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BBM Training: Week 19 Recap

And so begins the taper! Along with race-day preparations! It’s hard to believe that I’m leaving for my marathon in less than a week, and will be running a marathon a week from today (fingers crossed). A big part of this week will be about finalizing all my lists. Carry-on packing list: running gear, throwaway layers, random items (Band-Aids, body glide, etc.). Personal item: bag with everything I need to study for my exam the day after I get back plus enough food to make it through a 6-hour flight. Shopping list: things to buy so I have enough food to make it through a 6-hour flight. And everything else that is anxiously running through the back of my mind.

Goal mileage:

  • Short run: 5 miles
  • Short run: 5 miles
  • Short run: 5 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 13 miles

Actual mileage:

  • Short run: 4 miles
  • Short run: 5 miles
  • Short run: 5 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 13 miles

Injury report: Super sore quads after my “long” run this week! It almost feels like my body has already forgotten how to run. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my foam roller this week.

Long run report: I tried really hard to make myself start my run later than usual. So I started at 5:30am. The sun was starting to come up by the time I finished, but I still finished around the time the race will be starting. So much for practice with running during daylight. And so much for practice with running in race gear. The weather will hopefully be about 10-15 degrees cooler for the race than anything I’ve run in since March. In those conditions, I typically run in capris and a tank or t-shirt, but I haven’t run in capris in months. I’ll probably have to pack two potential race outfits and make a race-day decision.

Misc: I’m not sure what’s worse: peak week or tapering. It’s been so long since my previous marathons that I hardly remember what the taper was like. This week I’ve had some weird time dilation and plenty of anxious energy, which don’t really go well together. It seems that every hour is about 7 hours long, and at the same time I only have the attention span of a flea, so I keep switching tasks every 3 minutes without really finishing anything. Made for a looong week at work, but I still managed to make it through my homework.

Adjustments for next week: Time to listen to my body. My runs this week have been really hard, and as mentioned earlier, my quads are really sore. I had planned two short runs (4-5 miles each) for this week before I leave town, but I might cut back to one or none at all. I’ll have to play it by ear and, again, trust the training and trust the taper.

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BBM Training: Week 18 Recap

I start my runs early, and I’ve been starting even earlier to avoid sunlight. Throughout summer, our overnight lows were typically somewhere in the low-mid 70s, which is terrible weather for marathon training. So I train before the sun comes up because it’s hard enough to run long miles in hot temperatures, but to do so in direct sunlight is downright absurd. It’s certainly gotten me through training. Except now I’m starting to realize that the race will take place during daylight hours and I’m not accustomed to running in direct sunlight. I’ve started to watch the forecast at Bellingham, and they have some pretty consistent temperatures in the 60s. I can totally run in 60-degree temps, but I’m starting to get nervous about running in 60-degree temps and sunlight. For many consecutive hours. For 26.2 miles. It’ll be fine.

Goal mileage:

  • Short run: 8 miles
  • Short run: 8 miles
  • Short run: 8 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 23 miles

Actual mileage:

  • Short run: 8 miles
  • Short run: 8 miles
  • Short run: 5 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 23 miles

Injury report: Everything is still holding steady at mild discomfort, fingers crossed that this continues to be the status quo during my taper.

Long run report: Somewhere around mile 8 or so, I thought to myself “I am in no shape to run a marathon!” I hardly do any strength training, and I can feel that my stride is pulling from muscles that can be used for running a marathon but shouldn’t be relied on for that job, instead of pushing from the muscles made to do the job. And then I finished my long run anyway. I’m pretty sure running a marathon is mostly mental anyway. If your mind can keep you going long after your body has passed its threshold for exhaustion, you’ll eventually get to the finish line, which is perhaps my greatest strength: stubbornness.

Aside from that, the run itself was quite bearable. I made sure to have enough water and electrolytes to get me through. I thought about recharging my Garmin the night before, but of course I forgot to do that. So of course my battery died on me at mile 19.5. I’m guesstimating when I say I ran 23 miles, but in reality it could have been 22.5-23. This is one time in training I’m going to give myself a little extra credit and allow for rounding up because who can prove I’m wrong? My Garmin died, I totally ran 23 miles.

Misc: Very glad to have peak week behind me, and looking forward to the taper. I’m hoping to get a teensy bit of extra rest, because my marathon happens to coincide with my first midterm, so any time that would have been spent running will now be spent studying. Fine balancing act, really. I’m also hoping that the stress of studying will prevent a lapse in immune protection. You know how you always get sick after you’ve been stressed for a long time? If I just continue to stay stressed, hopefully I’ll continue to not get sick.

Adjustments for next week: Time to settle into the taper. Preparing myself for cutbacks (and being OK with cutbacks) and trying to get just a little bit more sleep. Now I have to trust the training.

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