I can't believe I'm already at this point in marathon training. It seems like just yesterday I was writing my training schedule.
On Friday night I let the long run (21 miles planned) get into my head a little. I had a few aches and focused a little too much on whether I was hurt vs injured (as my husband puts it). I'm still tired from TIR last weekend and my quads/glutes have been sore all week. I usually love and look forward to the long run, so I tried to positive-think my way out of Negative Town.
I was up at 4:15 on Saturday morning, leaving myself enough time to pack an ice chest and 5 gallon cooler. I planned to run 6ish mile loops with Robin and worried that we would need more water so I took the water cooler to the turnaround point and locked it to a tree (I heard about a cooler being stolen from some friends while they ran a few weeks ago- so wrong!). Just after I arrived at the park to meet Robin, Fiona ran up. She joined us for a little over one loop. The first loop was good. Dark:30 since we started at 5am, but I wanted to get in as many miles as possible before the sun came up. My first Honey Stinger waffle went down easy, and I refilled my handheld bottle with water at the car.
I had trouble eating my waffle at the 2 hour mark, but got at least half of it down. With a couple miles to finish our second loop, I felt this awful stabbing pain in my belly. I tried walking, stretching, and stopping. Nothing helped. It was so bad for the last half mile back to the cars that I couldn't run and it made me feel sick. I knew there was no way I could eat to fuel another 7 miles, much less run them. I felt terrible for leaving Robin to finish the miles alone.
I sat in the car for a few minutes waiting to see if the pain let up but it didn't. I went home, showered, and crashed for a couple hours. When I woke up I felt pretty good so I ate some lunch and got dressed in fresh running clothes. I owed 7 miles. I used one handheld and dropped another behind a tree at the beginning of a trail by my house. It wasn't even boring because lots of people were out walking and running, but I did this short neighborhood trail 3 times. It's mostly shaded so for an 11:30am start, that was appreciated. I didn't have any pains while I ran and finished feeling like I could do more. I would have preferred to do all 21 together but mentally it was far better for me to finish strong than to grind out a death march all in the name of training... Even if I feel like there's an "*" beside my 21 miler. I've told others and I feel the same way about this run- we're bound to have a bad run every now and then. It's good that I got mine out of the way before marathon day.
So, this is it. Now it's this thing called taper. It's funny to listen to all of my marathoner friends give their opinion on taper mileage. It's all different. My weekly mileage is incredibly low for a marathon, but as I've said before, I think this is what works for my body. I'm tired, but not injured. I don't see that I'm going to lose any endurance over the next 2 weeks by tapering more and in the past, even if for only half marathons, I've done my best on very rested legs. So I think my weekly runs, bike session, and strength training will stay the same but my long runs will be cut quite a bit. I feel good about getting to the starting line healthy and rested over having an extra 10 miles during taper.