Monday, September 24, 2012

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Fifteen - The Taper Begins

This week went by so fast and the Chicago Marathon is getting closer and closer.  It was the first week of my taper.  Here is the breakdown:

Monday: 50 minute Easy Run - 3.48 miles
Tuesday: 44 minute XT - Bike Ride 6.72 miles
Wednesday: Tempo A Run with Five Stride Drills - 3.82 miles
Thursday: REST
Friday: 10 mile Long Run
Saturday: REST
Sunday: 15 minute XT - Stretching/Yoga

Monday I took a new route around my neighborhood which was a nice change of pace.  My legs were still a bit tight and sore from the big 21 miler last weekend, but it was a pretty good run.  Getting out to run at an easy pace was what they needed.  It was nice, cool morning too.

I decided run errands and get in my workout by biking Tuesday morning.  I went to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. 

I was off work Wednesday and went to Chick's Night at the Lincoln Square Fleet Feet.  I general I like working out in the morning so it isn't hanging over my head at the end of the day.  The Chick's Nights are always fun to go to if I get a chance though.  Sometimes it takes some motivation to get out of the house, but once I get out there I usually have great runs.  I ran the Tempo A workout which was 10 minutes easy, 20 at tempo, and 10 minutes easy.  I finished up with five stride drills as well.  I kept a nice fast pace and felt good throughout the run.  It was cool outside and I ran without my headphones.  I was kind of surprised at how good I felt running at a faster pace.  The last 10 minutes easy weren't as "easy" as they should have been.  I had a hard time slowing down.  I did a bit, but maybe not as much as I should have.  
After the run two sports psychologists came to to speak.  They talked about the role your attitude plays in during a workout, how to deal with injuries, and the importance of good nutrition during training.  

After a rest day Thursday I woke up early Friday to get in 10 miles.  I had to work early Saturday morning so Friday was the best day to get in my long run.  I fueled pre run with 3/4 chocolate chip Clif bar and water.  It was chilly outside when I started, but after a mile it was perfect for running.  I ran out to the lake, around the marina, and looped back to my neighborhood.  

I took my mini walk breaks every two miles and fueled with a fruit strip, chews, water, and G2 every 30 minutes or so.  In comparison to last week my long run felt easy and was over in no time.  Ten miles is a long distance on foot, but it is so strange and awesome that it felt easy.  I guess that's was marathon training does though.  

I cooled down with some walking and stretching before stopping at one of my favorite breakfast places called Over Easy.  I seriously love it.  I got the Damen Ave Omelet, which is filled with goat cheese, mushrooms, and spinach, with a short stack of pancakes.  
The long run was a great start to my day.  I had a good day at work coordinating my first large group.  Plus I got the free cupcake at Sprinkles which was neapolitan: vanilla cake with strawberry frosting dipped in chocolate ganache.  It was delicious.

I was going to cross train Saturday, but after a day at work I so did not feel like it and just couldn't motivate myself.  Sunday I had to go in quite early, however I set my alarm to get up to do some yoga.  I was tired though and got up later so I only could do ten minutes of yoga and stretching before I had to get ready for work.  Before bed I also did a few more yoga poses for my legs.  

After work Sunday I went to Fleet Feet Chicago's Breaking the Wall Seminar.  They had a great group of panelist which included Chicago Marathon director Carey Pinkowski, Olympians Magdalena Lewy-Boulet and Evan Jager, nutrition expert Monique Ryan, running coach Mike Norman, and Chief Running Officer for Runner's World Magazine Bart Yasso.  They gave us tips of how to prepare mentally and nutritionally for the race.  It was an informational and inspirational seminar and it was cool to hear from all the panelists.  
Kind of fuzzy picture of the panel.
It was nice to have an easier week of training after all the previous weeks.  The next two weeks the mileage and time on my feet decreases even more.  This is nice because I will have more free time, but also makes me a bit anxious.  I have been thinking about the race a lot, and everything seems a bit surreal.  I can't believe it is getting so close!  I don't really know how to describe how I am feeling.  I'm excited, but it is like I am in limbo just waiting for this huge race.  The next two weeks are all about preparing mentally, eating well, staying healthy, making lists, and organizing my race plans.  I still haven't decided what I am going to wear - I've got to figure that out!