Monday, May 16, 2011

Last Long Run and Tapering

It's hard to believe that the Vermont City Marathon is only 13 days away. I haven't had much time to write recently so I'll catch you up on how my last long run went and how my taper is going.

I did my last long on Sunday, May 8. Coach Jeff assigned 3:15 in zone 2 to close out my last hard week of training before the taper. I had to start earlier than I usually would on a Sunday because of a family obligation. It was quite chilly in the morning but I dressed lightly knowing that it would warm up while I was out there. The run went really well. I practiced my hydration and nutrition strategy for the race, and had no issues. Around mile 16.5 I ran out of fluids so I stopped at a local CVS for a bottle of Gatorade. The line to pay was longer than usual for an early Sunday morning because people were out buying last minute Mother's Day cards. I ended up running 23.2 miles in 3:15 which averaged out to 8:24/mile. Coach was happy with the effort, he said I'm where I needed to be heading into the taper.

Coach's approach to the taper is to cut back the time on your feet but to increase the intensity. Case in point, the first run of my taper was 8 x 7 minutes in zone 4 with 2:00 recovery in between. That morning, I woke with intense stomach pains and I know there was no way I could run. Later that day I flew to Atlanta to present at a workshop on Wednesday. Summer came early to Atlanta (70 with 100% humidity at 6:30 Wednesday morning), but I still wanted to get a run in a new city. My hotel was a few blocks from Piedmont Park. There were lots of runners out and several "boot camp" type classes going on in the park. I followed some runners until I got my bearings then went off on my own and ran several loops of the park.

This past Friday was 20 minutes in zone 2 then 1 hour in upper zone 3. I was really pleased how well this went. My pace for the upper zone 3 was 7:37/mi. My stomach was a little queasy most likely because my nutrition was off while I was in Atlanta.

Yesterday, Coach assigned me a step-up run: 10 minutes in easy, 10 minutes in zone 2, 30 minutes in zone 3, 45 minutes in zone 4. It was raining pretty hard in the morning and my eyes were burning and watering because the pollen count was extremely high. For these reason, I decided to run on a treadmill at the gym. Zone 3 was done at around 7:45 pace and zone at around 7:30. It's not easy being on the treadmill for that long, but I got through it. Even though I ran on the treadmill, Coach was happy with the effort. He said I'm all juiced up and ready to go.

This week I'll be on the track Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday for some mile repeats to keep the leg turnover high. It's almost showtime!

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