It’s one week until my upcoming half marathon. And that means it time for the taper. As the Hall of Fame high school coach Jim Linhares used to tell us towards the end of the cross country season, “The Hay is in the barn, boys!” And while I know I’ve put in a lot of good work training for the train and will be ready to go next Saturday, I always find that in the final week before a race, the less I run the more nervous energy I have. I start wondering if I’m too tired or if I’m not tired enough. I think I should eat less because I’m running less and don’t want to gain extra pounds before the race, but also I should make sure to eat enough to stay strong. And at some point during the week, I think for a moment that my foot, or calf, or hamstring hurts more than it should and that it’s going to affect my race.
Luckily I’ve experienced these feelings enough times to know that they don’t really matter and that I’ll make it to the starting line next week. I’ve learned to realize that feeling crappy on your first day off of running in a month, doesn’t mean you’re losing fitness, it just means your in great shape because your body wants even more miles. Sometimes it’s tough not to feed the beast those miles during the taper week. But at this point it’s always better to be well rested going into a race, then to try to squeeze in a little extra fitness (Side note: It’s also probably not great to take a month to taper into your race. Too long of a taper can cost you your sharpness)
One week to go. Hope to post some good results on here in 7 days!
The last big workout was at the end of last week (two weeks out from the race) 8 x cruise miles. Headed to the WashU track with John T and by the time when we got back from our warm up, we found out we weren’t alone at the track. The pride of St. Louis, Stephen Pifer, was on the track with Danny Stults and Rich Anderson (on the stopwatch) running some speed workout. It was great having a bit of a crowd out there and pretty neat to get to watch Pifer roll around the track looking smooth. While those guys were rolling up some quarters, 300’s, and 200 reps, Thompson and I started our miles. Thompson helped get me through 5 reps. We started out with a 5:07 and by the last rep I worked it down to 4:51, with the last five reps at 5 flat or under. 80 seconds rest between reps. I have always liked this workout because I can lock into a smooth but quick pace. I’m feeling confident about next weeks race, just need Saturday to get here!