With one week (ONE!) to go until marathon day, my runs are getting shorter to allow my body time to rest and recover so I am in the best possible shape on race day. It’s stupidly hot in Cayman, even well into October, with ‘real feel’ temps still above 100-degrees during the day. Which of course means I am running my shorter, mid-week runs indoors and the long runs are where I suffer through the heat and humidity. I really am excited for January to get here…
Sunday: Rest day. I really want to just relax on Sundays. We ended up enjoying a fabulous afternoon & evening with friends as we watched a beautiful sunset from the porch of their new place. I was gifted with my ‘celebratory cup’ and the shirt I’ll wear after I cross the finish line (I will be sweaty, and more than anything, aside from maybe a beer, I will want clean, DRY clothes to change into immediately!), along with the gift of confidence in my abilities to not only start, but finish the race. Thanks, Brooke! I’ll look forward to using both gifts when I finish!
Monday: 30 min, bike. A pretty easy bike ride at the gym while I caught up on some reading. I’m not a huge fan of the bike, but it was nice to stretch a few other muscles today. I also did some back exercises as I am quite nervous about how my back will hold up through the race. I usually start feeling some discomfort/pain around 10 miles and it gets progressively worse. By mile 20 a couple weeks ago, I was in real pain. I’m hoping the adrenaline pumping through my veins on race day will help to alleviate some of the pain and allow me to finish relatively pain-free.
Tuesday: 4 mi, 0.5% incline, 6.4mph – 7.5mph. When you think a run should be super easy and fly by, it usually doesn’t. The run overall was easy, but felt like it was taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R. I was trying to envision the course, the spectators and the experience. I may have teared up a few times (stupid taper crazies!). Overall though, it felt fine.
Wednesday: 3.1 mi, 0.5% incline, 6.6mph. A little race pace activity to help my legs feel what that tempo is like. I accidentally put it on an incline and didn’t notice until I was almost done. No wonder I was a bit more winded than normal!
Thursday: 4 mi, mild speed intervals. I couldn’t not do something ‘interesting’ with my run. Just going along at the same pace on a treadmill is so boring. So I took some advice from an article about how to do your taper runs, and it suggested a short run where you had a very easy warm up mile, then a mile at 30 seconds above race pace, then a mile at 30 seconds below race pace. I finished off with the 30 seconds above race pace, and felt great.
Friday: Rest day with 2.5 miles of walking on the beach with the turtle volunteers. Much like marathon training is winding down, so is turtle nesting season. Only a few turtles are nesting, and the bulk of the nests laid earlier in the summer have hatched. It has been almost a record year overall for sea turtle nests in Cayman, and I am privileged to have been a part of helping.
Saturday: 8 miles, 9:38 overall pace. My last long run before next week’s ‘big day.’ It was kind of a bittersweet moment for me, realizing that, while this would not be my last long run ever, it was the last long run before the marathon. How crazy to think that my training has come to this! It seems like registering back in March the actual event would never get here, and yet here it is. I set out with the goal to enjoy, and in general I felt great! Which was such a booster after last week’s terrible 12 miler. I did have a strange ‘cramp’ in my foot for more than six miles, which someone said is more of the taper crazies coming out. Whatever it was, I made the choice to keep it in the back of my mind while I got on with the run. I had four miles to myself to contemplate the whole training thing, then met with my husband to enjoy the last four miles together (which didn’t quite happen due to finding a credit card on the ground at the golf club. Chris then took it inside and told me to keep going. We were separated until he could catch up with me.). It was a liberating run for me as well as a contemplative run. I’ve found excitement again in this whole marathon next Sunday (NEXT WEEK!), which is something I had been lacking the last week or so due to the nerves coming out. I’m as ready physically as I can be at this point, so all I can say now is ‘BRING IT!’
Total running miles: 19.1 mi