Friday, May 2, 2014

Week 4: Race To Taper

< ONE MONTH OUT. It's time to get down to business as I have 23 more days until the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon 2014! I am a hop, skip, and a jump away from the notorious distance runner mantra "the hay is in the barn," meaning, of course, that the work you've put in up until this point is what will be carrying you through the race - not the work you put in on the day of the race itself. Let's dive into a recap of what I've been up to from the second half of last week and this week:

The end of last week stumbled by with Berkeley Lululemon Run Club, Hot Yoga, a 3 mile jaunt, an unintentional Saturday rest day (sometimes real-life is a struggle) and then my first 20+ run of this training cycle.

Sunday 4/27
21 miles
7:43 pace

Monday 4/28
3 miles

Tuesday 4/29
Fever (!!) ..stuck in bed
and this ended up being my evening:
Trader Joe's Salad & Born To Run

Wednesday 4/30
6+ miles tempo
Berkeley Run Club

Thursday 5/1
(make-up from Tuesday)
7 x hill + 2.5 miles there and back

Friday 5/2
5 miles

My long run last weekend was most notable because I was actively trying to regulate my pace as consistently as possible. This was a test-run of what I can hold in my gas tank. Finishing 21 miles in 2 hours and 38 minutes means that even if I drop down to 8:10 minute mile pace for the last 5+ miles, I would still qualify for Boston in under 3:30. You would think I would be STOKED on this realization, but if I'm being honest, as I've vowed to be on this blog, I'm not counting my chickens just yet.

A marathon race is a funny thing because anything can happen. I've seen pulled muscles, over-exhaustion, bonking out, loss of controlled bodily function, tears, vomit, and even heard about a femur snapping in 3 places at mile 12 of a casual half marathon - and the alum from my sorority who I was talking to was only 25 years old when that happened! Basically, a race is crazy little universe all of its own and when you're a marathon race newbie like me, you've got to go into it with nothing but the hay you've put in your barn and the resolve to have the best freaking time you can.

Despite the pain of running my first marathon last year, I can honest-to-goodness say that I had an INCREDIBLE time racing The San Francisco Marathon 2013. My only goal heading into that race was to finish under 4 hours, and coming in over 15 minutes ahead of that was merely the cherry on top of miles and miles of grueling, hilly, totally rad scenery.

For the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon, I'm (1) leaving it all on the course and (2) aiming to finish with a big fat smile on my face. End of story. Those are the only goals.

Other highlights this week include getting our SF Marathon Ambassador GEAR! Check out that short sleeve shirt post-21 miler and the long sleeve I donned at the Giants game on Sunday afternoon last weekend!
Cheesin' in The SF Marathon gear post-21 miles 

Dear ol' dad and me after the Giants game in SF - more TSFM gear in toe
And last but not least, for those of you who made it this far in reading my gobbledygook of a training post, I give to you the progress photos I promised a few weeks ago. In marathon-land, weeks are counted down - not up (at least in my marathon-land) - so that is how the photos should be interpreted. The difference isn't immense, but there is something to be said for getting a bit more lean over time. With the knowledge that each strike of your foot on the ground generates as much as 12x (!!) your body weight in force, you've better believe that every little change counts.

And as exposed, both literally and figuratively, as I feel posting this for the world to see, it is at the same time very liberating. I've put my heart into this - less than a month away from my first competitive marathon race - and I couldn't be more grateful for the body I call home.

From 10 weeks out to 5 weeks out

With leafy greens and hay-bail dreams,

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