Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Marathon Training–The 20-miler and the taper

I’m so behind on blogging – ordination weekend details, our trip to the Willamette Valley and Portland, any cooking I’ve done in the past month… And this weekend, I’m heading to Cincinnati for the Flying Pig marathon.


The peak of any beginning marathon training program is the week that culminates in the 20-mile long run. By sheer coincidence, the Saturday that I was supposed to run 20 miles was also the Saturday that I was getting ordained to the priesthood. In short, not going to happen. On the other hand, lots of people were going to be in town including friends who run. My mom and I came up with the idea of running a little bit of the run with out-of-town people on Friday morning (since I came to my senses that taking Friday off of work was going to be necessary).

At 7 am, we met up with Kelly at the Brentwood Trail. She ran 2 miles with us until she had to turn back and get ready for work. Since the first two miles are usually my worst (so much further to go! Why is this taking so long?), having Kelly chat with us helped so much mentally. Mom and I went out another .5 and then turned back to get to the car with 5 miles under our belts. For the next 5, we did a little experiment and ran part of the trail system that we hadn’t done before. Running in a new place helped those miles pass by quickly, and suddenly we were halfway through our run.

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For the final 10, we met up with Abby and John who drove down from London, Ontario. This would be their longest run ever. Spoiler alert: the run went really, really well. I got a little grumpy from 16-18 miles because I was getting tired and thirsty. John and Abby both did great, and we all finished strong. It was a major confidence boost but still intimidating to know that I would have to run for 6.2 more miles in the actual marathon.

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The next morning, I went for a 2 mile walk, which helped shake out the residual soreness, and Abby, Joe, and I ran 4 miles on Sunday afternoon. Then Joe and I departed for Oregon, where I didn’t run all week except for a 3 mile jaunt with the sole purpose of ending up at Voodoo Doughnuts. Getting back on the running wagon was a little tough after a week of vacation. I’m mentally done with training, and taper week runs always feel horrible, which leads to me thinking that I’m totally going to crash and burn on Sunday.

So I’ll obsessively check the weather and develop phantom hip twinges and shin splints over the next few days. It’s looking like it might be a warm one, but that’s the upside to starting the race at 6:30 am, I suppose.

If for whatever reason you would like to follow my progress and get e-mail or text updates, you can sign up here with my name. I’ll also try to get my dad (spectathlete of the day!) to tweet updates from my phone, so you can also follow me on Twitter.