dark.   I was trying to balance reality with thoughts of "I'm going to get gang raped on the path".  Eventually I got home.  My 3.5 mile chunks were 7:03 and 7:01 mile avg pace respectively.  On paper, the run looks good but I was tired at the end of this one, likely attributed to the increased adrenaline pumped into my blood from my overactive imagination.

My long run was 15 miles, to be run as follows: 5 miles @ 7:45, 5 miles @ 7:30 and 5 miles @ 7:10-20.  I woke up on Saturday morning to snow.  WTF.  Every year, Wisconsinites do this dance of "it should be warmer than it is" and surprise when it is still snowing in April.  We shouldn't be surprised but we are.  I had pictured running this in my race day outfit - crop top and shorts, maybe with a throw away long sleeve to start.  Sigh.  I went back to the drawer with my winter layers, hat and gloves. 

I had already made my mind up that I was going to do my run in the afternoon, while my son was napping.  I had a great morning laying in bed with my family and drinking coffee and reading my book.  The afternoon came and the snow kind of stopped.  I laced up my shoes, and hit the road.

I wanted to do out and back but 4 miles into my "out" portion, I did some necessary diversions to the plan because I was SO tired from running into the wind and sleet.    Around the 7 mile mark, the weather improved some and I was feeling warmed up and ready to go, reflected in my pace.  I ended up with a negative split 15 miler, and a 7:33 avg pace run, but it didn't feel easy at all. 

From a gear perspective, I was all over the place.  I didn't have any more Gus left - I had known that for two weeks, but neglected to get to the store to stock up.  In place, I grabbed a pack of my kids' fruit snacks.  Guess what - those aren't really the same.  Then, I got home and realized that I didn't wear my compression calf sleeves for the run.  I don't know why I didn't wear them as I have worn them for every other long run.  Third, I know what underwear I WON'T be wearing come race day! Seriously.  15 miles in a pair of terrible underwear is NOT fun. 

And with that, I'm done over-analyzing last week.

Two weeks from today, I will be mid-race.  I already have had two nights of difficult sleep because nerves are trying to creep in.  EEK!

Total miles last week:  33.71
Total miles per plan: 33.75

Heard on The Run:

1. Running on Om Ask Lauren Fleshman #187:  Another Q&A with Lauren Fleshman.  As usual, I really enjoyed it.  I am interested in following up with Dr. Clyde Wilson's work on nutrition and the female athlete.

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