Week Fifteen Training Wrap-Up
The last full week of training was almost a carbon copy of week fourteen. Amazingly, I managed to complete Thursday’s ten-mile tempo run at the same 7:56 min/mile pace as the previous week, and Tuesday’s twelve mile interval run was just two seconds a mile slower. Even Saturday’s gentle nine miler came in at a respectable 8:36. Runkeeper, despite screwing up royally on Thursday, seems to be running pretty true, so I have no reason to doubt that the times are within the realms of possibility.
The Week Ahead
Taper week begins, which means just a handful of leg-stretching five mile runs before the main event. Like last week, it’s time to be careful physically and to watch what I eat and drink (no alcohol now till after the race, and carb loading starting on Thursday). It’s also time to pack every piece of race clothing I own (because conditions in DC on race day could be anything from the low 40s and rain through to the high 60s with humidity) and put together a medical kit (because I don’t need to go trolling through the neighborhoods of Virginia at 3:00 AM looking for ice packs and Advil).
It’s also time to get as much rest as possible. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds, because …
Feature o’ the Week: Maranoia
Taper week is when the mind games start. Not only do you worry about something going wrong, but any doubts you might have about your ability start to surface. After six marathons, you’d think that I would have a little more faith, especially as training has gone very well this time around. In truth, I am very confident I will make it round, and reasonably confident I will have no trouble breaking four hours again.
But the goal to qualify for Boston is ambitious, and even though my pace times have been good in recent weeks, there is a world of difference between sustaining a goal pace over ten miles in ideal training conditions and hitting it over 26.2 during an unpredictable race with 30,000 other runners all trying to do the same thing at the same time.
The best I can do–the only thing I can do–is to control what I can and keep maranoia to a minimum: keep the taper routine the same as always, plan for race weekend with as much detail as possible and stick to the race strategy that has been taking shape over the last sixteen weeks.
From now until Sunday, everything else has to be pushed aside and kept in check as much as is humanly possible.
Team Fox Update
It’s been a great week for the Team Fox fundraiser. A dear old friend, who just happens to be a runner AND a scientist involved in Parkinson’s research, has offered to match any donations that come in between now and the day after the race dollar-for-dollar up to $500. Needless to say, a number of friends and work colleagues have taken advantage of the offer, and almost $200 in donations have come in. But we’re still quite a way from our goal; if this was a marathon, we’d be around mile fourteen. So it’s more important than ever to go to my fundraising page and make a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and help eliminate Parkinson’s!
If you’re a marathon runner, what do you do to cope with taper week? And if not, how do you deal with the jitters before a big event in your life? Leave a comment here, and I’ll feature it in the next Semper Currens.