In five days, I’ll be done with my first big goal race of the 2013 season. Final preparations, resting, foam rolling, and race-pace-specific runs are all underway this week, and even the race organizers are on board with the countdown.
Those kind of messages in advance of your goal race can drive you batty, stirring up feelings of dread and anxiety as your goal race draws closer and closer. But this time? I don’t have any of that. I just have a consistent level of relaxed happiness about the opportunity to go and meet my goal time after months of focused training.
Part of this, I think, is familiarity with the process for tapering for endurance races. Early last week, I was absolutely exhausted, and slept more in a 48 hour period than I have in ages. My swimming was slow, running didn’t feel so great, and I had aching lumbar muscles. And, as expected, after my body enjoyed the opportunity to rest, my running started to shape up into something great. At the end of the week, I clicked off a slew of sub-9 miles with minimal effort, and now sit just a few days away from 26.2 miles that I know I can cover at a pace that will make me happy.
Now we just have to keep our eyes on the weather, which currently shows nearly ideal temperatures…
…and pray to The Flying Spaghetti Monster for minimal headwinds on Saturday.
Monday: A 3500 meter swim in the evening, which was particularly sluggish and un-fun. I’d been out of the water for three days in a row, which is a lot for me, and I felt especially uncoordinated with every stroke. Swim improvement is clearly one of the top priorities post-marathon, especially given my swim-heavy spring race schedule.
Tuesday: A 5.75 mile treadmill “track” workout in the morning, with 3x1600m at marathon (8:49/mile) pace and 3x400 fast (7:18/mile). Hopped on a plane to Florida for a work trip in the afternoon, and got in early enough to sleep a ridiculous amount of time that night.
Wednesday: Rest day. As much as I usually love getting in a good training session before being stuck in business meetings all day, I really enjoyed the extra sleep in the morning. Along with more sleep on the flight home that evening.
Thursday: A 4100 yard swim workout in the evening, mainly involving 400s at right around 1:25/100 yard pace.
Friday: The very last long run of the marathon training cycle. 11 fairly effortless miles at an average pace of 8:55. Game on.
Saturday: 4000 meters of swimming with DCRP, including some pretty speedy 100s, where we repeatedly hit sub-1:30s in long course meters.
Sunday: The first brick of the season. 1:15 on the bike trainer, holding a steady average power of 130 W, followed by 3.35 miles of running at 8:57/mile pace. Since this clearly extrapolates perfectly to my expected performance at IM Mont Tremblant, I’m planning for a sub-4 hour marathon there, too.
Maybe. Or maybe not.