Chicago Marathon – Taper Week 1

Week 1 of Chicago Marathon taper done! The taper period is arguably the hardest of the training cycle as it plays mental games on you.

Climate Control March crowd madness

Climate Control March crowd madness

I made it back from Indianapolis, last, last weekend in time for my last 20+ miler leading into the start of taper for the Chicago Marathon. Our team long run was on Sunday, through the last 20 miles of the NYC Marathon course. I had no time goal for this run, except just to finish feeling good. I did just that. The first 15 miles or so were around 10-minute mile pace and the last 5 (from Bronx into Central Park) were between 9:30-9:45. I didn’t run along Central Park South as the course follows because of the Climate Control March taking but place and according to my Garmin, I didn’t have exactly 20 miles by the time I reached Tavern on the Green, so I just the lower loop again to reach 21 miles.

As it seems to be normal after 20 mile runs, I developed a cold this past week. Darn it weakened immune system! Here is a recap of taper week 1:

–Monday: recovery 4.5 miles in the AM followed by a very painful, but much needed massage after work

–Tuesday: hill gait drills with the team and strength training (which left me pretty sore all week)

gait drills (I run so fast you can't even see me...) kidding!

gait drills (I run so fast you can’t even see me…kidding!)

team at Bethesda Fountain

team at Bethesda Fountain

–Wednesday: day off to tackle this cold and late evening covering a work event

–Thursday: lots of rain today and the cold scared me from attempting to run even indoors

–Friday: 9 mile run to chalk part of the Hoboken long run route for the next day

–Saturday: team long run in Hoboken, but I only ran 7 and finished chalking the route with Julio

<3 Hoboken run!

I <3 Hoboken run!

–Sunday: Bronx 10-miler race, despite coughing the night before, I managed to PR by 4 minutes! I planned on running the race at marathon pace but in type-A fashion, I can’t help but want to run as fast as I can in a race setting…

Alz teammates and I after Bronx 10-miler

Alz teammates and I after Bronx 10-miler

Countdown to Chicago Marathon — 11 days. I get a lot of questions from everyone about whether I am ready or how I feel. I actually don’t know how to answer these questions. I guess you’re never really sure if you’re ready or not until after the race and even then if you ran well, then you can attribute that to the training but if you ran poorly, you can point at the weather, the crowd support, lack of training, etc. It’s crazy but after 4 months of training, sure, I’m as ready as I can be at this point. I put in my miles; there were weeks that I wish I ran more and faster, but there were also some great weeks. I ran races and workouts that all point to a potential positive outcome, but who knows, race day is race day and in 11 days, I’ll know!

Chicago Marathon participant guide

Chicago Marathon participant guide

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

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