It's hard to believe that after several months of marathon training, I've arrived at the taper phase. While some people loathe this part of the training, I love it! I'm very familiar with the tapering concept since this was always part of my swimming training prior to any big meet. After weekends of high mileage runs, I enjoy having the extra time...for sleeping, other hobbies, or being lazy. With a big race on the horizon, I'm dedicated to making this a successful taper cycle.
I'm trying really hard not to obsess over time goals for Richmond Marathon, but that's hard. I ran both of my 20 mile runs at the exact same overall pace (9:31) which is more than 90 seconds faster than my last 20 mile training runs (prior to Marine Corps Marathon and Dopey Challenge). I know I'm well-positioned for a PR and I'm hopeful that I might be able to reach my if-everything-goes-perfectly time goal. Regardless, I know that I have trained hard and am ready for the miles. I am conscious of the fact that a gazillion things can go wrong on race day so there are always wild cards to manage during the race.
Over the last few weeks, I've been feeling really run down. I had sort of forgotten how the peak training weeks can leave you feeling fatigued and exhausted. I've been working on getting to bed no later than 10:00 and taking naps on the weekend, if I can fit them in. I generally don't sleep all that great right before a race so you better believe I will be focusing on getting quality sleep over the next 2+ weeks.
I'm so glad that Halloween is this weekend so the candy will be gone and I can start ridding my diet of a million fun-sized candy bars. The office candy jar happens to be on my desk (yea, I realize it's not the best idea) and I will have that emptied until after race day so the temptations are minimal. Other than avoiding superfluous candy (read: sugar and calories), I'll be focusing on eating quality lean proteins, produce, and whole grains. My diet is normally pretty healthy so my challenge will be cutting out the extras - alcohol, diet soda, and sweets. I have a pumpkin pasta bake that I'll be making on Sunday night and it will make great leftovers for the coming week.
And other than sleeping and eating well, I'll be trying to stay busy in the evenings and weekends when I normally would be spending time doing longer, more intense workouts. I just bought a copy of the Spirit of the Marathon which is my go to motivational movie. Thanksgiving is around the corner and I always love planning the menu. And then there's that pesky issue of my house...it really could use a good deep cleaning. But I mean I could risk injury with cleaning right? Yea, I probably shouldn't mess with that until later...
Any tips for tapering?