Not quite. But close. I’m writing this on Sunday evening and the crazy is buzzing around my head.
Now he was walking quickly, inexorably, towards the place he would complete the orb, set it gently adrift and leave it hard and shining until it was time.”
Taper week, full tilt. That period of time that you look forward to in the midst of big training weeks, and then when it arrives, your legs feel like trash the entire time and you begin to doubt everything you’ve done.
Quite frankly, I saw three non-running days on my schedule this week and didn’t know what to think. I can’t recall ever being this sad to wrap up a training cycle. To be determine if that’s because I’m ready and the cycle went well, or because I’m just scared to death of flopping two marathons in one year.
Monday was a planned off day, especially since I had a late meeting that went until 7:30 p.m. I went to spin early that morning (5:55 — ouch) followed by stretch and abs. Great idea except by 5 p.m. I just wanted to take a nap. We did squeeze in a walk during a break in the meeting, like 1.5 or so.
Tuesday was going to be a running day but wasn’t. I made it to yoga at 5 p.m. though.
So Wednesday rolls around and I’m thinking, great! My legs will be fresh and rested.
Foolish me. I probably could’ve moved the workout to another day but I was pulling up my big girl panties and getting it done so I couldn’t keep putting it off until I was out of chances.
I had a good route thought through but the weather conspired against me on this one. It had stopped raining (finally) but the wind was still blowing 15-20 mph. I ended up running 6:34, 6:34, 6:10. My route was also covered in wet leaves which is not the best speedwork surface. The fast one at the end was in the opposite direction — could be a GPS issue. I would’ve liked to be around 6:25, but I averaged 6:26 so we’ll just call that okay considering the wind and the footing. Not much to be done about it. Legs felt so flat the entire time.
Thursday was a rough run. This is when I started coming a little unglued. Everything felt bad. My shins, my hamstring, everything inbetween. Ugh. Pilates strength after that, throughout which my legs also felt terrible.
The all-consuming roar, the overwhelming psych would begin then and would build up until he stood ready on this line, at once controlled and near lunacy, fearless and terrified, wishing for the relief of the start, the misery of the end. Anything! Just let the waiting be done with!”
Friday rolled around and I was still feeling junky. I had a 7 miler and a 12 miler left for the week. I talked myself into the run with the bargaining chip I could quit after 3 and do the rest Saturday if it was that bad. (Hardly ever is it as bad as you think it will be.) I dropped one 8:14 mile at mile 5 but it was in an area where either I always run slow or my watch always gets confused. Then with about 1.25 to go I started 9×100 pickups which is apparently what my legs needed to remember what the heck they were supposed to be doing.
Side note: That’s probably why the 7 with 8×100 was scheduled for Tuesday and the workout for Wednesday. Fine, Pfitzinger, you made your point. I’ll do it right next time.
Saturday was an off day since I got in all 7 Friday. I went to stretch and abs and then hopped on the spin bike for 30 minutes, using my heart rate monitor to track effort. I wanted to get in some cardio and burn some calories without taxing my legs too much.
Side note: That’s why I keep thinking I should learn to swim (like really swim).
Therefore, Sunday loomed as a make-or-break it type day. Would it go okay or would my legs still feel terrible? The results would have a big impact on my mental state.
First, I procrastinated. Avoidance seemed like an okay tactic when faced with that make-or-break feeling. I also kept hoping someone would want to run with me, because then I could run easy and say it was because I was running with whoever and not feel bad about it.
No dice. I thought about running somewhere else instead of my normal go-to long run route, but decided I wanted one more jaunt for memory’s sake. I’ve been running the same loop — especially the first 6 — all season.
So first I start running and decide I have to pee. I turn around, run back to the gym, hit the restroom. I decided to clear those first 70 seconds and start over, because my watch was convinced my HRM was connected. It was definitely in the car. But the Garmin even had 138 recorded as my average heart rate, which wasn’t unreasonable.
I start it over and take off. Around a half-mile, it said my pace was 8 minutes even though I felt like I was working quite a bit harder. Harumph, I thought, it’s going to be that kind of day.But then I looked down closer to the 1-mile mark and it said 7 flat. And it split the mile at 7:41. Then I remembered I had installed a software update and had noticed Friday it reset the pace preference — I meant to fix it after Friday’s run but forgot, obviously. So it had defaulted to useless “current pace” instead of “lap pace.”
So I reset the damn thing a second time. This led to confusing myself several times about how far I had run and how far I had to go. It was also humid as all get-out. Something like 60* but 70% humidity. It felt like spring. I was dripping sweat and my clothes were sticking. Yuck.
But hey, my splits were fine. I kept telling myself to slow down but my legs weren’t interested. I had 2 miles over 7:40 the entire time, and a 6:57 last mile.
So. That’s it. 32.25 miles for the week. Six days to go.
I am a big fan of routine — like annoyingly so, you can ask my husband — and part of my nervousness is that I have a conference this week so I’ll be in a hotel Wednesday and Thursday. But I’m planning to pack some food, and we are right by a park so I can get in a short run Thursday afternoon and again Friday morning. Plus, being away from the gym means I can’t go in there and do anything stupid.
The Pfitz plan assumes the race is Sunday, so I’m a little undecided on what to do. Tomorrow is supposed to be a rest day, followed by 6 miles, 7 miles with 2 at GMP, rest, 5 with strides, 4, race.
I have considered skipping the first off day (tomorrow) and proceeding as normal. Now I’m starting to think I’ll split the difference and run short tomorrow, just 3 or 4. I don’t know what I’m doing!
Probably hit Pilates Monday and Yoga Tuesday, since I’ll be out the rest of the week. Also, I have a short massage Tuesday just to relax and work out the kinks. Nothing aggressive.
He remembered suddenly the one marathon he had run. On the 23rd mile he had looked around and discovered everything looked unfamilar. Convinced he was lost, he ran on like a forlorn child, bubbering and wailing. When he finished the race in 2:33 he saw he had been on the right course after all. But he still couldn’t keep from weeping; he just didn’t know why any longer.”
I see you, marathon, and I’m ready. Damnit, I’m ready.
Good training cycle, miserable taper: I’d say you’re primed for a great race! Good luck on Saturday.
Thanks, Linda! It’s remarkable how bad it always feels. Hope you’re rebounding well!