Well the hay is in the barn as they say… here we are another training cycle done and another taper under way. Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike the taper? My legs feel so foreign to me (what is this heavy/rested feeling—gimme back the fatigue!!). And it is amazing how I feel like I forget how to run when the mileage comes down (left foot, right foot, arms… it all gets so confusing when you have time to over analyze it). You also end up with so much free time that I tend to spend wondering if I should be running or how my legs are feeling. So I have been trying to distract myself with work this long weekend, hence blog post. Considering I am only running 30k in the three days when typically, I would do more then that before work on Saturday. And it is also amazing how you just start to feel like crap… Am I not supposed to be feeling like a rock star with all the rest? Turns out no… when I texted Megan today after my workout her first response was ‘did you feel like crap?’ I responded yes and she said good! So I guess everything is lining up well taper wise.
I know I am still relatively new to this whole marathoning thing but there are a few things I have learned over the four builds I have done. One of these things is that there seems to always be something that happens in the last month of your build to keep you on your toes. For example, in my lead up to Ottawa I came back from a week in Mexico three weeks out from the race with traveler’s diarrhea unable to finish a run without being in desperate need of the washroom. Leading up to Boston I had an acute strain of my quad that kept me from running on it for 3 days within two weeks before the race. Philly seemed to be okay but the day of my GI system decided to not cooperate. This time around I got really sick after my exciting new 10k PB. Turns out my body thought it was done and could shut down after the PB. I was able to make it through all my runs and really this just forced me to sleep and take the mileage easy the week after. So potentially a blessing in disguise and as my coach said it heightens my immune system for the rest of the taper. So if you are also tapering now and worried that something is going wrong… it happens… the work is done do not STRESS!! You got this!
This season’s reflection: The numbers; It was a 24-week build, which in hindsight seems quite long. I spent 17 weeks over 100k with the highest being an unofficial 160k in a week. I did 7 long runs over 30km, with many more in the high 20kms. I consistently strength trained 2-3x/wk. In the second half of the build I really concentrated on getting more sleep and so included this in my log so I could keep track. I did not miss a single run or workout and only pushed the mileage further then I was supposed to a couple of weeks.
The training was different and more focused toward the marathon distance this time around under new coaching (Megan Brown). When we got in to the meat of the training I was only doing one interval workout and a quality long run. All my other runs were just mileage. The change I made with this since I was not doing as many workouts in the week I was able to do my mileage runs faster then I previously had. Making sure I was still recovering well from everything. Which I think I handled well and quite enjoyed. So much easier to get the mileage in when you run faster! (*take that with a grain of salt… important you run the paces that work for you)
The Ottawa marathon will be a special experience regardless as it was my very first marathon two years ago (2:56)!! I went in to it then not really knowing what to expect. I coached myself to that first marathon and did all the training alone, some of which took place after 8:30pm at night in the dark. Needless to say I am so thankful for the coaching and training partners I have had access to since then. I have learned so much about the marathon and about myself as an athlete, especially this cycle. I have also ran so many more miles, I think I hit 100k for one week before my first marathon… oh how things have changed! I am excited to go back and see what I can do!! I do not have my race plan yet but definitely hoping for a PB and even though all the work would suggest I am ready for a big one I still have to run the race and I could not be more excited!!
All the best to everyone else heading to Ottawa next weekend!! See you out there!
Also I am still fundraising for the Heart and Stroke foundation for the #rideforheart run taking place the weekend after the marathon. If you would like to join me (TORunningChiro & friends) or donate please go to http://support.heartandstroke.ca/site/TR/Events/RFH2016?px=1221239&pg=personal&fr_id=2550&_ga=1.218123417.1085979568.1453413575 Thank you in advance for all the support!! It is truly appreciated and for such a great cause!!!