Before I tell you about tapering, I realized I haven’t yet mentioned where I got my new header. My friend Ryan made it; he did the photography, the drawing, the design, and the actual assembling of it. Meaning I pretty much did nothing except run on a boardwalk and get my picture taken. If you’re interested in having Ryan make a header for your blog, check out his art website and send him an email.
One Week To Go!
Well, I did the final halfway-difficult run of my training today. 10 miles at 7:15, my Boston qualifying pace. Except for a muddy trail, which resulted in my having to tiptoe through a few spots and a pair of muddy legs, it was pretty easy.
Runs of double digit mileage and miles at 7:15 have both always felt special to me, and it’s a sign of how far I’ve come that today’s run was decidedly un-special. I woke up, had a smoothie and an apple, went and hammered out the run, and continued on with my day.
And that’s pretty much how tapering has been. Nothing special, nothing I haven’t done before. One difference though — now that the workouts require less focus, I tend to think a lot more about everything while I’m running. Imagining how it would feel to cross the finish line in something under 3:10, and coming to the scary realization that there’s no more fitness to be gained in this final week. The work is done, and the “me” that’s running now is the same “me” that will be trying to BQ a week from now. As they say, “ya gotta dance with what ya brung.”
It’s so hard not to wonder if it’s enough. The one part of this training that I haven’t been so great about is the easy runs in between workouts. Often I’ve chosen instead to take the day off when I’ve been busy with other things, thinking, “What difference will four miles at nine-minute pace make?”
But the fact is they add up, and as a result I’ve done far less mileage with this program than most others going for Boston probably have. Of course, this lack of mileage could also be part of the reason I don’t have a single injury to worry about going in to the marathon, the first time in my life I’ve been able to say that.
So that’s where things stand. Eating the same amount while running less this week, my body should store up what it needs. On Thursday night, Erin and I will head up to New York with my dad and stepmom in their motorhome and make a little vacation of it. I’ll rest for two days, running a few miles but otherwise taking it easy and relaxing. (No walking tours of the San Diego Zoo like the day before my first marathon.)
And then on Sunday it will just be 26.2 miles, a shot at this goal I’ve had for so many years now, and me. Ready to dance with whatever it is I’ve brung.