Taper – What it Means to Me

Well folks, it’s taper time.  Training isn’t over, but it is quickly coming to an end.  Seriously.  Where has the time gone?

I’ve run my 20 miler.  It went great.  I finished tired but not completely exhausted.  I was sore but didn’t have any extra knee or hip pain.  I used a 5:1 run/walk schedule.  I finished in a good time as well.  It was slow but steady.  The 1 minute walk is really helpful for me.   I’ve got to decide what to do at the race, though.  The run/walk pacers use either a 2:1 or a 3:1.  I am going to try the 3:1 on my 12-13 mile run tomorrow.

The week after my 20 mile run, I had a 14 mile run scheduled.  I couldn’t do it.  I ran 8.  At first, I felt terrible about quitting, but I quickly brushed it off and moved on.  I did what I could with what I had that day.

For tomorrow’s 12-13 miler, I THINK I’ve picked a route that’s not too hilly.  I’ve been running some pretty hilly routes the past several weeks and they KILL me.  Here’s my problem:  I don’t know what ‘hilly’ means exactly.  Do you?  Can you give me some numbers?  When I map my routes, I see the elevation chart but it doesn’t really help me know how it’ll feel when I’m running them.  How much gain/loss will seem hard?

Anyway.  I’m in taper mode.  What does that mean to me?  It’s time to get some rest, focus on my goal and get some last minute things done.

Make final plans about how I expect/hope to run the marathon.  What pace group do I think is best for me?  Tomorrow, I’ll try out the 3:1, maybe I’ll try the 2:1 next week.

Hydration:  I know…  I should always focus on hydration.  I mostly do, but now, I’m making it an even higher priority.  Sip, sip, sip…  I’m also trying to avoid alcohol for the next few weeks.  I had a glass of champagne last weekend, though.  I love champagne…

Fuel:  I’m not carb loading, yet.  I’ll save that for the 3-4 days before the race, but I am making sure I eat well.  Except for the chocolate lave cake that I had last night, I’ve been doing a good job of eating lean proteins, whole grains and veggies.

Rest:  I am a night owl.  I can’t help it, but I have been trying to go to bed earlier.  I’ve been getting at least 6 and sometimes 7-8 hours of sleep for the last few weeks.

Outfit:  I need to figure out what I’m going to wear for the marathon.  I got a couple of new pairs of shorts/capris but none have really worked out for a long run.  UGH.  I also want to put my name on my back.  I like hearing people yell my name!  🙂

Make a List:  I’ll make a list of the things that I need to take on the trip.  (I’m traveling to Chicago from St. Louis by train.)  I need all sorts of stuff.  Check out this list on a blog from last year:  http://runningandthecity.com/2013/04/10/marathon-packing-list/

Attitude Check:  Try not to worry about the marathon.  The time limit is 6 hours and 3o minutes.  I’ll finish it unless I fall and hurt myself.  Oh, wait…  Try not to worry.

Breathe in. Breathe out.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.

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3 Responses to Taper – What it Means to Me

  1. Malika Swinton Shumpert says:

    Cousin, I am so proud of you. You inspired me to get up off the couch and start doing something of my own about 3 months ago…… Initially I was training for a 5k, but realized I don’t like running and that may not be my thing, but I have been consistent at walking; maybe one day I will try again…. Anyway, I am proud of you and your dedication and always enjoy reading your updates. You are a very talented soul!!! Love ya.
    P.S. I would love to know what motivated you to begin and continue this journey you are on.

    • RunDedeauxRun says:

      Aww – thanks cuz! It makes all my rambling worth while when I find out that someone is inspired to get moving.

      I first started running because Jeffrey was running. I started off walking and became impatient after a couple of weeks so I mixed in as much running as I could. After about a while, I could run a mile… without stopping! I WAS SO EXCITED!

      A sorority member asked me to run a 5K with her. I immediately agreed and immediately was terrified because I wasn’t sure I could EVER run 3 miles straight. 🙂 I’ve struggled along the way, given up, had some great times and some terrible times just like in any other aspect of life. I’ve asked myself “Why?” many times but when I talk/blog about running, I feel excited and want everyone else to feel the same way. I guess that’s how I know I’m hooked.

      Did you ask for all that? Nope. 🙂 I just wanted to share.

      Thanks for reading my blog! Feel free to share.

  2. Gabriella says:

    Best of luck! Don’t worry – you’ve got this! It’s an amazing challenge, remember that.

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