Taper and not thinking.

I am such a blogger delinquent. I really don’t know where the time goes. These days I feel like I am not doing anything 100%. Job – nope, blogging – nope (definitely not), personal engagements – nope, staying in touch with family and friends – nope, and up until recently, running – nope.

Starting with our 3-Bridges 20-miler run (Brooklyn Bridge, Pulaski Bridge, and Queensboro Bridge) with the NY Flyers last weekend, I finally felt I like the running gods were on my side. Our team runs our 20-miler, longest run of the training season with the NY Flyers and the group is split by pace. Everyone picks their pace group a little differently. For me, I prefer to be conservative but still challenging. Given that this run is the last long run before our taper, I want to start tapering on a high note. Last year, I ran with the 10:30 group and this year, I was debating between the 9:30 and 10:00 group. I ended up choosing the 10:00 group to be on the safe side. Our group was on the larger side so we had three different pacers and the woman I ended up running with was consistent between 9:50-10:10 minute miles. A couple of teammates and I felt strong by mile 12, so we started go little bit ahead of the group. Even though I ran the last mile with a cramp, we finished with an overall average pace of exactly 10:00 minute miles and on a more exciting note (well, at least for me) the we finished the second half of the run (last 10 miles) at an overall faster pace than the first half (negative split).

Since the beginning of taper, I’ve made it a point to keep up with my speed workouts especially since I missed some in prior weeks due to work commitments. With a strength training / hill workout, tempo run, intervals, this past weekend’s 11+ miler through the last 10 miles of the marathon course, and a progressive tempo run, I’m feeling strong (knock on wood). Though Coach Ali said this past weekend that a tough taper is a sign that you had a good training season, I’m hoping in my case it is just a continued sign the how training has been going.

This poor woman must have thought I was

So many people have been asking me how I feel with the marathon coming up. Are you excited? Are you anxious? Are you nervous? And honestly for the most part, I have been trying not to think about it. It’s hard when your first marathon experience was cancelled at the last minute. With the government shutdown and all the talks about where the staging area would be if we couldn’t use Fort Wadsworth, I honestly just tried to keep my head under a rock. I didn’t want to think about how exciting Marathon Sunday would be or how scared or anxious I would actually be because honestly, I won’t believe it is happening until it is actually happening.

It’s really here, huh?

Unfortunately now, it feels like Marathon Sunday is creeping up on me. There is only 10 days left, weather forecasts for that day are already coming out. I need to plan for carb loading, sending out my mile by mile plan to family and friends in the NYC area, sign up for the team dinner the night before the race, register guests for our team’s after party, figuring out with Josh the best viewing spots on race day, planning out my outfit in addition to the clothes I will be throwing away/donating the morning of, I now feel like I am behind schedule.

So many people have been asking me what race is after the NYC Marathon and the answer is I have no idea. For the first time in a year and a half, I don’t have a future race scheduled. It feels weird in a way not having a plan or something to train for but I am really looking forward to at least temporarily not having to plan my days around training. I know that I will eventually sign up for shorter distance races to stay in shape through the winter, plus I have all this winter running clothes I bought last year that I need to put to good use, but for now November 3rd will be my focus.

I will be sure to post more details about tracking me race day in the couple days or so, but in the mean time, I am still trying not to think too much about it.

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