Taper Rambling...

Week 1 of a 3 week taper is coming to a close. It's only a mini-taper at this point.. The six milers all became five miles, six days of running became five and the twenty miler becomes a 13 this weekend.

Last weekend was the final twenty miler (of five)... The only thing that comes close to the satisfaction of finishing a marathon is finishing all of the 20's in my plan.

For this one, the goal was 7:45 - 27 seconds slower than my goal marathon pace. However, I elected to do this one with a sub 3 hour marathoner who doesn't own a Garmin, which meant that I spent three miles mumbling about things feeling a bit too quick before I said, "Ah, the hell with it," and went all in.

For the first 18 miles, we averaged 7:26. A monster hill (and 18 ill paced miles) lead to an 8:11 in mile 19, but I recovered nicely on the last one to finish the whole thing with an average of 7:30 - 15 seconds faster than the plan, and just 12 seconds slower than my goal pace. A breakthrough workout or a good way to screw up your training? Time will tell.

The 20 kept me from doing my hill workout on Tuesday (which I've been doing instead of intervals because it's easier on my shins) and I had a nice tempo run yesterday, including 4 miles average 7:05 ish...

In a nutshell, I'm running my 3 hard workouts faster in a six run week than I did last year on a 3 day plan - all of which *should* bode well.

I mentioned my shins: about a month ago, my shins were still giving me problems, so I made two major changes. I went back to hill workouts and became a compression sock freak. I wear Skins to train in, and recover in Zensahs after every hard workout. The change has been noticeable - so much so that I don't really like running without the Skins. The net result: my shins are in a good place and I think the hill workouts have given me some VO2 work, though probably not like I'd get from six or eight 800's.

I hope the diabetes is in check for the marathon. I've got a low basal rate planned and will be going with gel every five miles and G2 Gatorade which I'll carry in my own bottle. In training, this particular formula actually ran me a little too low. However, experience has taught me that race day adrenaline should run me a bit higher. Truth is, though, I'm a little worried. Very few diabetics on the pump would run a full marathon without a pump and last year I wouldn't have dreamed of it. But on last week's twenty, the pump was barely on: 0.05 units per hour and I still needed 1.5 extra gels to get through the miles. I'd say there's a small chance I might abandon the pump, but I'm not sure. As Erika showed in her courageous race, diabetes has the potential to screw up a good run, and I don't want to let that happen. Hopefully, this weekend's 13 miler - between 7:18-7:28 pace - will give me a bit more confidence in my plan.

And once that 13 is over, then I'm in full-boat taper freakout mode.


  1. Marcus, I think all of our bodies react different to running. I really don't change my basal at all. Don't you wish there were a manual, and we could adjust accordingly. Really the only thing we can do is follow the trends in training, and hope for the best.

    It looks like you are prepared to run a great race!

    I read in one of your last posts that you wish you were running in one of the earlier marathons. I agreed with you then, but now I wish I waited. I can't wait to run my next marathon. These are so addictive!


  2. Crossing my fingers for a BQ for you buddy... good luck. I'll see you at the finish.

  3. Anonymous6:53 AM

    Good luck, Marcus. It sounds like you are in great shape.


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