Last year, the taper worked best for me when I maintained some intensity and longer runs, especially in the first week of a gradual three-week taper. This means, however, that my easy runs shorten to allow for the long runs and long marathon pace workouts while still keeping to 80% of my peak mileage.
Ollie, meanwhile, is not tapering well. He didn’t run as much this week due to the weather and my training schedule and has excess energy, which translates to sprinting around the apartment, frenetically swinging his handled purple ball, and leaving a mess in his wake.
Monday: 5 miles easy
In the middle of the night, we awoke to the sound of rushing wind and pouring rain. It was still windy the next morning and the local media reported downed trees and power lines in some areas, so I left Ollie at home and stuck to the neighborhood for my run. The neighborhood is small, so it took a few hilly loops to hit 5 miles. According to my Strava, I this route gained 450 feet of elevation – I’m not sure if it was that hilly, but everything was rolling up and down over and over again.
Tuesday: 10 miles at marathon pace
The circumstances were not exactly favorable going into this run. It was super windy, about 27-29 mph gusts according to my weather app. I forgot my water bottle and most of the public fountains have been shut off for the season. But I also wasn’t going to let a little bit of wind stop me. I altered my route slightly to run to a water fountain mid-run (even if it meant more running into a headwind).
Despite the wind, this run went really well. I averaged a 7:49/mile pace and felt strong, even in the wind. I don’t know if I can hold that pace on race day, but I feel really confident about race day.
Wednesday: 6 miles easy & 20 minutes strength training
Ollie and I ran loops on this run and passed by some ducks sitting in the bog on each loop. On our final pass, I veered us all the way over to the side of the road to let a car pass. As soon as we were clear of the car, I loosened my grip on Ollie’s leash – and he sprung forward, lunging at the ducks and submerging himself in dirty bog water, all while still tethered to my waist. Needless to say, my next workout was bathing a 48-pound dog who is terrified of the shower.
For strength training, I did a quick workout of kettlebell 3-way lunges, kettlebell single leg deadlifts, cable rows, shoulder presses, and stability ball pikes.
Thursday: 30 minutes Pilates
Even though I ran less mileage this week, my body welcomed a rest day. I was a little sore after strength training! I did an intermediate Pilates video to stretch and strengthen. I am determined to keep my core strong not just for this marathon, but for recovering from my laparoscopy. I find a good Pilates session is more effective than smaller core workouts throughout the week.
Friday: 16 mile hard long run
I took the first 10 miles of this run at an easy effort, as my legs felt a bit heavy. I listened to an audiobook and enjoyed the cool fall weather. The last 6 miles at marathon pace began right at the start of a couple decent hills, with about 100 feet of climbing in the first marathon pace mile. I somehow managed 8:17 for that mile, then consistently logged 7:50s over rolling hills for the rest of the run. Both progression long runs and hilly marathon pace workouts are hard, but I finished feeling strong and confident about the marathon.
We tried a new movie theater to see Justice League and it was the best movie theater for after a long run. The seats reclined and they had dine-in food and drink, so I happily raised my legs and had a couple Elysian IPAs to celebrate a strong training cycle.
Saturday: 7 mile long run
Ryan and I took Ollie out for a run through the river valley. I wanted a flat route after the previous day’s long run – my legs felt fatigued, especially during the first two miles. Ryan and I spent the run discussing our running goals for next year and which races we want to run. Afterward, we dropped Ollie off at home and enjoyed brunch at our favorite place. We split an order of blueberry pancakes and each ordered a scramble (I got the veggie scramble and saved my toast for later).
Sunday: Active rest day
While Ryan took Charlie for a run, I walked Charlie for about 45 minutes. The weather in the morning was cool and crisp in the morning – we’ve had such a beautiful fall!
I’ll be posting on Wednesday with an exciting product review and then taking off the remainder of this week for Thanksgiving. I want to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving!
What are your plans for Thanksgiving?
How was your week of running?