When you are tapering, it means you get to spend a lot less time running.
Which means you are probably spending a lot more time thinking. At least that’s how I roll. This is what I’ve thought about this past week.
1. My goal for Ottawa
I came into this training cycle wanting a sub-4:00 marathon. I knew I needed to work — hard! — to make it happen. But in the past few weeks, running has kicked my ass. I’ve stopped more than I should, I missed a few runs. Every time I work hard or it rains or I drink too much, I cough up a storm. My quad isn’t 100%. The weather next Sunday is supposed to be over 20 degrees Celsius. While all these sound like excuses, I’ve spent the past few days accepting them as realities. Which is totally different. I can only do the best I can with what I have on race day. That might be sub-4:00. It might not. It probably won’t. So now I’m doing the delicate balance of understanding this might not happen, becoming okay with it if it doesn’t happen, without psyching myself out.
My plan right now is to head to the starting line with sub 4:00 in mind. But if 5:40s seem to fast or my lungs are too full of phlegm or my quad hurts too much, I will adjust accordingly. Sub 4:15 is pretty damn good too. Hell, finishing a marathon is pretty damn good.
Have I convinced you yet? I’m not sure if I’ve convinced myself. But I’m trying.
2. Training for the NYC Marathon
I am really, really excited for the NYC Marathon. I am not excited for training for it over the summer. Give me a snowstorm to run in over a heat wave any day. But, I have decided that I want to do a 16-week training plan (which would start July 14). I want to run Mid-summer’s Night Run in August. And I want to go for a sub 50:00 10k during the process, probably at the Toronto Island 10k. I want to amp up the cross-training this training cycle. I was doing so well this time around, until I got sick. Then my Nike app workouts went out the window. I want to rectify that this time around.
3. A June challenge
No matter what happens next week, I have promised myself I will not run for an entire month. 26 days. But I want something to do in June to focus my competitive energy. I’ve been thinking about doing some sort of wake-up early/eat well challenge. Like, for the entire month I would wake up before 7, do yoga (easy 30 minute podcasts, nothing insane) or a boot camp and only eat whole foods (with the exception of coffee or alcohol. Nothing I read about eating raw or eating clean has convinced me these are worth giving up.)
4. Summer fun
This summer, I want to swim more. Go to the beach more. Go kayaking. Be more active. And I’m trying to figure out how to do that and still train for a marathon. I think the solution is getting up earlier (see #3). We will see.
So that’s where my head is at these days. Ottawa is now less than a week away.