It's a sign that one of two things may happen next week:
- I'll hit the wall big time
- I'll get a PR (I would prefer this one)
The two week "taper" began on this day. The Hanson's method doesn't call for as big of a taper as other training plans do, so this run felt like a typical Monday run for me. The only difference is that the cooler weather arrived in DC.
This was supposed to be a 6 x 1 mile workout but I was not in the mood for speed, nor did I have the time. I turned it into a tempo run because I also did not think I would be able to get a tempo run in on Thursday.
Wednesday: Day off - Half mile of running at our cross country meet
Thursday: 8 miles at 7:24 pace
I did a mini tempo after all, going only about 6 miles. I didn't get out until it was pretty dark so I had to bust out the gloves AND the reflective gear. I always dread this day of the year because I know that a few cold, dark months of running lie ahead :(
Friday: 7 miles at 7:40 pace
This taper is working wonders. This was the first Friday in weeks that I had energy to run and was not struggling to keep my eyes open. It was also the first time all week that I was able to run with some sunlight.
Saturday: 8 miles at 8:01 pace
Somehow Tom ended up running with me for 85% of this run. Normally we don't run together, especially since he's been training for Philly on his own and is a much faster runner than me. However it was nice to have the company. We even stopped at a mill along the creek and watched them grind grains into flour using the water. We also saw tons of dogs dressed in human clothes including onesies and overalls. You never know what adventure a run might take you on!
Sunday: 8 miles at 8:17 pace
It was chilly this morning and the roads were pretty empty. Many people were down at the Marine Corps Marathon and a few roads were blocked off to cars. I took it super slow, knowing that what I do now doesn't benefit me for next Sunday. I have to stay low key and healthy to make sure I arrive ready for race day.
This is the last week of training and I have decided that I won't follow the Hansons plan 100%. Last year I went for a run on the morning of the would-be NYC marathon and my legs were super tired and toast. There was no way they would have been able to run the actual marathon if it had gone on as planned. My legs are already doing better this year. I will do some easy runs this week, but haven't quite decided which days I'll take off and how many miles I'll do each day.
This week is also the last week of the cross country season. Their Championship is on Saturday. While I look forward to a few extra hours to my day, there is going to be a huge chunk of awesomeness that will be missing. I look forward to practice every day and those kids bring some great laughs and motivation into my life.
After the last 17 weeks of training I have come to accept that my hamstring injury from last year is most likely going to be a lifelong issue. I don't talk about it anymore on here or on daily mile, but I have pain while running on almost a daily basis. It's not a lot, but it always reminds me that it's there. I foam roll and some days its better than others. Maybe someday, when I eventually have a kid and have to take weeks/months off of running, the muscle will finally have a chance to heal.
Because of this, the one thing I'll be sure to pack on Friday (besides my running shoes) will be my foam roller. I've come to rely on that baby far too long. Other than that, I don't even want to think about packing or what I'll race in......