Last Long Run and Tapering

Well it happened – I ran my last long training run for the Vermont City Marathon this past weekend…and I lived to tell!

With a 22 mile run planned, I was more than happy that I would be running it in upstate NY rather than around Central Park again. My last 20-miler in CP was great, but I needed a break from the park.

So I headed upstate by train on Friday and was out the door by 8:15 a.m. on Saturday morning for my last long training run.

Since my last run went so well without my waterbelt, I wanted to try that approach again. I have really been hating that belt this training season, so I planned to carry a small bottle of water with me from my parent’s house and then stop at my friend’s house about halfway through to pick up another bottle.

My run began and it was the perfect temperature, overcast, and I felt pretty good. I planned a tough route with a bunch of major hills, but at this point I was feeling ready for it.

Here was my route:

I covered A LOT of ground. From Latham to Watervliet to Loudonville and back to Latham. I felt really great during the first 12 or so miles of this run. The second half of my run was MUCH slower, but I also had some major hills, so it’s kind of understandable. Here are my splits:

I included the elevation so you can see how huge some of the hills were. Mile 13 was the biggest and that hill is slightly insane. And me not taking my water belt worked out. I carried a small (8 oz.) water bottle filled with some NUUN water with me and drank it all by about mile 8. Then I stopped at my friend’s house around mile 12.5 to grab a second larger bottle. That got me through to about mile 20.

Overall, I am pretty happy with my last long run. I was hoping to keep all my miles slightly under a 9 minute pace, but with some of the hills I added, it just really wasn’t possible.

But I finished feeling pretty strong and my parents even commented that it didn’t look like I had just run 22 miles. They have seen me looking pretty awful after some runs, so that was a good sign.

The rest of the weekend was busy but also relaxed – I got to see some family and friends. I also did a short shake-out run on Sunday (4.5 miles) to bring my weekly mileage total to a record (for me) 50.34 miles! That is my new weekly distance record. I wasn’t so sure I was going to make it, but I got there. Pretty impressed with my 50-mile week!

And you know what that means… it’s time to TAPER!! The taper has commenced this week, and as usual, I have no desire to run at all. I need to remind myself that taper does not mean “stop running altogether.” The dreary weather really doesn’t help matters, but I’m just also feeling really lazy.

I skipped out on Monday’s run and then Tuesday night I managed 4 miles on the treadmill at the gym. I’m supposed to hit 34 miles this week and I’ll be lucky if I get to 25. Ugh – my motivation is apparently lost.

I know that some runners really hate tapering and have a hard time with it, but I feel like I go the opposite way. I want to take the taper to the extreme a just take a break. I’ll have to push myself not to become a totally lazy this week.

What about you – if you are a marathon – do you enjoy the taper, have a hard time with it, or take the taper too far ever?

Happy hump day all!

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2 responses to “Last Long Run and Tapering

  1. I always welcome the taper when it gets there. A little reward for all the hard work. The last few days of it, however, start to wear on me. Glad you were able to kick yours off feeling so good!

  2. marathon winer

    umm holy crap youre FAST!!!! congrats again!!! have you posted your goals for vermont?? also, for some reason ive HATED a water belt this training cycle as well–water belt and fuel on the run have been pretty much nonexistent for me, which is weird. thank goodness central park has some fountains though! awesome that you could park a bottle at a friends place :)

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