Well, here I am – officially in my taper! Even though taper technically started after week 15, I still had pretty consistent mileage for week 16 so it didn’t feel like I was tapering much. That being said, there really wasn’t anything exciting about the last two weeks – just more of the same.
Going into week 15 I still was trying to kick my cold/sinus thing I had going on. I started the week still on decongestants which make me so uncomfortable. I was able to get in with the ENT that Wednesday and he told me he wasn’t surprised considering how much is packed into those pills compared to how small I am. I was finally able to kick them after that day and by Thursday my running was feeling a lot better. He put me on a short course steroid and the first two days were rough due to the side effects. I ended up going to urgent care that Friday morning and the doc was great, talking through why I was experiencing my side effects. He assured me I could run my 22 miler the next day and to just hydrate a lot more than I would usually since dehydration is a common side effect.
The next day I headed out early to get 2 miles in before joining my training group for their scheduled 20 miler. It was warmer than it had been during the week and warmer than I would’ve preferred it to be, but it’s amazing how different 60 degrees feels at the end of September compared to the end of August! The run itself was a bit uneventful. To get back to our start we had to run up a very long hill and at the halfway point the coaches asked if we wanted to run a little further and walk up the hill or run up it. I called out “Run up it!” Who wants to walk up a hill after 20 miles?! The whole group finished strong and I was pretty happy to be finished with peak week number two with a total of 50 miles.
My friend Nicole had warned me that the 22 miler would hit me over the head. I’m not sure if I would go that far, but I was definitely pretty drained from all of the training. Saturday night my husband & I stayed in and ate pizza and hung out and Sunday we both took it easy and hung around the house.
Heading into week 16 I knew my body was still recovering from Saturday’s run so I decided to go out and do a true zone 1 recovery run. These runs are usually tough to stay so slow, but this was no issue on Monday. My legs were tired and wouldn’t have gone any faster even if I had wanted to! Aside from that, the run felt good and I was pretty happy with it. I headed to the chiropractor and he stretched my legs in ways they didn’t want to go, but I left feeling so much better.
After my 8 mile tempo run on Wednesday my PF was bothering me a little bit. It bothers me here and there sometimes, but has been pretty good throughout my training the past 16 weeks. I did my regular run on Thursday, but cut my Friday run from 8 miles to 6. I know at this point those two miles weren’t going to make a difference and aggravating my PF wasn’t something I was interested in doing at this point. It hasn’t gotten any worse over the past few days and I’m in with the chiropractor again on Monday so right now I’m taking care of it, but not overly concerned about it.
This morning I had to get in my last double-digit run of the training cycle. Like most places in the country, it’s a rainy day here today. Luckily the rain tapered off and stayed away during the run, but it was windy and chilly. The cold, damp weather really wore me out and I took a nice nap after some stretching, a shower, and some food. As of 3pm today it still wasn’t even 50 degrees!
While it was chilly and damp, it did feel nice to “just” do 12 miles. It didn’t feel like we were running for 2 hours and it was nice to be back to getting home early again. For the half marathoners, this was their peak week and it’s always nice to get to run with the entire group. I finished out taper week number one with 38 miles.
Now I really feel like the training part of this schedule is over. Next week my mileage is significantly lower and I am looking forward to the extra sleep and recovery. I’m starting to get nervous and I am hoping the next two weeks don’t drag along. Tonight we’re taking advantage of the weather and staying in again. I am happy about the down time I’ll have over the next two weeks and looking forward for my parents to come to town, but overall the nerves are starting to set in.