Sunday, May 16, 2010

Let the Healing Begin!

I've officially survived the hardest 15 weeks of marathon training, and for the next 3 weeks I will scale everything back to let my body rest, let my muscle tears heal, let my hips and toes take a break, restore my depleted glycogen stores, rehydrate, and refuel. Well, until the ultimate test that we call the "marathon," that is, where I will undo all of this healing, plus some.

I started off my taper by running to the gym this morning -- it was a gimpy and relatively slow 1.3-mile run there and back -- and hit up a crosstrainer for 20 minutes or so. I finished the day with a pretty hilly 12-mile bike ride that actually loosened up my leg muscles nicely. Working up a sweat feels good the day after a long run, as long I'm treating it as a recovery and not a full-blown tempo. My joints and muscles already feel a million times better than they did yesterday afternoon, and if it weren't for these blisters, I'd say I'm ready to get back there and run this marathon already.

This week, I will basically be cutting my workouts by 25%. I will then make another 25% cut of that next week, and then another 25% of that the following week, essentially leaving me with nothing four days leading up to the marathon. Tapering sounds like a fun and welcome idea after all the time I've put in since February, but after 15 weeks of decently intense training, I'm afraid I'm going to be scratching at the walls due to all the free time and extra energy I will find.

Since I'm really not "allowed" to do much exercise (bear in mind, that means runs of "only" 4 to 12 miles, plus moderate cross-training), I have a few ideas in mind to keep me occupied and still focused:
  • Re-watch "Spirit of the Marathon" ... a couple of times.
  • Get my bling, drama, and lady friends together to drink cosmos and see "Sex and the City 2" on May 27th, duh! Okay, so that won't do much for my focus, but it will still be fun.
  • Finish reading the pertinent chapters in Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide.
  • Start reading Mark Remey's The Runner's Rule Book: Everything a Runner Needs to Know -- And Then Some (I got this in the mail Friday; looks hilarious!)
  • Pull out my stacks of Runner's World and Running Times to re-read some inspiring stories that pushed me to get where I am.
  • Revisit my old race results.
  • Go over my night-before plan and race-morning plan again and again and again. And again. Then once again, for good measure, because we don't need any moldy bread situations on race day.
  • Maybe come up with some official goals for my race, even though most pros have told me to avoid coming up with anything more specific than "finish" for my first marathon.
  • Get my hair cut, get my oil changed, do all the things I put aside simply so I could have more time to train.
  • Put together the perfect marathon playlist.
With that in mind, I'm taking suggestions for some updated running music. Because I'm super boring and stuck in my ways, I embarrassingly have listened to the exact same playlist for the past 15 weeks. Nope, I didn't even put it on random. What's more, that playlist is less than 2 hours of music, so I frequently heard the same songs a number of times every week -- and even on the same run. Of course I rarely noticed because I barely listen to music when I run, but it might still be fun to have something to make my 4+ hours of running even more enjoyable on June 6th.

What music has been moving you?

1 comment:

  1. Heal well, get rid of those blisters, and try not to go stir crazy. Tall order, but you will be fine. We rarely run with pods, but recently downloaded a song with a good run beat: Undeniable by Mat Kearney. Have a great week of x-training.