Monday, October 5, 2009

Made it to the taper!

I ran 21 hot and hard miles on Saturday, and finishing that was the mark of the end of the monster month of training. What a month - I ran almost 200 miles in that big month of preparation, including 2 races. That 21 mile run on Saturday was hard. There were about 9 miles of hills (which were much harder than the hills I will tackle in the marathon) and it was getting pretty hot (at least in comparison to the weather we've been having). I'll definitely be looking forward to the aid station in the marathon, when I can just grab a cup of water from someone to throw on my head (versus Saturday's run, when I went to grab water from a drinking fountain and it was empty! I threw my hands in the air in exasperation). The gatorade I had with me was fine, but I just needed a little more than usual. But, I got through the run. I did take it easy for the rest of the day on Saturday. I just stayed in bed and read some of my medieval books.
I really think that by staying off of my feet for almost the entirety of Saturday afternoon/evening, it made a major difference in how I felt on Sunday. Going up and down the stairs on Sunday, I couldn't even tell that I had run 21 miles the day before. I also did a lot of reading (2.5 medieval books - phew!), which meant taking it easy yesterday as well.
I felt very relieved to have made it to the taper. This point seemed so far away, especially when I was running 50 miles a week. I am very excited about resting and cutting back in mileage, even though I'll only be running 3 miles less this week. Still, I'll be taking it easy and only doing a long run of 15 miles on Saturday. Only?! A year ago I could only run 4 miles at a time, and now 15 miles doesn't seem so bad. What a difference a year makes...
Today, I could feel the 21 mile run when I set out to do 8 miles. Was sore, but pushed through it just fine.
I received my sports massage today. To say that I feel loose is an understatement. It felt wonderful to get such a forceful massage, and to have someone work for an hour on all of the kinks, knots, and trigger points that have built up in my legs, back and arms during the course of marathon training. I left the center feeling so physically loose...I cannot remember the last time my shoulders felt like this. It was worth every cent, and while I can only afford to do this once per marathon, the therapist did a magnificent job. I do think this has helped undo some of the effects of intense training.
It's time to relax, rest, and recover. Of course, this is opposite of my medieval training: I have lots of presentations this week. But, all will be well. Too bad there is no taper in grad school...


  1. Yay!! I'm very jealous of the massage, and I agree--grad school could use a taper!

    Enjoy your taper. If you feel bad, know that that's normal.

  2. Eventually you will inspire me to get out there and run one mile. Eventually.

  3. Great job Vanessa and great post!! We will be rooting for you all the way.