RACE WEEK IS HERE. Yikes! Of course this post is about last week, not this week so I’m going to start there.
After my back-to-back pace runs last weekend my legs were trashed and ready to recover. I actually had a horrible knot in my right calf which really freaked me out because I never have issues with my right calf. I have been diligent about stretching after each run and foam rolling, but I decided to switch my Tuesday rest day to Monday and take the morning off. Tuesday morning when I woke up I headed out for some easy miles. My calf was still tight and knotty, but I had an appointment with my chiropractor later in the day and he was able to do his ART magic and work out the knot. He told me he didn’t have any concerns for me, but I made an appointment with him for race week so he can work on all of my phantom taper pains.
Wednesday I was supposed to have more GMP miles, but I knew I needed to just take it easy. My coach recommended I take another rest day and go for the GMP on Thursday, but I wouldn’t be able to fit the run in on Thursday morning so I headed out and just did an easy run. It didn’t feel great, but it didn’t feel horrible. I did take a rest day on Thursday and wasn’t 100% for Friday, but felt well enough after my Friday run that I thought maybe I could still get in some GMP miles on Saturday.
Saturday morning I headed out for my last long run of the training cycle. Since I was going to attempt some GMP miles I skipped the last day of my training group to head out solo. I did a 2 mile warm up, hit 6 miles at GMP, and then did a 2 mile cool down. The GMP miles felt good and I was hitting my paces. I’m going to be honest with the fact that I am perfectly capable of doing 6 miles at GMP just as I was capable of doing 12 and 10. It’s of course slower than my half marathon PR pace so it’s not a surprise, but I finished up that run feeling a little bit better about race day. I also avoided being knocked out by Osage oranges and black walnuts during my run so I felt that was a success.
Sunday morning I had a few easy miles before my final strength class. Class started off with some stretching and moved into some light strength work. A couple in the class brought some donuts and coffee for all of us to celebrate. I really feel I’ve gained a lot from the class and am happy I made the investment. Committing to strength training is something I am going to continue to do during my training because I can absolutely feel the difference.
After class I went home, ate some real food, took a shower, and snuggled up with my pups. I had planned to do some reading, but ended up falling asleep for a while. These chilly fall mornings are my favorite.
Even with the extra rest day I still put in 31 miles this week. It really did feel like taper this week and I could tell on Sunday morning that I am really beginning to recover. It was nice to feel like I had a little more time this week not related to running and at this point I always begin to look forward to some down time after the race. I finally had a chance to sit down and read My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, a Daughter, and a Ridiculous Plan and I really enjoyed it. Thursday night we even had a little date night out since my favorite band (Switchfoot) was in town for their fall tour. My husband and I headed down to the North Market for some dinner before the show.
This is the 5th time I’ve seen Switchfoot and the 2nd time my husband has seen them. It was the best of their concerts so far and I just loved it so much. Even my husband was still talking about it days later (and he’s hard to impress). They toured with Relient K whom I’ve listened to since high school, but never had gotten around to seeing. They sang a bunch of my favorites from high school and it was very nostalgic and fun. It was a great night and a nice way to take my mind off of the race for the evening.
And now I’m here. Just 6 days away from race day. I’m feeling the normal anxieties of race day and I want the day to both never come and also to get here really quickly. It’s a strange feeling. But I’ll have more thoughts on race day later this week.
Congrats to everyone that ran Chicago this past weekend!