This past week was the final "hard week" of running before taper mode going into the Hospital Hill re-run in two weeks. It meant the dreaded last double-digit run. For me, it was the 10-miler on Friday morning.
I don't know about you fellow long distance runners out there, but the final double-digit run before a half or full marathon is just plain dreadful. You spend weeks upon weeks building up to longer distances (10-22 milers, depending on the race you're training for), so you'd think that a "measly" 10-miler to finish out a successful training plan would be a piece of cake.
And it's all mental for me. I know it's the last push before easing back on the miles and intensity for the next two weeks. I'm just ready to get it over with. And this past Friday didn't disappoint.
I typically spend Saturday mornings running long. This week - due to husband's weekend work schedule - I needed to make sure to get it in by Friday morning. I went out a bit later than usual, right before a major thunderstorm, which meant it was super muggy, warming up, and the sun was in and out of the clouds. I found it hard to breathe and had to do more walking than I'd hope for, but the words of my favorite Coach Jenny Hadfield kept going through my mind - adjust to the elements, adjust to the elements, adjust to the elements. I slugged through the 10.3-mile run and averaged between 8:45-9:00 min/miles even with the walking, so I wasn't too disappointed.
The best part about the run (other than finishing it!)? Breaking out my awesome Run Like a Mother shirt!
This week kicks off the two-week taper. These next two weeks I'm trying my hardest to be in bed no later than 10 p.m. each night. The goal is to actually be reading in bed around 9:30 so I'm ready to sleep by 10. I'm lacking in the sleep department and have been for several weeks now. I'm finding it hard for me to shut my mind off and get to sleep - part of that is because I'm up too late watching tv, working on projects on my computer, etc. I need to step away from the electronics by 9 p.m. or so to give my brain a chance to settle down!
So besides the extra shut-eye (which is one of the greatest parts of any training plan!), I'm also going to stay super hydrated in this warm and muggy weather. Here's what is on tap for the training plan this week ahead:
WEEK #13 ADVANCED HALF MARATHON TRAINING PLAN:
Monday: 40 min easy with strength training
Tuesday: Speed D workout - Tempo (WU 5-10 min; Tempo 30 min; CD 5-10 min)
Wednesday: XT 40 min with strength training
Thursday: 40 min with 4x striders
Friday: 40 min easy
Saturday: 7 miles
Sunday: Usually it's a rest day, but because it's my BIRTHDAY I just have to run! :) Distance will be a birthday decision.
Hospital Hill runners, we're almost there! Enjoy these next two weeks of taper - and stick to your plan. Don't over-compensate or over-do it, despite what your crazy mind is telling you!