I've probably written before that I don't follow a full-fledged taper for a half marathon or shorter distance race, but I do like to have at least one full rest day before any race where I want to try for a good performance. For major races, either longer (marathon, half) or races where I hope to PR, I actually like to have two days off running to feel my best. For Saturday, I had originally planned on doing my usual Y thing on Thursday (elliptical, yoga), then taking Friday as a full rest.
But my ankle and heel have been pretty flared up in the last couple days (probably as a result of my speed work yesterday), and as I limped around the house getting ready to go to the Y this morning, I decided that this was it. I'd do the morning workout then call it good. Hopefully I can remember to ice my ankle tonight, I think that helps a little. I should have done it last night but I didn't. I would like the discomfort to go away, but I am not too concerned about any effect on the race. The pain almost always goes away once I'm warmed up.
I don't have a specific goal for the race on Saturday. I feel prepared to do well, but I don't want to set my expectations too high. On the other hand, I would like to do a little better than just running at goal marathon pace (which would give me about a 1:58). Last year I had a 1:58 but that was with a bathroom stop, so in fact I was running a bit faster than the time would indicate. My speed work and other runs seem to suggest that I am about back to where I was last year.
My final run was yesterday, Wednesday morning, and it went great (although perhaps it was a little too long). Everything went exactly as planned.
- 2.2 miles - warmup. 10:07, 9:38, plus .2 at 9:51 pace.
- 3.1 miles - tempo/fantasy race pace. 8:23, 8:23, 8:17, plus .1 at 8:37 pace. My goal for those miles was 8:30 pace. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to make it, so I pushed it a little too hard!
- .45 recovery - 9:36 pace
- 4 x .25 miles at the track, with short recovery jogs in between - 1:52 (7:25 pace), 1:52 (7:21 pace), 1:52 (7:26 pace), 1:48 (7:10 pace)
- .70 recovery at 9:14 pace
- .27 recovery at 8:59 pace
I also went to yoga last night, the Wednesday version of my Monday class. I really enjoy this class and instructor; I may have to try to go twice a week more often. The reason I don't is that it's a little bit far away from me and is at 7:30 p.m., which means I don't get home until 9:00. I'm in the habit for Mondays, but adding another late night would be hard. My Thursday yoga class (which I will skip tonight in favor of rest) is at 7:15, but only a mile from my house so I still get home at 8:30.
I am also trying to do some judicious carb loading. You know, not pigging out but getting some glycogen in my system. Waffles for breakfast!