Monday, April 09, 2007

On Second Thought, I Don't Need a Fix

So, the taper continues. After 4 weeks in a row of 63-67 miles, I dropped down to 58 two weeks ago and *gulp* just 40 last week. This week I should be right around 34. I think to some extent I have become a running addict. In between quality days, I've been only running 4 miles which is like hair of the dog to get me through to the next day. You don't realize how dependent you become on the endorphins. It's weird. By the end of last week I was feeling antsy and lethargic. Another interesting thing is that I suddenly became conscious of how much I was eating at yesterday's family Easter parties. I haven't worried about it much in a long long time, but halfway to the counter with the goodies on it I pictured having to lug extra weight around in Boston. Oh, no. That cadbury egg is definitely not worth that! I turned around and walked well out of arm's reach of that stuff. But, in doing so I missed the days of 20 milers in the cold and snow. Those were the days to bake cookies, I'll tell you! I never gave one of those suckers a second thought then. Waaa. Accountability stinks.

But the taper is definitely good for something. My legs feel pretty good. They are still feeling like they are in the process of healing, but I am running about 30 seconds faster per mile at my easy effort. Always a good sign! I also was fine after the half-marathon--the 4 mile recovery run in yesterday's weather phenomenon that shall not be named was just insurance. Tomorrow I have one last track workout and after that it will be all easy stuff with maybe a few strides to stay fresh until Boston.

I have to say I feel like I'm a little in denial that one week from now I will be hobbling somewhere in Massachusetts (that doesn't look right--did I butcher the spelling?). I am excited, but I think running a race just for the fun of it last weekend really helped temper my anxiety. Even races that we really race don't have to be this serious teeth-clenching gut-wrenching experience (and why bother if that's what they are?!). That race made me remember I need to keep the joy I experience from running on the forefront of my mind, rather than letting it slip behind worry and doubts and fear. It's easy to loose sight of that joy with split watching and time goals and worrying about all the things that could impede the reaching of the goal time. Sure, to do well you have to be tough and gut through some pain along the way, but I really enjoy that part and know I'm tough enough to handle whatever it is. And on top of that I have really enjoyed this training cycle. I got through long runs in horrid conditions and made peace with the treadmill and overcame some nagging aches and pains and learned that running with others can be great and sometimes it can be annoying. I ran 60 mile weeks much more effortlessly than last training cycle and with one week to go I feel pretty darn good. And when you get right down to it, I'm about to participate in one of the greatest sporting events in the world! So, it's still pretty rad just being here.


Ginger Breadman said...

It's great that you can look back at your journey and see what you've gained from it. Without the journey, there'd be no destination. It sounds like you're going to have a great race at Boston.

GP said...

Your positive attitude is really important for your race, and for impressionable folk around here too ;-)

I'm really grateful for your advice and reinforcement. Sometimes it's difficult to tell (with me!), but your guidance is really helping combat the misguided notions of training ingrained in my head since childhood. But that's another story.

What's more is that my younger step-sister has just started running — she maxes out around 1.5-2 miles right now — and I have been able to pass along much sage advice. Apparently she has that "if I'm not running 7-minute miles then it doesn't matter if I finish mile 2" mindset too. But we're coming to understand that we really need to reverse our logic!

Having an experienced person to back up my knowledge-passing has really helped her as well!

And while sacrificing Easter treats is tough, remember that you'll have to reward yourself with treats after THE marathon. Get yourself some cannoli, gelato and tiramisu at Mike's Pastry in North End! I may not be able to offer running words of wisdom, but I do know dessert in most major cities.

If there's a line, tell everyone you just ran the flippin' Boston Marathon and they're certain to step aside!

Jim said...

One week to go! Ewwwwww I'm sooooo excited to view your results afterwards. Stay smart and don't overdo it this week. Remember - you just did a half marathon a couple of days ago. (That still floors me)

Yvonne said...

mmm, cadbury's easter eggs...I can't beleive I haven't had one yet this year...

good luck on sunday!

Joe said...

Ditto what the others said, Salty One. It's appropriate that you have the word "One" in your name. You are kind of like the Great One, Wayne Gretzky. You are the One we look to for advice and inspiration when it comes to running.