Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Last 20 Miler

It's done.  Today was an incredibly unseasonably warm day in Massachusetts and the perfect day for a run.  The family activity schedule worked out even better than the weather and I was able to get the morning to myself to indulge in my last long run before I start tapering for my first marathon on 1/29/12.  I have a lot of mixed feelings about this.  Could I have done more ?  Should I have done more ?  Have I done enough to merely finish, or finish with a respectable time ?  I haven't really committed to a goal finishing time yet, but I'm going to put 3:45 out there.  This is the first time I've actually said it.  When people have asked, I've always said "I want to complete, not compete" and I don't really have a goal....but I always knew I would have one.  I'm too analytical, numerical, and obsessive not to.  From what I have read, the next 3 weeks are going to be a massive excersise in self restraint.  I have to accept that what I have done is enough, and merely maintain my current level of fitness, endurance, speed, and most importantly: REST.  Regardless of what training plan you follow, they all have a 3 week taper to get you rested for the race.  For my run today, I intentionally went into it fatigued.  I ran 8 miles at a pretty decent pace 2 nights ago, and did 5 miles worth of speedwork last night.  My legs were sore before my run today, and I intentionally didn't over do the water and calories during the run.  So...starting out tired, getting thirsty, and with insufficient nourishment, I was able to run 20 miles at 9 minutes per.  Now comes the really difficult part for me.  If you've been following along for a while, I've mentioned this before, self restraint and moderation are NOT my strong suits.  I have to spend the next three weeks holding back, running less, and saving my leg strength.  The 3 week taper, is a HUGE component of most training plans so it's not a trivial issue.  The fact that it goes against my grain is going to create some personal stress for me.  That's a good thing.  That's why I'm here.  Marathoning is about long term commitment, pacing, self control, and perseverance.  I need development in all of those areas.  That's why a marathon is the perfect goal for me. I have definately learned alot, and developed some of those traits that I was lacking.  I'm sure they will translate to personal success in life, but it remains to be seen how they will impact the results of my performance in Miami on Jan 29th.  Stay tuned for the results.  I'll try to keep it as interesting as I can, and whatever you do....

just don't stop running....

Thank you so much for reading...I genuinely and sincerely appreciate it.  Any feedback you'd like to offer will be taken to heart, and incorporated if possible.

2 comments:

  1. Good luck with your taper. That is always hard, but you'll feel wonderfully fresh come race day and you'll notice it.

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  2. Thanks ! I have a feeling that it's going to be a bit of a tradeoff. During the taper I will essentially be trading mental well being for physical well being. Running is my "release valve" for excess stress. I'm sure it will all work out though, and it'll probably be harder on my family than me, since I'm liable to get fairly cranky. It'll give me something interesting to Blog about !

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