On Monday, I had some peep in my step and ran 9 miles. I warmed up for maybe 1 mile and then I decided to camp out at a 7:30 minute mile pace (8 mph) for the remainder of my run. I had good energy but I was feeling a little chucky. I had taken about a zillion vitamins and that didn't go over so well with my tummy. I was ok, other than a couple short pauses to compose myself. I tried bumping it up to 8.5 mph (7 minute mile) but that didn't last long, the vitamins wanted to make a come back...gross. So I just went back down to 8 mph and I was fine. As I thought about my run throughout the day I thought maybe I shouldn't have done that, it was after all time to taper...if I was going to listen to all of the books, websites, and other runners.
Last year when I did the Utah Valley Marathon, I didn't really taper. I followed Hal Higdon's training schedule for my long runs but during the week I always just did my own thing, I prefer to run a little more than what the schedule lists. I have realized over the past week as I have been reading "Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days-And How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!" And through reading other awesome blogs about tapering, that perhaps I too should taper. I was hoping that it wasn't really all that important and decided to text the all knowing Seth, GM of 26.2 Running Co. He told me that it REALLY is important and that I needed to do it. That was NOT the answer that I wanted to hear! However, after talking through all my crazyness with Jake and Holly (she is crazy too) Holly and I decided that we had better listen to Mr. Smartypants ;) and taper.
We did an awesome leg workout this morning, we figured it was far enough away from Saturday that we could do that, then we headed outside. We WALKED for about 2 miles and then started a nice little run. We ran 4.21 miles in 00:33:44 with an average pace of 8.01 minute mile. It was a short run and I have been struggling with it all day, I know I am crazy so you don't have to tell me ;)
We also decided that it would best to fore go our KYT workout tomorrow. I have only missed this workout two times in 2 and a half years. Once because I had pneumonia and last week because I was in Florida. It was a VERY hard decision, it better be worth it.
Sorry to ramble on and on and on about this but I am really having a hard time with it. I sure hope I don't forget how to push myself between now and Saturday. I truly believe that tapering and recovering are the hardest part of doing a marathon. Last year in addition to not tapering I also jumped right back into working out. I went to a spin class the Monday after thinking that I would just take it easy, well I didn't. I felt great so I went balls to the walls. The next day I tried to run and about .50 mile into my run my knee started to hurt. The next day I did a KYT workout and yes, I did two .25 miles sprints. Probably not my smartest move but what can you do? To make a long story short, I was out of running for about 4 months and it was HORRIBLE. I am now willing to do whatever it takes to prevent getting an overuse injury again. I am pretty sure that the damage wasn't done during the actual marathon, because I felt GREAT. I blame myself for not taking time to heal and recovery properly. So be prepared because I have a feeling next week is going to be just as hard on me as this week.
Enough about tapering and working out. This morning I went to hold some sweet little twins. I really wanted to take pictures but wasn't sure how the mommy would feel about that. They were born at 29 weeks, I think, and are now about 4 and a half months old. They are so tiny and cute. I loved being able to help out for a while and I plan to go back real soon. I am a sucker for a baby...or two. I have so much respect for any mother of twins, it would be so hard.
It was then off to swim lessons with the cornies (I have a tendency to call my kids the children of the corn and sometimes like to refer to them as cornies, they aren't really that evil but I like the sound of it). So as I sat there watching Kobe's group I noticed the sweet little neighbor girl doing a new stroke. I have named it the twirly bird, as her last name is Bird, and I think you should all try it. As she comes up to take a breath she turns completely around, kind of a roll in the water. And it is AWESOME!! I wondered if that was what she was supposed to be doing but soon the teacher noticed had to laugh. She told her she was doing awesome and I am pretty sure she will be teaching that stroke from now on. I will be asking permission to record her and share her awesome new stroke with all of you :)
Do you have a hard time tapering?
Obviously, I do!
What do you do the week after a marathon to recover?
All I know is I won't be going balls to the walls for a while. I am doing Ragnar the following Saturday but I am just doing it for fun so I won't be pushing myself. I also hope to get a massage mid-week.