MarathonMaiden's Blog

March 14, 2010

Pi Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:53

I was facing a bit of writer’s block (I know crazy right considering how much I ramble in my posts! Ha) but I was re-reading some of the comments over the past few days and I figured that I’d talk a little bit about the next 5 weeks.  Because Boston is 36 days away.  AKA 5 weeks from tomorrow.

My plan has me set up for a 3 week taper.  Meaning that the next 2 weeks will be wicked intense.  I’ve thought about tune-up races and honestly had a couple penciled into my schedule.  Unfortunately time and money made this impossible.  Both Kristen and Rebecca mentioned that running a tune-up race would help with any jitters and give me a realistic goal of what to expect. I 100% agree.

Last cycle I didn’t do this at all and really wanted to incorporate it this time around.  But like I said….life sometimes just gets in the way. There was (well is I guess as it’s still going on) a St. Patty’s 10k that I was thinking of doing with a friend this weekend but again, time and money.  Always the story.  Plus, I wasn’t comfortable committing to a race when I didn’t know what was going on with my ankle / shin (hopefully I’ll have more info after tomorrow) and I missed the deadline to register. I am registered for this 20 mile race at the end of the month though (with Lacey!).  That’s at the end of Week 4, just leading into the taper.

Speaking of. Heh. But first the next two weeks are going to be intense.  Now, I’m not one to peak ahead during my plans so I can’t tell you without looking myself what exactly I’m facing, but obviously: 2 very hard intervals (I do believe though that this upcoming week is either mile or 2000m repeats. I did look but I forgot ha!), 2 hard tempos, a LR of about 17-19 miles and another one of 20-23 (which will be that race).  So the second half of Monster Month is going to be intense.  But then again, the whole damn cycle has been intense. What else is new?

The plan calls for a 3 week taper with the first of those weeks being more of a cut back and the next 2 being much more so. I’ll be upfront here and say that last cycle I didn’t really do the taper all that well. Yes, I did cut way back but not as much as people would advise. So I can probably say right now that I likely will suck at the taper this cycle too.

That said, I’ve been thinking about the taper a lot more lately.  Mostly because I’m really feeling the intensity of my training at this point in the cycle.  As much as I think my funk two weeks ago was a result of school stress and weather I’m sure my huge miles played a role.  So I’m sure my body is eagerly awaiting the taper (and the massage I had scheduled for tomorrow. Holllleeeerrrrr). My mind? Yes that too.

I’m also wondering what constitutes a taper for someone who is running as many miles as me.  Obviously a cut-back is necessary for the taper but to what degree? I’ve never heard (or maybe I have but it never sunk in) about how much to cut back. I’m peaking at 100+ miles (done 3 weeks of them already over the training cycle) sooooo does my taper look like a 30% reduction (to 70 miles? Likely not, that seems like a lot), 40% (to 60?). Do I go by half? Like I’ve already said, I “sucked” at tapering last time around.  I think that my peak was 72 miles and the 7 days before my marathon (which didn’t suck at all btw) was 42 miles (that works out to a 40% reduction)

As Amarathoner noted: I’m a very go-go-go person who thrives on being busy.  I know this and I also know that the weeks of the taper will be very busy school wise as I try to piece together my capstone project in order to graduate.  So I know I’m not going to be sitting around twiddling my thumbs.  I doubt that taper madness will take over or anything. I definitely didn’t experience that last time around and I think that part of it was that the semester was gearing up for finals and I had plenty to keep my mind occupied on.

So there you have it.  I guess I don’t have anything definitive in this post.  Mostly musings haha.  But it was helpful to get some of these ideas flushed out and to form some ideas on them.  Any thoughts and insight would be appreciated as like I’ve continually said: I’m a very inexperienced racer.

As for a quick blurb (maybe) about today. First off: Happy Pi Day! Yes I’m a nerd.  And yes I’m disappointed that Pi day has ALWAYS fallen on spring break so I cannot celebrate with my fellow nerds.

It’s also DST.  Hopefully y’all remembered to set your clocks ahead an hour.  I did but apparently my phone (which have always automatically reset itself in the past) decided to not last night.  No biggie as it’s Sunday and I’m on break but it was annoying to wake up when I thought I wanted to but really have it be an hour ahead.  Now my brain is all confuzzled.

It’s also monsooning out.  The drizzle from yesterday has turned into a monsoon.  Not cool.  I’m glad that I went outside yesterday and had a kind-of-crappy but kind-of-awesome run (BTW: Thanks for all your  kind comments about that run.  It made me feel really good and perked me up a bit. And I just calculated my average pace for the week and the “crappy” LR didn’t impact me as much as I thought! And yes numbers obsessed = that being important to me ha) because there was no way I was getting out there today.  Treadmill time (and likely tomorrow. Boo. Send some good weather vibes my way?).

I’m pretty sure I pushed a little too hard pace wise for a recovery run (started at 9:00 pace and ended at 8:15) but I wasn’t feeling bad.  A little calf soreness and absolutely nothing with the shin (I was a bit sore last night because after my run I did not move my body once so everything stiffened up as I headed to bed haha). And Tmart: while it wasn’t a rest day it was a severe cutback from my normal Sunday routine.  A start, no? Which I haven’t run the total numbers yet BUT this week was a monster of a week!

Hope everyone is having a very relaxing Sunday.  There’s something about the rain that makes productivity go right out the window so I haven’t gotten much done.  I think I’m going shopping tonight though? That counts right? 😉

And checkout this giveaway from Have Faith

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24 Comments »

  1. Ahh 20 mile race!! That sounds exciting 🙂 ENJOY the massage too! (Not the rain, I’ve heard about it from the parents in NY) Not cool.

    Comment by Running on Faith — March 14, 2010 @ 18:50

  2. I think alot of taper is listening to your body. I’ve never thought about if there is an exact ‘perscription’ for amount to cut back. I’ve heard though that less is always more. Like if you think “should I run 10 or 15 miles?” you should run the 10. So where you would normally push the upper limit during the middle of a training cycle, you should do the opposite during taper. Just my .02 sense. I’m admittedly pretty bad at it as well!

    Glad you were able to find some balance in your ‘easy-er’ day on the treadmill! I may have to do the same tomorrow if this crazy wind/rain keeps up around here!

    Comment by tmart — March 14, 2010 @ 19:58

  3. i totally forgot about pi day! annnd now i want some pie…

    boston will be only my second marathon too, and my taper last time was just kind of like “run less! now run way less!” so i don’t have much insight to offer you on that haha. it is weird actually being at the point of training where taper is CLOSE though! 36 days to boston, really? eek! but if you had a good race after whatever taper you did last time, i’d stick with something similar…although obviously take into account the fact that your max mileage went up by 30 miles haha 🙂

    Comment by HurdlingHam — March 14, 2010 @ 20:03

  4. Great post. I’m glad you are thinking so far ahead about the taper. You’ve been beasting since November or whenever the double digit streak started, so it’s important to get the proper rest … I know you already know this. What if you also asked your school’s T&F, cross country coach about how much to cut back? Didn’t you say s/he ran Boston? FWIW, my suggestion is 50s and then really drop it for the last 2 weeks. Your legs will be uber primed.

    Comment by a marathoner — March 14, 2010 @ 20:20

  5. oh tapers….you know, occasionally i get antsy during my taper (but not this time)…and I second what T-mart said. It’s about listening to your body! And, with as much running as you do, you can listen and know.

    Comment by pen (pen at peace) — March 14, 2010 @ 21:33

  6. i think you’ll have to get taper/rest ideas from high milers like yourself. i think the 2 “LR” you do during taper though should still be medium long. 12-15 and 8-13. i think you need to keep checking in with yourself if you feel “rested” but still “energized”. i can’t wait to see how you do your taper and how it makes you feel and gets you ready for the race!!!!

    Comment by Lacey — March 14, 2010 @ 23:08

  7. You need to consider the taper of a training cycle just as important as the ‘beef’ of it. Feeling rested and ready is reallllyyyyy important.

    About the 20 mile race- awesome! I’ve never raced that distance, so I’m really curious to read your thoughts on it. I’m sure you’ll do great!

    Comment by Rebecca — March 15, 2010 @ 04:24

  8. Yeah shopping counts 😛 we all need our groceries (and new clothes…!)

    Comment by Laura — March 15, 2010 @ 06:41

  9. Hey Chick! You might want to random over to my blog…y’know just saying…I want to thank you for always still reading me even though I barely have time to comment anymore – I still read :)…!!!

    Comment by eatmovelove — March 15, 2010 @ 08:33

  10. I agree with everyone else who said listen to your body and air on the side of caution. Rest during the taper is just as important (even if it’s harder) than really pushing yourself during the intense weeks leading up to it. Obviously you’re not going to cut down to nothing, but you want to antsy and ready to go on race day, not just okay and out for another long run.

    Comment by EarlyRunner — March 15, 2010 @ 09:41

  11. I’ve never ran a marathon, but I can definitely see how a taper would bug me… I itch to run on rest days usually, and I don’t even do nearly what you do! I can only imagine the free time of not running 15+ everyday…

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — March 15, 2010 @ 09:47

  12. So what you’re saying is you didn’t eat pie at 1:59 PM. Disappointing, K. Oh, wait, I didn’t either.

    If I had any clue how to advise you, I would. But I’m a poser.

    Comment by EE — March 15, 2010 @ 10:18

  13. Rain absolutely makes productivity go out the window! I just want to sit in front of the TV when it is raining.

    This weird DST thing has totally thrown me off my schedule! I need a week to acclimate. 🙂

    Comment by Ameena — March 15, 2010 @ 10:30

  14. OHHHhhhh my gosh you have no idea how much i LOVED the word TAPER back in the days of swimming…..BUT nowadays I donno if I can handle “resting”….I’m sooooo excited for you that the season is quickly coming to the final weeks of INTENSE training!! I’m sure you will (secretly) LOVE these hard 2-weeks! 😉 you are a ROCKSTAR and will do amazingly during this stage of hard training runs! I can’t wait for you to hit the pavement at Boston!! whoop whoop!! maybe next year ill come run that marathon w/ u!?! ahaha!! I hope you have a fabulous monday my gorgeous girlie/sista!! xoxo!

    Comment by Lizzy — March 15, 2010 @ 11:20

    • OMG please please please come run a marathon with me?! That would be amazing hahah!!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 15, 2010 @ 18:44

  15. I think I would have a terribly hard time with a serious taper..one of the reasons I am not super-eager to do a marathon. Just too much to think about for me. One thing I do remember reading in some running related article was to really decrease mileage, but keep intensity high until the very end. That might mediate some of the stir-crazy.

    Comment by sarah — March 15, 2010 @ 12:00

  16. Taper is going to be very difficult for you, but you have to do it. It’s good that you’re thinking about it now because you can get mentally prepared to cut wayyy back.

    Comment by runjess — March 15, 2010 @ 14:35

  17. Interesting thoughts on the taper. And I wish I had some words of wisdom, but alas…I don’t. I have no idea what it would be like to run 100mpw. It blows my mind. That said, have you checked out the book “Advanced Marathoning”? It might be able to help you figure out the taper. Just a thought…

    Comment by runningfiance — March 15, 2010 @ 15:53

  18. OK, I am just guessing on this, but I would think a 3-week taper might go something like 3/29-4/3: 75-80 mi (long of 18), 4/4-4/11: 60 mi (long of 13), 4/12-4/18: 40 miles, then 26.2 on 4/19?

    Comment by kristinschleicher — March 15, 2010 @ 16:49

    • Great suggestions. I’m going to write this on a post it 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 15, 2010 @ 18:45

  19. I don’t even put in a fraction of the miles you do, b/c if I did, I’d be sporting one injury after another, but I think taper is all relative the amt you’re currently doing. The key to the taper is to rest the legs and fuel the body full of glycogen so you ran run strong and hard in the marathon. I rarely ever do a full 3-week taper and really do more of a 2.5 week one but I’m coming off a 4week monster lung crud which left me pretty much mile-less so I really don’t have a lot to taper off of. I was taught in my coaching class that you cut the miles in half each week of the taper…but keep the intensity up. So from 100 to 50 to 25, and a few miles the last week with the race on Monday. Always do some intervals, but shorten the distance of these each week, too! Just something to think about, we’re all an experiment of one :). 5 weeks from today we’ll be DONE!!! Yea!

    Comment by Jill — March 15, 2010 @ 18:19

  20. […] not sure if I can mentally handle going into the taper 5 weeks from the race.  Like I said yesterday, I’m not sure I can wrap my head around a 3 week taper. But rest assured, I’m not going […]

    Pingback by Spring Break? Really? You Don’t Say « MarathonMaiden's Blog — March 15, 2010 @ 18:33

  21. I am a strong believer in taper as well as running slower and then racing faster. I have been witness to it first hand as I did that in college track and peaked at the perfect time! My thoughts on taper is that for distance you dont lost the intensity but you reduce the miles. I think that your body needs to remember the intensity (until like a few days before the race then you rest ya know). So idk im not a marathon taper girl so this is just from what I have done in track when I was racing the 800m and average about 12 miles a week and never ran anything over a 600m for practice intervals or distnace training! talk about a weird way to train but i guess that sorta goes with the marathon. OK this comment looks like your post, long and rambling! lol just kidding i love reading your posts!

    Comment by J — March 16, 2010 @ 08:14

    • I think the general consensus and advice that gets passed around in the miles go down, intensity stays the same. Good to know that it works for multiple distances!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — March 16, 2010 @ 20:04


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