I always block how terrible the last few days of tapering for a marathon really are. I think I get so caught up in the excitement of the expo, the race, traveling, sightseeing, etc. that they become so miniscule compared to the race and finish itself; BUT DON'T LET THAT FOOL YOU! The taper-crazies are real and they suck.
I'm cranky for no reason at all (well besides the fact that I'm not running very much and I'm *twitchy bitchy* to want to run). I'm really hungry all the time. I honestly feel like I could chow down on a steak dinner for LUNCH, but these feelings will just make my post-race meal that much better. Weird parts of my body just ache and 3 miles seems like it took forever to finish. Did I mention that I'm cranky and hungry? Ugh. 2 more days!
I slept in again yesterday morning and opted to do my run later in the day. So, I runched instead. What is runching? Running on your lunch break! I don't get to do this very often, so when I'm able to enjoy the bright sunshine and see other runners out it's truly something special.
Did an easy 3 miles followed by some foam rolling/ stretching/ 30 second plank/ 2 x 10 dips. I wanted to do a few light strength exercises to help keep my body feeling strong going into the race, but definitely didn't want to do my usual full-body 30 minute strength session. I figured a few dips and plank were a good compromise.
I still am not feeling super nervous about the race, but mainly excited! I've basically got my race-day strategy done, but don't want to set it in stone (since you never know exactly how you will feel the day of the race). It looks like the high could get up into the mid-90s! Luckily the race starts at 6AM and I should be done by 10ish, although I definitely remember the race being super hot in the sun by the time I finished last year! Already prepping myself for the hot sun and the rolling hills in miles 12-17!
The first 12 miles are super downhill, so I don't have a time specific in mind (ultimately under 9:00 min/mi would be great), but will go by feel (not straining myself and keeping in touch with my form and easy breathing more than anything else). In the rolling hills miles 12-17, I ideally just want to push through them and know that this will be my slowest section. I know I have a few mantras that I'd like to repeat to myself during this time.
If I stay right around goal pace (9:10ish min/mi), I'll be happy. The next section, miles 17-22 are pretty flat and fast (with some shade), so I'll try to stay at goal pace or slightly below (depending on how I feel). From miles 22-26, it is another steep downhill so I'll try to utilize this to power through near 9:00 min/mi or slightly faster if I can muster it. There is no shade in this section, so it'll be tough. But you're already feeling exhausted in a marathon after somewhere between miles 18+, so just propelling yourself forwards is all you can really do (and knowing that the faster you go, the quicker you'll be done).
Miles 18+ is where I have always struggled, so I am going to try to change my music at this point (possibly put in an uplifting podcast or music) to get my mind off the pain since it's inevitable anyways.
I've been super focused on my nutrition this entire week and will focus on it even more today and tomorrow! More light meals, less fiber-rich foods, more iron-rich foods, and light carb meals & electrolytes/water throughout the day.
Had this as my lunch yesterday (Spicy Sausage and Beans Minestrone Soup):
I'll also continue to have light snacks throughout the day like this one!
The race has a few pacers (one at 3:55 and one at 4:00). I kind of want to try to stick with the 3:55 and see how long I can hold onto it with them. I've never stuck with a pace group (since time-goals are still pretty new to me), so I guess I'll leave that up to the morning of! It would be kind of nice not to worry about my watch time so much, but that's also how I trained....hmmm.. decisions! decisions!
Still have plenty of time to decide and will be working on my race day playlist tonight and tomorrow!
Have any good race day songs?
Pace groups? yay or nay?
How do you deal with tapering? Do you love it or not a fan?