Sunday, April 15, 2012

Start the Taper

Today is nothing like fun.  It's April 15th and I spent the morning finishing our taxes.  Working for yourself has many perks, but taxes are not one of them.  Secondly, I'm painfully sore and our house has too many steps. As I got frustrated with the taxes, I took breaks to roll my quads and calves on the foam roller.  It's a labor of painful love... hurts like hell, but it'll make all the difference tomorrow. (More on foam rolling here.)

Yesterday was my last 'big mileage' before the Wisconsin Marathon on May 5.  I knocked out 22 miles in wet weather at a sweet pace... sub-10 min miles!  I was exhausted, but very happy with how it unfolded. I've been plagued with some odd muscle twitches around my right knee lately, but thankfully no problems yesterday.

I started solo at 6:30am for some quick mileage before meeting the Sole Sisters later. Skies were gray but no rain in sight... yet.  I ran but one block when the drops started.  I turned back for my jacket and hat... and ditched my electronics in the car (not killing another ipod this time!). I'm not a well-versed rain runner, but I pushed through the showers for 8 miles.  By time I made it back to the car, I was drenched.  I quickly changed my hat and shirt, refilled my water bottle (is it even possible to dehydrate in rain showers?), downed some GU Chomps and headed back out.

This time, I had Laura, Heather and Barb by my side. It was like a whole new run. They had fresh legs and kept the pace honest, even as I began to tire.  More importantly, our conversation helped to alleviate some 'issues' rambling around in my head. (Run friends are so good at talkin' it out.)  The rain continued to spatter on and off with occasional heavy rainfalls. When we hit the turn-around point, I could literally wring out my shirt. The last couple miles were a real push to maintain pace. I could feel my legs aching, but was afraid to stop in case I couldn't start again!

Thankfully, I had warm clothes at the finish.  I stripped off the wet.. which was everything!  We had a good laugh because my feet were literally smoking when I took my shoes off.  And my toes bright white prunes!  It was a tough long run - both physically and mentally - but I passed with flying colors.  Did I mention a full 22 miles with no music!?!  It was just the confidence boost I needed as I officially head into THE TAPER.

22 miles in 3 hours, 38 minutes (9:54 pace)
This run also put me over the 500 mile mark for 2012!

22 in the bank Baby!

The pace was pretty close to my desired race pace for the marathon. My goal for marathon #2 is to take one minute per mile off my last marathon finish... which would be a 4:17 or a 9:48 pace.  It still sounds daunting for 26.2 miles...

So the endurance work is done.  Time to rest up the body and prepare for 26.2.
Oh-wait... I'll be racing the Oshkosh Half Marathon next weekend!!
Who planned this schedule?  Yes, I'm crazy like that...

• • •

For those of you who read my post yesterday on the
perfect running partner, Patty finished her first Mary in 5:03.

18 comments:

  1. Hi Jess! I did the Jelly Bean 5K and I'm doing the Oshkosh 5K next weekend! My sister & brother-in-law are running the half. Maybe next year I'll be ready for the half. I've only been running for about 6 weeks so .... :)

    Good Luck next weekend!

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  2. congrats on 22 miles! i ran my 21 miles in snow so I know how ya feel. Good luck on your half marathon next weekend and your marathon in the near future! can't wait to hear about it!

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  3. Awesome Job Jess!! You are such a rock star!! You are going to do fantastic!!

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  4. Just keep reminding yourself this on race day. the work. is. done. PERIOD! you did it! 22 miles, dang girl!

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  5. What an awesome time! Best of luck! Erica

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  6. You rocked that 22 miler! Way to go. Kick back and taper baby. You've earned it.

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  7. way to go jess!!! your dedication is so inspiring!

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  8. I'll be at be at both races with Rachel - maybe we'll see you there! Crossing my fingers for no snow, hail, or sleet next weekend... but it wouldn't really be the Oshkosh half without it. :)

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  9. Congrats on a great and memorable 22 miler!

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  10. First off, I can't believe you ran 22 with no tunes. Great job! So nice to have company to help get you over the hump, especially in the rain:) Glad you had some dry clothes to change into!

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  11. Awesome pace! You are going to do great!!

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  12. Great job! You are the best! You will do awesome on the half and full! You go girl!

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  13. You ROCKED that 22-miler! Fantastic! I definitely hope we get to meet in Kenosha - you are going to kill it!

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  14. Nice last long run girl! I don't know what the temps were by you, but here in the city is was freaking humid as all heck and I felt like I was being tortured. It was terrible.

    It's the final countdown now!

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  15. Yay! You're going to totally kick butt!

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  16. Awesome! And sweet! You so rock!
    Just a question if you don't mind... how do you fuel during such a long run? I am to do 12 miles next Sunday (towards my half marathon (May 13th, in England) training)... I took a chomp before starting (PowerBar) and another one at like mile 4 and then a PowerGel at around 6 miles for my 11 miler last Monday. How do you do it? I hit a "wall" at around mile 11.5 on both my previous halfs (which I hadn't properly trained for either) and if possible, I'd like to skip it this time, LOL!
    Again, congrats! Great run Jess!!!

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  17. Wow, great 22 miler!! You are ready for the marathon!!! Do they have pacers? it helped me during my last marathon a lot. I just relaxed and followed the pacer and didn't worry about pace at all. I knew if I stick with the pacer all is good.

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  18. i swear sometimes i just come over here to see the look on your face. you seem sooooo happy and it is contagious.

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