Thursday, October 14, 2004

Taper Crazy

The marathon taper can make you crazy. No running to speak of - so I have all this "time" on my hands, yet nothing gets done. Tonight I am doing all the laundry so I can pack for MDI Sunday. I will travel to Bar Harbor on Saturday to participate in the pre-marathon festivities and do a little last minute jogging. I have purposely focused on rest these past two weeks since I believe I have a tendancy to "overdo" it too close to race day. Also, my training partner (Marc) pulled his calf muscle on our last workout together (a brisk 6 miler). We were 1 1/2 weeks out at that point. I took the lesson to heart and backed off immediately. I guess I am risking being "undertrained" for the reward of no last minute injury. Marc is home resting. Just got word he is going to try out the leg tomorrow. I'll post the results tomorrow (keep fingers crossed).

Yesterday I got out for a much needed 3 miler (20:02). Felt good after initial "creaks" left. I am feeling confident about meeting the 3:10 goal as long as I can handle the last 10k properly. I have been carbo loading for the past two weeks and have drastically reduced mileage - so hopefully the glycogen tank will be full!

I have been developing a plan for a Boston PR. The plan includes speedwork which will be a new concept for me (at least on a regular basis). I am looking forward to the harder workouts and increased mileage - especially if it will sink my time sub 3 hours. I don't know what my new goal should be as I don't know what I am capable of. I firmly believe, though, I can be successful if I commit to the work. Having said that, I need to be especially cautious about injury as the increased workload will raise my risk of injury substantially. I am having trouble with figuring out where the dividing line actually is. The easy route is take it easy and err on the extreme side of caution. Yet, I don't want to forfeit quite achievable times by not pushing where I can (and must). You see, this is the problem with tapers - I have consumed two running books by Hal Higdon: Run Fast and The Ultimate Marathon in the past two weeks. Since I wasn't running I thought I'd read about it.

While the books are full of good information I get the impression that the author can trade on his fast times when he was younger yet write to a slower audience that has no intention of trying for similar times. Maybe this is just economics; I mean, why write if you can't sell enough books to pay the bills? I need to find a book that speaks with more of a focus on an aspiring 2:30 marathoner still out in 3+ hour land. Having said this, I think I have an idea how to start: (speedwork, rest, speedwork, rest, long, rest). Since I haven't consistently followed this formula I am going to start here and see how far I can progress. I am not young, but at 32 I have some good years left to play with. Therefore, I believe I have some time to establish a few PR's.

Do I have the talent (genetics)? Who knows? But without training I'll never know. Here's my marathon history:

Houston 1/03 3:42:48

MDI 10/03 3:25:40

Nova Scotia 7/04 3:32:11

MDI 10/04 ???????????

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