Sunday, March 25, 2012

Taper Time!!!

It's hard to believe that a month has gone by since Katie and I spent a fabulous week in Utah during our school break in February. During that four-week period, I raced in a half marathon and a 5k, and racked up 264 miles of solid running. I also had a few little minor injuries (right calf, right adductor, left hip flexor) that cropped up, but have since healed. It's finally time to start my taper, and I feel like I came through 16 solid weeks of marathon training in pretty good shape.

The half marathon, which was the Hyannis Half Marathon, was run under very windy conditions on Cape Cod. Winds were 20-30 mph with higher gusts. I trained through the race, but I still managed to PR by about 45 seconds in 1:24:36. Three weeks later I ran a 5k in Somerville, again training through the race, and finished 4 seconds off my PR in 18:19. I was really hoping to be under 18:00, but it just didn't happen. I feel like I could have gone quite a bit faster in both races if I was doing more speed work, but I was still pleased with my results.

Over the course of my training, which started in December, I have run about 950 miles, and adding in my three taper weeks will put me around 1100 miles. I did miss 11 days of running at the end of January and early February due to a mysterious injury to my left foot that eventually healed itself. It hasn't bothered me since then (knocking on wood!). I'm feeling confident about breaking 3:00, especially after my longest training run yesterday. I started in Hopkinton, ran to the top of Heart Break Hill, then ran back to Newton Center, for a total of 22.64 miles. My average pace was 7:15, and I ran miles 15-21 at goal pace (6:45ish).

The plan for the next three weeks is to reduce my mileage from 74 last week to 56, 43, and then 32 the week before the marathon. I have a 10k next weekend, and I'm targeting 37:30 as the time I'd like to shoot for. This is a race I've done the last three years, but it is in Cohasset on the south shore, and can be windy. The forecast a week from now looks promising, but a lot can change in New England in a week. After all, it was in the 80's last week, but this week is forecasted to only be in the low 50's or upper 40's.

In terms of fundraising, I'm nearly at my goal of $6000. Donations to the Museum of Science can be made through April 6th, which is now less than two weeks away. I need $700 more to reach my goal, and I'm hoping I can get there.

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