First, what will my running plan be for the final week? I have been training off schedule since my marathon training schedule finished at the end of September. I think (hope) I have done all right with the long runs in the interim period (hence my hope that I will get through it okay), and know I have done crap with speed work (hence my expectation of a mediocre finish time), but now I am facing the last six days without a piece of paper to tell me what to do!
What I will probably do is three medium length runs, decreasing the distance as I get closer to the race date, and rest my legs for the two days immediately pre-race. That is basically what all of the marathon training plans I have followed before do, and it's worked well enough so far.
I've checked out some other sources to consider. This article from Run the Planet has some very useful tips on carb loading and tapering, but the volume of mileage they recommend (even for beginners!) in the final two weeks is more than I want to do (or ever do, in the case of the intermediate and advanced plans). All the versions include running every single day of the week, which is not me!
In the latest issue of Runner's World Bart Yasso suggests a much gentler race week schedule. Monday off, short run on Tuesday, short speed workout on Wednesday (e.g. 6 x 400m at 5K pace), Thursday off, Friday off, and easy 25-30 minute run on Saturday.
Both of the above plans (plus all the Hal Higdon plans) include a very short run on the day before the race. This is contrary to what I've ever done...not sure if I want to try it out now, though. Bart Yasso says this keeps you from feeling sluggish in the first miles of the race. Hmmm.
I'm thinking Monday, Wednesday (with a few 400s), and Thursday. Although if weather keeps me in tomorrow morning, I may consider the Bart Yasso plan. (That would leave me without a run on Thanksgiving Day. Can I do that?)
Less immediately (but soon) I have to figure out what running clothes I need to bring and likely wear. My basic plan is my favorite Nike capris and my fuschia Lucy half zip, which is what I wore at CIM (where it was quite cold), but I need some other options in case it is not just cold but wet. I don't think I would change from capris to long pants unless it was going to be colder than 35º, but maybe I need another jacket? Or another top under the half zip? I do have some throwaway jackets to bring and wear as long as needed. I also want to get a very light rain poncho to wear on the way to the start (the hotel is a mile away and there is no shuttle). I don't mind running in the rain, but I'd rather not get soaked beforehand. That was okay in Portland, but it was warm there!
Considering my wimpiness on Monday and Tuesday of this week, I ended up with more miles than I expected (due to running Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Wednesday 6.52 miles, Friday 8.51, Saturday 12.06, and an unexpected 5.78 today, followed by 65 minutes on the elliptical at the Y. (Total mileage for week 32.87 miles.)
Yesterday I did a longish run in a cold north wind. I stepped outside wearing just the half zip, thinking that should be plenty (temperature in the 40s), but it was so cold on my porch (it is very windy on my porch) that I went right back in for a jacket. Throughout a lot of the run I vacillated between thinking I might be too warm (it was sunny) and being glad for the jacket (when the wind blasted me). By the end of the run the sun had gone behind clouds and I didn't mind the jacket at all.
Here is my view at the end of the Pigeon Creek pedestrian trail, at 9 miles (three to go).
I took several pictures trying to capture the waves and whitecaps! The island to the left of center is Hat Island, and next to that on the right is Whidbey Island. At the very far right you can just see Mission Head, which is about a mile from the beach where my parents live.
This morning I lounged in bed watching the Food Network, and at about 10 a.m. it started snowing! It snowed heavily for at least an hour, turning the grass in my parking strip white. By the time I got up and dressed for a run in the snow, it had stopped falling, and pretty much disappeared from the ground too by the time I finished 5.78 miles, stopping at the Y.
This was the run that grew. Initially I was going to do about 3.5 miles, just to bring my week's mileage to 30. That quickly changed to 4, then 4.5, and why not 5? Then I decided to go just a bit further and make it 5.5 to the Y...which turned out to be 5.78. I resisted the urge to round up to 6, because that would have to become 10K, and really, enough was enough.
I had packed a lighter shirt in a ziploc bag and put it in the back pocket of my jacket, so I was able to change into something dryer and lighter for my time on the elliptical. Then I put my heavy shirt and jacket back on and walked back to Starbucks, and home (.78 mile walk).
Day of Thanks 21
I am thankful for snow! I know it can cause all kinds of problems...but I love it all the same.
- Running 5.78 + Walking .78 = 6.5 points
- Elliptical (cross training) 65 minutes = 4 points
- Fruits & veg: ½ banana, mixed berries, ½ apple, onions, arugula, spinach x 2, a little bit of kale, sweet potato, cauliflower, ½ serving mushrooms = 1 point