It’s here! Taper time! My final long long run is in the books and marathon day is less than three weeks away. I’ll be sharing my race plan for the One City Marathon later but for right now I’m looking forward to a little time to heal up.
Don’t take that the wrong way, I’m far from injured. It’s just the usual aches or hints of stiffness that sneak in after weeks of heavy mileages. My left foot is a little grumpy for my first few steps every time I get up and some extra ab work has probably pushed them a little far. Taper time is exactly what I need both physically and mentally. I’m definitely ready to tackle 26.2 but need these three weeks to let my body get in the best position it can to help me succeed.
I had a strong finish to my heavy training and will work to keep it going right through the finish line. This week’s last long long run was 21 miles. My goal was to run 8 easy miles, 10 at marathon pace and 3 more easy. It didn’t go quite as planned. It went better! The easy 8 went off without a hitch and when I went to pick it up 15 seconds a mile, I couldn’t. Instead of settling in at my goal marathon pace, 7:55, I found 7:45. I was very comfortable there despite telling myself to slow down every ten seconds.
When one of my half mile splits around Mile 16 was 7:36 I thought I was done for. I felt good but was waiting for things to turn south. They never did! I cruised through those 10 miles at a hair too fast a pace but had a strong finish and felt great. Maybe my marathon pace isn’t 7:55 after all. I’ve struggled to find it throughout training, instead finding a slightly faster or little bit slower pace more comfortable.
No matter what, it’s taper time and I have three weeks to nail down my pacing plan. I can’t wait for race day to see what I can do.
What do you do at taper time? What if you’re running ‘too fast’ but feel good?