Taper!

Weeks 14 and 15 are done! Now it’s time to taper.

Going into Saturday’s 20-miler, I was feeling pretty discouraged. I missed two important long runs while my ankle was being sorted out (16 and 18 miles), so my longest run prior to this weekend was only 15 miles. That means I added 33.33333% to the distance of my longest run at that point. Kind of scary.

Let’s start with week 14, shall we?

Week 14

Monday: Walked 2.25 miles. I was pretty sore after the half marathon that Saturday; the hills did a number on my hips.
Tuesday: 5 miles @ 9:29. I varied the pace on the treadmill for this one, doing 0.2-0.3-mile pick-ups (8:49-9:05) every so often. I’ve done so much slogging to get through all of my mileage; it felt good to pick up the pace a little. Forgot what that felt like.
Wednesday: 2.07 elliptical; 4.88 bike. Didn’t want to push my ankle too much, so I threw in some cross training. I hated it.
Thursday: 9 miles @ 10:01. Finally, a decent run. No walking, my ankle felt good, and the weather was pleasant. My right IT band/hip flexor was super tight, which I think is a function of old shoes and my stride being a bit different from the taping for my ankle. Something to keep an eye on.
Friday: Rest.
Saturday: 15 @ 10:43. Got a late start on this one. Had a friend in town, and we stayed up too late. Couple that with the great weather, and I wasn’t in a rush to get out the door. My right IT band started locking up around 10 miles in. I stopped to buy a Gatorade and had a rough time starting back up because of the tightness. Took it to task with the foam roller after my run, and that helped out.
Sunday: Rest.

Total: 38ish miles; 6 hours, 39 minutes.

Overall, I felt pretty good about week 14. Despite missing some big runs in the previous weeks, I was able to hop back into training with minimal consequences. I’m not sure what’s going on with my IT band; it’s been a while since I had an adjustment at the chiropractor, and that usually helps. It’s on the list for next pay day.

Week 15

This was supposed to be my “peak week,” but my mileage was way lower than it should have been. I was mega wiped out on Monday, but I really should have gone running. On Tuesday, we learned that one of Dan’s aunts had passed away after having surgical complications. That obviously put a damper on the day and the rest of the week, which was really emotionally exhausting. The funeral was Friday, and we just came home and collapsed. At any rate, I did get some good running done, just not the ideal amount.

Monday: 2.28 walk. Nothing to report.
Tuesday: Rest.
Wednesday: 3 miles @ 9:39 in the morning; 7 miles @ 9:42 in the evening. Doing a double was the only way I was going to get 10 miles done midweek. Even though I had to break it into 2, it felt good to get double digits on a week day.
Thursday: Rest. Long day at work preparing to be off for the funeral on Friday; I also had to take Dan into the office extra early, then we had a concert to go to that night, so there was zero time for running. I did, however, pack my running stuff and take it to work, hilariously thinking I’d have time to get a few miles in on my lunch break or something. Not.
Friday: Rest. Went to the funeral and burial in the morning and didn’t get home until the afternoon. We were both worn out and just took it easy for the rest of the day. It was super dreary and raining, so whatever.
Saturday: 20.5 miles @ 10:58. Got this one DONE! Took a semi-new route to change things up.

I ran by Big River Running to pick up some Honey Stingers, then did a lap around Francis Park, ran Chippewa to Kingshighway, then down Arsenal and around Tower Grove Park and the Botanical Gardens (a few times), then down Morgan Ford to get home. I only had a doughnut for breakfast, which wasn’t even close to enough food. I was feeling rough around 10/11 miles in, then I crossed paths with a guy who is always at Tower Grove Park selling Gus’ soft pretzels at the Center Cross intersection. This lovely, toothless man not only sold me an amazing soft pretzel for a dollar; he also told me a bizarre story about being propositioned by an elderly woman who wanted to take him home. Yeah,. It was…interesting, but I was too busy inhaling my pretzel to be truly disturbed by what he was saying until later.

Had I not gotten that pretzel, I don’t think I would’ve been able to finish this run. It was touch-and-go for miles 12-14/15, then my food kicked in and I finished the last 5 strong. Again, my right hip flexor was being weird for like the first 10 miles, then I stopped in the park and really, really stretched it out. That seemed to work and it didn’t bother me for the last half of the run. I felt great at the end and could have kept going. Given how shaky the past few weeks of training have been, this was a great confidence booster.

Sunday: Rest.ย Definitely sore when I woke up this morning, but not too terrible. I took a salt bath and will be spending some quality time with my foam roller tonight.

Total: 33 miles, 6 hours, 24 minutes.

It’s officially taper time! My long runs for this and next week are 12 and 8 miles, respectively, then it’s race time! After so many months of planning for, talking about, and training for this race, it will finally be here!

 

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