I've been waiting forever to be able to write this post! When you finally reach the taper of a marathon cycle, I think you're always ready for it! At least you are initially. I'm sure in a week, my thoughts will different because as my legs begin to rest, they'll get antsy and want to run more. But, initially, they're ready - which is where I am now! Every run that I've ran over the past 16 weeks has been one step closer to the taper - which is one step closer to the race!
Yesterday, I ran 22 miles. All things considered, they were 22 glorious miles. For the most part, I was in a great mood and actually enjoying myself! Don't get me wrong, they're were moments of doubt and definitely moments of wishing that it were over. But, never have I felt so good during my last long run of my marathon training.
After last week's 20 miler, I decided I needed to get started earlier. Contrary to what you all may think, I'm not a fan of waking up at the crack of dawn. So, even though I began running last week at 5AM, I was dying to be finished earlier because of the Florida heat. After much thought and much consideration, I decided on a 4AM start. Yes, start ... meaning that the alarm clock went off at 3:00AM! That's not normal?!
Even more amazing than my ability to wake up at such an hour is that I recruited two friends (Ryan and Penny) to join me! We ran an 11 mile loop twice. At first, I had to shifts for my 22 miler: one beginning at 4AM and the other at 5:40ishAM. But, then Penny had the most fabulous idea, ever! She would run the early shift along with Ryan and me AND would bike the second half along my side! :) No words to describe the support ... simply amazing!
Total time: 3:18:04 (9:00 min pace avg)
Not really sure where the 9:32 came from. I wasn't too happy with this split and decided to pick it up a little. I was a little sad because I was definitely running easy at that point and was hoping the 9:32 was actually and 8:45 and that's what easy "felt" like. Sadly, I was wrong. Luckily, I still had a little pep in my step to make a change. Same thing with mile 18 in 9:14. Likewise, I decided that I only had 4 miles left and needed to give it a little more. I was pleased with my last 4 splits! Especially pleased given the fact that I fell apart in the NYC Marathon after running an 8:20ish pace for the first 18 miles and then continuous 9:30-10:00 miles for the remainder of the race.
Penny carried her camera for the second loop, but I wouldn't let her take any pictures. I was soaked due to the humidity and my hair was a huge rat's nest because of it! Besides, no one looks amazing after 22 miles not to mention after a 3AM wake up call. So, I'll leave you with this picture from a couple of weekends ago instead! Love the look I'm giving the boy! :)
So, now, the million dollar question: What will I finish the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon in? Predictions welcome - as long as they're good ones! :)