Tale of the Taper

New Header

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!

[muddy legs photo]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.



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  1. You can do it! I think that my favorite part about the 10k I did last week was walking up to the starting line and realizing that all my training was the hard part…and the race was just there to be enjoyed and “show off” to myslef what it was that I had worked for.

    And I agree that the not running certain runs might be a good thing, actually. 😀 I’ve been running every other day lately, never twice in a row. I think it’s done wonders for helping me recover and run my best on the days that I do head out.

    I’m so excited to hear all about the race. 😀
    .-= Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)´s last blog ..Ode to the blender =-.

  2. Eeeeks I am thinking of you!! I have a Con Law professor who loves to say “Let it lay where Jesus flang it.” Yes, I go to school in the South 🙂 Regardless of religious beliefs, it is a good and funny way to remind yourself that what’s done is done at the point! Have a great and relaxing week!!
    .-= Allie Katie´s last blog ..Sorry it took so long–but GREAT NEWS!! =-.

  3. Go get ’em! Have a great week and we’ll all be pulling for you come the weekend!
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..Links to a Healthy Weekend =-.

  4. How exciting! Glad that you all are making a little vaca of it- take lots of pictures for us. Good luck- we’ll all be thinking of you.

    Got my shirts today and they fit perfect! I have the yellow one on right now. Thank you!!!
    .-= Erica´s last blog ..Grilling & Lighter Pasta =-.

  5. dance on my friend!!
    rockin my shirt right now! and about to start my taper. kinda a bit scared-any tips?
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..I Live On a Veggie Planet =-.

  6. Ohmygosh, I know several of the Boston qualifying times, but have never thought of it terms of pace. That’s freakin’ fast!! Especially for 26.2 miles! 😛

    I’ve only just started reading your blog, so I’ve missed much of your training. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up as you train for Boston 😉
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Fant – ab – ulous =-.

  7. Good luck with your marathon and bring home some Boston QT!

  8. Like the new header. Your friend did a great job. Looks like you got things under control before your big day. That is great! Good luck with your travels and your race.
    .-= Lori – pure2raw´s last blog ..Great Sunday =-.

  9. Congrats on your final long run. Taper taper fun! I will be thinking of you when I am mentally dying….I will imagine you pushing a much faster pace and remind myself that my pace is nothing. I don’t want to disappoint!
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..My Mile 22 Bags Marathon Giveaway! =-.

  10. i can almost feel the excitement 🙂
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..It’s raining figs- hallelujah! =-.

  11. no doubting! you’ve put in the quality work, and you know quality > quantity. yes, easy miles are important too, but what’s a skipped-easy run here and there. much less influential than cutting out a threshold run or something! believe in yourself, your training and your abilities! you will rock it 🙂
    .-= lindsay´s last blog ..better than last year =-.

  12. I think you’re going to surprise yourself… Good luck!

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