Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ready to Run


I'm as ready as I'm going to be. I did all the training. I just don't feel like I did. I guess I just worked a lot harder for my Ironman than I did for this marathon. But now it's Race Week, and I'm in full taper. It must be working--I'm nervous and jittery. I hope it goes well. Tomorrow, I fly to San Francisco to race in the Nike Women's San Francisco Marathon (Sunday). It will be hilly and hard. Gulp.

When I started training for this, I went a little nuts. Full of energy and still peaking after Ironman Arizona in April, I hit it verrry hard for a few months, trying to push my limits. For the first 9 weeks or so, I trained like a triathlete. I refused to give up my bike and swim and trained with Brent and other IMAZ-November buddies, in addition to my marathon-training. This proved to be too much for me. After my "Death Swim", I was a broken woman. After the Camp Pendleton Sprint Triathlon in August, it hit me: I was overtrained.

I took some well-deserved time off (weeks 16-19) before focusing specifically on the marathon. This turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. I backed off on my bike and swim, using it solely as cross-training. In other words, I trained for the marathon like a runner, not a triathlete, which is probably what I should have done in the first place. I also upped my weights and Yoga. Since I had reached 18 miles for my long run before taking the time off, I still had a huge running base to draw from. I started back (week 18) with a Prep week, only running 10 miles for a long run. But the next week, realizing time was running out, I upped my long run to 18 miles, probably not the wisest idea. But I ran very slowly, stretched and took an ice bath afterwards, and escaped from the workout injury-free. This put me back on track. I knocked out my 20 mile run the next week, sandwiched in the Heartbreak Ridge Half Marathon (which I used as a quick tempo run) the week after that, and followed this up with a final 20-mile long run. I began a gradual 3-week taper. However, I only backed off of my long run in taper week 1, shortening the 20 miles to 16 miles but focused on adding speedwork to the 16-miler. These last 2-weeks, I've been tapering pretty hard, focusing on rest and recovery. I feel like a great big lazy-ass. Jittery, full of energy, just where I should be when a taper is in full effect. The purpose of my workouts now are to loosen my muscles, remind my feet how to move, and sleep well at night. So there it is folks. My marathon training plan. I guess I did the work. I did several 16s and 18s and 2 20s. I just hope my body remembers how to do 26.2 on race day.



It's been a long season. This will be my final race for 2008, my final race as a 30-year old. To be honest, I'm looking forward to my off season. I need the rest. 2009 is already promising to be a killer race season.





13 comments:

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

I hope you have a great final race of your season! Enjoy the SF views.

RoadBunner said...

Good luck this Sunday! I'll be thinking of all you full marathoners when I peel off at mile 13. Hopefully I can make it back out to the course to cheer everyone else home. It sounds to me like you're ready to have a great race!

Diana said...

Being new to this running world, what does it mean to be a taper??? Help us newbies understand! I hope to do a half-marathon next year, this year I accomplished my first sprint tri and loved it, so next year shooting for the moon!
Thanks and best of luck in the race.

Sara said...

Have fun on Sunday! You never really had an off season last year with IM and now Marathon training right? So I think you definitely deserve one!

Wes said...

You work real hard, Rach, but you are also very smart!! Good luck in your race this weekend. I know you will do well!!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Best wishes at the marathon this weekend!

Steph said...

Hi Rachel- Thanks for posting on my rubber stamp man entry on my blog :) I really enjoy reading your blog - it is an inspiring and enjoyable read. Good luck this weekend at your marathon!!

Kevin said...

Good luck this weekend! Ease into the run!

Kate said...

I sense a rocking marathon in your future! Have a fantastic time :)

TriStyleGirl said...

Good Luck this weekend! I'd love to be in Cali!

Paul said...

Good luck!! Can't wait to see how it goes.

beth said...

wow! it's RACE time! hopefully you are getting this in the morning and are ready to go. have a great day. enjoy your accomplishment and the journey you took to get there!

Sherry said...

I'll be thinking about you today. Hope your first 'stand-alone' marathon is a wonderful experience. Looking forward to your race report!