Tag Archives: Marathon Training

Embracing the Taper

Embracing the Taper Fall| happyfitmama.com

This week officially marked the beginning of my taper for Baystate Marathon.

Most people fight it but I’m embracing the taper with open arms.

Two weeks ago, I hit my all time high weekly mileage – 54 miles. Never, ever did I think I could handle that amount of miles. I also never, ever thought I could get 10-12 miles in before most people’s alarms are going off to start the day. But I did. You make it work when it comes to marathon training!

Last week, threw my training off. The surprise Achilles pain and subsequent rest days meant I sort of started to taper a week early. If I would have run all my planned runs, I would have had over 200 miles for the month. Another milestone. My competitive self is a little bit mad about that. But my sensible self is happy just to be running. My Achilles got it’s extra TLC, it’s feeling OK and I’ve picked up where I was in my original marathon training plan.

The trouble with trouble | happyfitmama.com

I saw this sign heading into my massage appointment yesterday. Isn’t that the truth?

This week I’m cutting my mileage by 20%. Most of my runs will be at easy pace with a few miles at marathon pace. There’s no need to push the limits right now. All of my fitness gains have been made. I also won’t lose any fitness in 3 weeks of tapering.

According to Runner’s World, “levels of muscle glycogen, enzymes, antioxidants, and hormones–all depleted by high mileage–return to optimal ranges during a taper. The muscle damage that occurs during sustained training is also repaired. And if that isn’t enough, immune function and muscle strength improve, as well, which reduces the odds you’ll catch a cold or get injured just before the race. And get this: The average performance improvement by the subjects who tapered in these studies was 3 percent. That works out to 5 to 10 minutes in a marathon.”

That’s a good enough reason for me to taper!

There is another 5K that’s a part of the Dover Road Race Series this weekend. I was tempted to do it after learning that I was in 9th place in the overall women’s standings. That was my competitive self thinking. My sensible self spoke up louder.

4 races in the past 4 weeks = not good for Ang’s already injury prone body.

So I’m sitting out this 5K and instead following my plan like a good girl. I just have to remember what my focus is.

The marathon.

And blowing away my previous time.

I’m sure I’ll have oodles of phantom pains and twinges in the next 18 days.

All I can say is, bring it on! I’m ready for it!

What do you do to tame the taper crazies?

The Last 20 + Horne St. School 5K

Morning Run | happyfitmama.com

I’m still trying to remember if this weekend even happened.

At some point on Sunday afternoon, I asked Ron what day it was. It just didn’t seem possible that the weekend was almost over. Where was I?

The short answer – running.

It was a marvelous weekend in running.

On Saturday I ran my last 20 miler before Baystate Marathon.

My original plan called for it to be this coming weekend (the 27th) but I’m running Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon that day. I debated about adding on the extra miles before and after the race to get me to 20 but in the end decided that I didn’t want to miss the after party or leave Ron and the kids waiting for me any longer than need be. BTW – thanks for all the feedback from everyone when I posted my #RunnersProblems on my Facebook page.

I had to do the whole 20 miles solo this week. I wanted to get it done as early as possible so I stared off dark and early on my treadmill. I cruised through 7 miles thanks to the distraction of watching the episode of Extreme Weight Loss where the contestant runs the Honolulu Marathon. I can’t believe I’ll be running there in less than 3 months!

From there, I took to the streets. I was kind of shocked how chilly it was – 35 degrees! I’m sad to say I had to pull on the long sleeves, capris and gloves. It just seems way too early.

I picked a favorite route that took me down to the Bay. Running near water just makes everything better in my mind. Maybe it was the views. Maybe it was the colder temps. Whatever it was, I had a really great run.

My fueling was great.

Nothing hurt.

My pace was great. I even managed goal marathon pace from miles 10-15.

I got so into adding mileage that I didn’t realize I’d hit 20 miles way before reaching my house. Initially I thought about calling Ron to come get me once my Garmin said 20.00 13.00. But then I figured out I was about 2 miles from my house. I could run the rest of the way and walk if need be. It would be good for muscle recovery anyway.

I finished with 21.6 miles.

The last 1.6 were a slow pace. I walked up two big hills and just took it easy.

I’m glad I did it just to be over the mental hurdle of 20 miles.

I was feeling so good that I raced a 5K on Sunday.


Horne St. School 5k | happyfitmama.com

I had registered for the Horne St. School 5K before mapping out my marathon training plan. It’s the 8th race of the Dover Road Race Series that I started in March. I felt like I would do it with the expectation of not even coming close to racing it.

I woke up Sunday morning to pouring rain but at least the temp was near 60. What a difference a day makes!

I was pleasantly surprised that my legs were feeling pretty good other than my calves being a little tight.

I still wasn’t feeling too confident in racing even when the rain let up as Mariette and I warmed up. As with most 5K’s, my plan was just to go by feel and do what I can. Keeping the negatives away is always the hardest part.

The first mile consisted of downhill followed by an uphill.

Just before the one mile marker, my shoe became untied. I always, always double knot by shoes but for some reason did not this day. Gah! Time lost.

Mile 1 – 7:27

More gradual rolling hills. I was dreading this section just because I run it often and it sucks every single time. I tried to remind myself after the hills came the flats.

Mile 2 – 7:56

The race course changed a bit to include a short out and back section. I saw Mariette looking strong up near the front of the pack. Once we got through that section it was almost pancake flat with a downhill to the finish line.

Reminder to self – don’t check out now!

Mile 3 – 7:21

Thank you race organizers for the downhill finish!

Mile 3.1 – 23:10

Not a PR but I’ll take it after running 21.6 miles the day before.

Oh and super speedy Mariette had a photo finish for a close 2nd place overall woman. Woohoo!

I’m going into this last full week before taper feeling good about where I’m at with my running. I hit another mileage milestone – 54.

Wow – I can’t believe I ran that much! To some it may not seem like much. To me it’s huge.

I’m not sure of what my goals for Zooma will be yet. Maybe go for a new PR? And my goals for Baystate have changed too but we’ll talk about that later.

But then again, who knows? Everything can change on race day!

Did you run long or race over the weekend?