The first official week of the taper has come to a close, though it doesn't feel like I got too much of a break! My mileage was reduced this past week from 40 to 30, then this week will be down to 21. I did all of my mid-week runs on the treadmill due to the inclement weather and my overall lower energy. The 20-miler must have impacted my energy level more than I thought. But I still did my two shorter midweek runs at a good, fast pace, with a slower eight-miler in the middle.
I went to the Cape all weekend for a friend's big birthday bash, and while I still got my long run in, it was hard to get the rest I needed and so that will be a priority this week. My sister and I hadn't really planned out the course of our 12-miler, and ended up probably doing about 14 instead, from Buzzards Bay into Bourne and Wareham and along the Cape Cod Canal for a few miles, then back. What gorgeous weather! We neglected the sunscreen though, so I'm sporting a rather vibrant sunburn. When you're out running for a few hours, it's so important to remember sun protection - I've learned my lesson. Somehow I had the energy for a vigorous game of wiffle ball post-run…does that count as cross-training?
My knees have been feeling a bit tweaky for the past day or two, which I hope goes away. I first noticed it when I crouched down to pick something up off the floor and felt a twinge, which I still feel now. Really hoping that simply subsides. My cross-training today will be much more low key, just stretch class and some walking. My runs for the week will be four, six and three miles and I want to be back at full intensity for those.
While I do use headphones/music on my indoor treadmill runs, I never do when I run outside. For me, running is so much a mental thing, that when you block out the whole auditory part and just use music to zone in, it's hard to focus on what you're actually doing, never mind employ mental techniques to get through tough spots. I don't want to feel like I have to rely on something to run - I only want to rely on me. There's the safety factor too; running with headphones is like running with blinders, and you have a constricted sense of other runners and the environment around you. And I know on race day, the crowd support and cheering is going to be a huge part of what gets me to the Finish - no chance I'd ever want to shut that out! As Maureen mentioned, having your name on your shirt is KEY. One of my favorite parts of running Chicago was wearing my Red Sox hat and getting heckled good naturedly by all the Cubs fans lining the course. Runners absolutely feed off the crowd's energy.
Goals for this week: plenty of sleep, keeping an eye on that tweaky knee, staying away from Easter candy remnants and keeping up the intensity in my shorter runs. I'll be heading to my parents' house this weekend for my final long run (8 miles) and some R&R in the final full weekend before race weekend!