Week 16 Tapering: 6/4 – 6/10

12 Jun

The theme of my first taper week:

Those who can’t run, walk.

Monday: 1.55 mile walk with pooches (untimed)

Tuesday: 2.63 mile attempted-run-turned-walk (38:54; 14:49/mile)

When I got home from work, I made a deal with myself: I could watch one NCIS episode before going out on my 4-mile run. That would allow it to cool down some (like 1 degree) outside too. I ended up falling asleep by the end of the episode but woke up right as it ended. Determined to run, I got ready and headed out with the dogs. I walked the first 1/4 mile to warm up and then started to run. Half a mile later, I was walking. My legs felt absolutely horrible and I was exhausted and cranky. I decided that I was doing no one any favors by pushing myself to run at all, let alone 4 miles. So I walked almost all of this and let it rest at 2.5 miles.

Wednesday: 5.05 mile easy run (1:00:10; 11:57/mile)

My legs felt better for this run but still weren’t 100%. Regardless, I was able to run all 5 scheduled miles, even averaging a 10:58 pace for the last 1.55 (sans dogs).

Thursday: 5.15 mile ‘fartlek-ish’ run (1:02:26; 12:11/mile); 1.55 mile walk (untimed)

Running in the evening is getting trickier by the day. It’s usually blazing hot by the time I get off work (80-90 degrees most days), with the sun still out in full force. So I’ve started to work backward from sunset to figure out what time I need to start my run by in order to not finish in the dark but still miss as much of the heat & sun as I can. Which works out decently well, except for the dilemma of dinner. What can I eat that won’t upset my stomach?

What is not the answer: a burrito. For some reason, I thought that eating a burrito before this run wouldn’t be that big of a deal. And maybe it wouldn’t have been if I had remembered to take Tums before leaving. But I didn’t and the acid reflux made this run pretty miserable, causing me to cut it from 8 miles to 5 and spend the last 3 miles doing fartleks with walking breaks instead of running the whole thing. I had been planning to run the remaining 3 (of 8) with the dogs but instead, I grabbed them for a walk when I got back. The whole time I was kicking myself. Seriously? That was a rookie mistake. Regardless, lesson learned. Again.

Friday: 2 mile walk to Redbox with Travis and pooches (untimed)

We rented Contraband. Meh. Not Mark Wahlberg’s finest. Travis said it was the exact same storyline as The Italian Job, only that movie was actually good. This movie also had a lot of cursing, which just gets hard to listen to after a while.

Saturday: 10.09 mile long run (2:08:29; 12:44/mile); 1.32 mile walk (untimed)

This was quite possibly the worst run of my life training to date. I was miserable the entire time (with the exception of maybe 5 minutes when I was running down a nice downhill and a hot breeze was blowing). The course I ran is a very gradual but relentless uphill on the way out – 165 feet in 5 miles. It’s not that bad but enough to make you really notice a difference when you turn around and run the gradual downhill. Except that I was so tired and hot that day, my speed remained the same. Here are my shiny new GARMIN splits (I’ll post my review of the watch once I’ve used it a bit more):

The reason this run was so hard is the trifecta: 1) I got started later than I should’ve (around 8:30), which I immediately regretted. It was already 80 degrees by then (the high for the day was 95) and was probably 85 by the time I finished at 10:40. And let me tell you, Colorado sun is HOT. Ridiculously hot. On a nice 70-degree day, you can be kind of chilly sitting in the shade but step into the sun and you’re burning up. 2) My mental game was off. No part of me was excited to be out there and by mile 9, I was silently cursing everything in sight. 3) My legs felt slow and useless.

Thus, my 12 mile run turned into a 10 mile run. Starting around mile 7, I bargained with myself that I could walk for a little bit (a minute?) at every mile marker if I ran the rest. Then around mile 9, I started doing run-walk intervals. The minute I walked in the door, I ran a tub of cold water and sat down in it. Ahhh…

Later, around 4:30, I took the dogs for a walk. But it was still way too stifling hot to be in the sun so I cut it short.

Sunday: 1 mile walk with pooches (untimed)

Total Running Miles = 20.2

Total Walking Miles = 9

I don’t normally count the miles I walk with the dogs as training because they’re pretty slow (since I usually wear flip-flops and the dogs sniff everything). But at least half of the miles I walked this week were done in old running shoes and with minimal allowance for sniffing so the walks were faster less slow than usual. {And I’m grasping at straws to not feel so bad for only running 20 miles last week.}

So now you can see why I’ve decided to do all of my remaining runs in the morning. And actually, once I get past the unpleasantness of having to get up early and the craptastic feeling of stiff and sorry legs, I enjoy running in the morning. It’s so nice and cool out! Plus, I LOVE being able to leave work knowing that the minute I walk in the door, I can lay on the couch and not move all night. That thought alone gets me out of bed. Glorious.

One Response to “Week 16 Tapering: 6/4 – 6/10”

  1. Mel June 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    I love how your taper week would be, like, the most hardcore running week I’ve had in my life.

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