Um... Taper Is Kind of Hard!

When you hear someone complain about taper, it's usually all, "I couldn't STAND running so little." "I was antsy and stressed out without all my usual runs." Not me. Nope, I'm STILL waiting for the "real" taper to begin.

After running my terrible twenty last Saturday, my training plan called for an easy two miles on Monday. I did some recovery walking and yoga on Sunday and Monday, but I just didn't feel ready to run. I did my two easy miles on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, my training plan called for 8 miles including 4 x 1600 at 8:50 with 800 jogs. (Translation: warm up a mile, run a mile really fast, jog/walk for 1/2 mile to recover, run another mile really fast, jog/walk for 1/2 mile.... you get the picture.) I asked my training plan, "Are you kidding me???" An 8:50 mile is a stretch for me in a 5K race with FRESH legs and running 8 miles seemed just a little excessive. I'm in TAPER, for pete's sake! So, I ran 6 miles including a 1/2 mile warm up, speedy-ish miles at 9:15 pace, 8:53 pace (yay!), 9:10 pace, and a final 800 in 4:39 before cooling down. (There was some jogging/walking between miles.) I only came close to 8:50 once, but I did what I could do in my hilly neighborhood on still-tired legs. If I call that final 800 a Yasso 800, it would predict a 4:39 marathon finish. (But that's not actually how you do a Yasso 800 work out.)

I knew I owed two more miles* on Thursday, so I hopped on my treadmill to make them up, even including that last 1/2 mile of speed work at that dang 8:50 pace. *I'm a little obsessive about getting in all the miles my training plan calls for each week. When I get to the starting line of my first marathon, I want to know I have put in ALL the miles of training.

I took a total rest day on Friday, and this morning got in my last double-digit run of 12 miles. Whoo-hoo. Those 12 miles felt like 18. I was tired when I started, wanted to stop at six, but my running buddy Tracy kept me going. I REALLY wanted to stop at 11, but she dragged me one more mile. Now that it's done, I'm glad. Oddly, after only 12 (albeit hilly) miles, my left foot, both knees, and my quads all hurt. I know I had some residual fatigue from the 20 miles only one week ago and that darn speed work.

Now, finally, let the real* taper begin!

*The taper where I only run 2 miles, 5 miles and 8 miles in a week. That's what I'm talkin' about!
*The taper when I can think about something besides my sore knees/ankles/quads and overall fatigue.
*The taper where I can once again comfortably go up and down steps.
*The taper where I start obsessing over AM I READY? What's the weather going to be like on race day? What should I wear? Am I running enough? Have I really gained 5 lbs.???

That's my kind of taper.

P.S. Oops. I know why that speed work was so hard. Looking back over my marathon journal, I've actually NOT been doing the speed work called for in my Smart Coach training plan on Wednesdays. I've gotten in the mileage, but I haven't actually done it in a speedy-kind-of-way. Maybe it's because I HATE 1600's. Give me 200's or 800's any day!


I hate 1600's too... YIKES. 200's and 800's sound much better.

I was thinking I would run 13 or 14 today and then Half way through my run I seriously had this thought... "Damn, I am tired. Donna is only running 12 today, so AM I".

Yep.. I only went 12, and yes, it felt worse then my 20 miler last week.
LOL- You are funny. (this is in reply to the comment you left on my blog)

It happens to the best of us.
I hope your real taper is great!!!

I don't have that book but have heard such good things. I think I'm going to have to get a copy -- at least from the library. Have fun with the product samples. Woo hoo! I just got a package of samples to review today. So fun!