Saturday, February 23, 2008

Early Taper Anyone?

Like I mentioned in my earlier post, I was not feeling 100% heading into my final long run before the marathon. The night before, Dizzle felt that it was necessary to conduct an hour-long drum parade while my head felt like it was going to explode. So instead of getting comfy in the corner of my sofa, I shook the bells to Dizzle's renditions of "The ABCs" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." And just to show who was really in charge (I never really am) Dizzle would occasionally break into her military commander voice and belt out, "Hup, two, three, four. Hup, two three, four." And despite feeling horrible and barely having a voice, it was actually pretty cute, especially when I noticed that Doodle was laughing her chubby little baby cheeks off, all while adding to our musical display by shaking the maracas!

But enough digression, once the kids were in bed and I got to thinking about my run, I was actually excited about the prospect of running 18 miles for the last time before the actual race. I had broken it up in my head into three, six mile loops or maybe even six, three mile loops. I was going to get up at five and be pushing it full steam ahead by six. I was going to be amazing.

Going to be amazing? Who am I kidding? I did actually make it out of bed at 5 a.m. after a horendous night of sleep. Suddenly, after two days of a pain-free throat, every time I swallowed hurt more then the next. But I got up anyway, managed to get dressed and ate my traditional pre-run breakfast. As I was about to leave, I did one last weather check ... Rain. Not a downpour, but enough to make an already questionable run even more so. I sat here asking myself, "Is running sick, in the rain, going to benefit me or my running?" The answer was a pretty clear no. With the actual marathon just three weeks away, I really couldn't risk prolonging this illness, just because of my stubborn nature. I knew that I had to sacrifice this run.

And ultimately I think it all worked out in my favor. I went back to bed and awoke feeling far better than just a few hours earlier (with the exception of my non-existant voice). And I did get a run in - 10 miles. Not quite 18, but better than taking the day off completely. I probably could have gone farther. I felt pretty good (going at snail pace), but my ankle started to bother me (I need to go get a brace) and I was getting seriously bored of my treadmill run. So to justify my cut in mileage, I decided that this would be the first week of my taper. An extra taper week is really just an extra recovery week, right? I should be super strong when I actually have to run 26.2.

Ok, am I kidding myself? God, I hope not. I know I will be able to finish (I'm not really the quiting type), but the thought that I can do this is four hours or less is slowly fading. I think I need to start realizing that it's far more realistic that I will run close to 4:30 and I should just see the rest as icing on the cake!! Oh but that is so hard to do!

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