Holy smokes! I’m in the home stretch now. Six weeks left, which means a taper in sight. OK, well sort of. My Hanson’s plan only tapers for 10 days. 10 days! I have always tapered 3 weeks. That’s 11, count them 11 days less tapering! I’m starting to stress about this…can you tell?
So on one hand, I tell myself trust the plan; it hasn’t failed you. You are strong. You are healthy. You have no injuries. On the other hand, I am ready to be done. I am an over 50 year old runner. I don’t recover like I used to. I want my taper!
So week 12 was good, almost non-eventful, not entirely…but almost. There was Tuesday. Tuesday was bad. I had a strength workout to do; four time 1.5 miles with a half mile recovery. That plus my 1.5 mile warm up and cool down would equal 11 miles.
Well can I tell you I woke up with an upset stomach. But determined as I am, off I went to run….this is what it looked like. 1.5 miles warm up, then 1.5 miles strength, followed by bathroom break at Mobile station. Half mile recovery, then 1.5 miles strength, followed by bathroom break at Citgo station. Another half mile recovery, then 1.5 miles strength…crap! Do I go back to the Mobile station or to the Citgo station…Good God, do I really have to visit the same station twice? Nope…Honey, come get me. I’m done! Have I mentioned what a great hubby I have?!?!
So that was 7.5 miles and I knew it was OK, because that evening my running club, Zoomers, was hosting a fun run; I could get my remaining miles, even if I skipped the last speed set. I really thought I would feel better by evening, and I did, that is until I started running again! But I endured and managed to squeak out 12 miles for the day…one mile of buffer in the bank.
Tuesday left me worried that I was A) getting some kind of bug, B) over-training, or C) dehydrated. I opted to focus on (C) and drank, drank, drank. I might of hit it right or I just got lucky because Wednesday I felt fine.
Good thing too because I had to run on Wednesday. Normally Wednesday is a rest day, but I had a work meeting on Thursday morning so I needed to switch my rest day to Thursday. Of course normally Thursday is a tempo run, but because I couldn’t run a tempo right after a strength day, I just focused on miles. I also had a half marathon on the books, so was not at all concerned with getting the tempo run in.
Friday and Saturday were regularly scheduled easy paced runs. I ran Saturday with my big boy Otis. We’ve been having a great time exploring area trails and Saturday was no different.
Sunday I ran a half marathon in DeBary, Florida. Normally this time of year James and I are on the St. John’s River in our boat, but this year our boat is getting some much needed restoration. Each year the Swamp House Half Marathon occurs during our time on the river and it takes place from a marina we can access via boat. This year was my fourth year running.
This year we drove up and stayed in a hotel. Not quite as cool as arriving by boat but that’s OK. On race morning I hooked up with the 1:50 pacer. When the race started we took off and settled in to a 8:10 pace. We were running fast and after each mile our pacer said “I need to slow down”, but his group for runners were still going strong at 8:10.
Around mile 3 or 4, our pacer started to back off, but I was feeling good and decided to go for it. I felt really good through mile eight, then we turned the corner right into a head wind which lasted through the remainder of the race. I still managed to maintain my 8:10 overall pace and finished in 1:47:24. Good enough for a second place age group! And, can I say, great confidence builder for my 3:45 Boston Marathon goal!
Twelve weeks down….six to go!