Respecting the Distance

I am officially in TAPER for the Dry Creek Trail Marathon in two weeks.   It has been a cold and dreary winter here in Tennessee (and basically EVERYWHERE except for my friends in So Cal--by the way, I hate you..... jk).  

It has been the kind of winter that makes you want to stay curled up in flannel pj's drinking a hot beverage instead of getting out and pounding the early morning pavement.  But if I've learned anything in my 6.5 years of running, it is that you must respect the distance.   Sheer respect (and fear?) of 26.2 trail miles has gotten my booty out the door on many a cold day this winter.  (Yeah, cold is relative-but this is Tennessee, and I'm a Southerner, and I find 5 degrees appalling.)  

All my runs this week were uncomfortably chilly--except maybe the one on the treadmill.  In a certain amount of wind, no amount of clothes makes you feel warm.  I ran 20 miles on a fairly mild day last Saturday, but Monday was a snow day for the kids, so I hit the treadmill for 3 miles.  My legs were still a bit tired.  On Wednesday, a friend and I ran 10 miles (in the middle of the week---what???) on an unpaved path along a river.  Legs were still tired.  It was very windy on this route by the river and snow pelted us in the face most of the miles. Real feel temp was about 17.   Hard to enjoy, but we tried.  On Friday, I did run an impromptu fun and fridgid two miles on a trail still covered in light snow.  That was actually kind of fun.  And short.  Short helps.  Today, I moved my training group's run (and my 14 miler) to midday.  I was hoping for 38 and sunny, but got about 34, cloudy, and windy.  I am OVER it.  And guess what?  My legs were still tired.

But it's TAPER, so it's all good.  Now I just need to rest them.  I've done all I can at this point.

I've run at least 3 X per week.  Long runs have been 14, 15, 17, 19, and 20.  I think that's a pretty good progression.  In the past 8 days, I've run 49 miles.  (No wonder my legs are tired.....)  I've run bunches of trail miles, but no more than 6 technical ones at a time.  I think I'll be fine though.  I was about equally or even less trained for my other two trail marathons last April and June.

As I lay on the bed typing, my legs are burning.  They do this sometimes. They didn't last week after 20 miles for some reason, but they are on fire tonight after only 14.  Wonder what that is???

I'm still really excited for the race.  I'm ready enough.  :-)