Today, I boarded the train from Taper Town!
It’s an express train. It usually takes two or three weeks to get from there to the marathon, but I’ll do it in just one week.
Today was my last long run before Chicago, and I am happy it’s behind me.
No matter how many of them I’ve done, I’ll never stop getting nervous about long runs. Will my stomach cooperate? My legs? My skin, against chafing?
My master plan for today was this: run 7 miles, run a half, brunch. I woke up at 5:30 to do this with plans to leave at 6:30, and when I looked at my clock to leave, it was after 7. EFF. How did that happen? I ran up approximately 3 miles to the start in Central Park and knew I’d have to get mileage in after the race.
I was lucky enough to find a friend in the corrals, and I ended up running the first loop of the race with her. Grete’s Gallop is two loops of Central Park, which is tough and hilly. I had no real strategy other than to take it easy and practice fueling. I felt fine during the first loop, other than the impending doom of doing it all over again, but by the second loop, the wheels began to fall off. My left leg began cramping a bit and my low back started feeling tight. My stomach began to hurt a little. I walked several times between miles 10 and the finish.
The entire time I thought, you think this is hard? Hey, remember that marathon you’re running next weekend?
I finished the race in 2:06, for a 9:40 pace, which is around where I wanted to be.
As soon as I crossed the finish line, my everything tensed up. I got nervous about running an extra 4 and began some inner bargaining. “Well, as long as you run 2, you’ve built up to more than last week!” By this time, my back was really tight, so I didn’t want to push it. I told myself I’d run at least two miles, but preferably three. I had brunch plans on the UES, so I ran all the way east, then north and west. My back felt better on flat land, but I’m glad I didn’t push it too hard.
How do YOU deal with the taper crazies?!