Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tasks of the Taper

With ten days to go before my 'A' race of the spring, I'm keeping myself focused and trying to make the best of these remaining days.  Here's how I'm occupying the taper for marathon #5...

On Monday, I completed my last long run. It was tricky timing to squeeze it in during my daughter's preschool.  I managed nearly 14 miles at a 9:50 pace. That's fairly good for me, especially for my first run back after the flu.  The satisfaction I felt over the run was quickly squashed by the tragedy of Boston shortly thereafter. This one really hit me... I mean shook me to the core, but I refuse to let it take anything away from my next race. Instead, I hope to channel it for strength.

I go about this several ways... 
1) I love watching movies about running. I watched Spirit of the Marathon before my first marathon and it totally moved me. Since I'm running Eugene this time, I borrowed a pile of movies from a friend about Steve Prefontaine. He was a legendary runner from Oregon who championed the sport into a new era. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car accident (1975) at the height of his prime, but still today many of America's long distance-running records belong to him. The movies are both inspiring and entertaining.

2) Go back in time and read my past marathon race recaps: Quad Cities, Wisconsin, Route 66, Little Rock.  I learn a lot about myself and I find it helpful preparation to read these past endeavors of  26.2.
Marathons #1 thru #4... Quad CitiesWisconsinRoute 66Little Rock
I hope to add a 5th big smile to this lineup real soon!

When I selected Eugene for my spring race, it was because of the PR-worthy course that it presents. I wanted to beat my PR - specifically to get under 4:15. Unfortunately, my training hasn't gone as planned. {sigh} So I can't go into Eugene expecting a killer time without the required training. I'm trying to better evaluate my present fitness/endurance level to find a reasonable goal. Today, I did a round of 800m intervals to get an idea of where I stand with the Yasso 800 test.  More to come on my goal...

Time ran away from me this spring. Shockingly, I haven't had the time to come up with a cute new outfit. With comfort and functionality key in a marathon run, I'm pulling out an old reliable... 
• SkirtSports skirt (with storage pockets on the shorts underneath). This is one of their older GymGirl Ultra skirts. Since then, they changed the shorts underneath and they don't fit me the same anymore. So I really treasure their "old" version.
• Black tank top - added my moniker on the back, thanks to RunnerDecals. So if you run up from behind (and pass me), you'll know it's me!
• ProCompression socks - these are a must on long runs to baby my calf muscles.

Now that we are 10 days out, the weather stalking may now commense. I find myself checking it several times a day, not that it ever changes (or is right).

I don't normally run with music, but I do come prepared. I hide a little ipod shuffle under my race shirt - loaded with about 20 of my go-to "dig-deep" songs. I usually plug in between miles 21-25 when I start to struggle.

After months of preparation, I'm still turmoiled over a very girly problem... what shoes to wear for the big day?? I've trained in many different kind over this training cycle. Honestly, none of them are perfect. Yes, I have my favorites (that make me feel light and fast), but they're not enough cushioning for the long haul. So each day, I continue to run in a different shoe and try to weed them out...

Running an out-of-town race with extensive travel is not always easy. I like to be well prepared so little-to-none goes wrong. I'm double-checking my reservations, making plans with other runners, and lining up babysitters for needed days. I also visited the Eugene website today and read through all the race details of packet pickup, policies, etc. Most races are the same, but every once in awhile, one will surprise me... and with a marathon, I don't like surprises. I set up my runner tracking and found out my bib number - elated with an odd number #3635

I'm not sure why, but I always feel the need to be pimped up for big races... new haircut, perfectly polished nails and just overall personal primping. However, I always do this 10-14 days before the race. This is important - just in case you cut a toenail too short, there is time to heal before raceday. I baby my hardworked feet by rolling them on my massage ball and soaking them in epsom salt.  I like to drop in a little lavender for a relaxing smell. In the week leading up to the race, I try to get extra sleep. For me, that means a pre-10pm bedtime.

After all this, I have my daughter's birthday party to pull off... the night before I leave. She is so so excited, and I am so so emotional over by baby turning five. {deep breathe}  I got this.

I'd love to meet you!  Join me Saturday, April 27th at 10:00am for a shake-out run (or walk) on the famous Pre's Trail in Alton Baker Park. Entrance is located off Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd near Autzen Stadium. Afterward, we'll be hitting Track Town Pizza for lunch. I'll be at the race expo in the afternoon. 


  1. Ha! I almost always get my eyebrows waxed before a big goal race! Not to mention painting my toenails the night before.
    Good luck! You will do great!!!!!

  2. You should consider some Boston themes songs on your playlist. They really pumped me up in my last run, running for those that couldn't. Good luck! Can't wait for an update! Amy p

  3. Good luck at Eugene next week! Fingers crossed for nice weather for you.

  4. It sounds like you are very prepared! The only running movie I've ever watched is Chariots of Fire - love it! But now I will have to look into some of these...Thanks!

  5. Good luck!!!!! I hope the weather holds and the rain stays away.

  6. Best of luck! You've got this. I'm sorry your training hasn't gone exactly as planned for you too. I've been sick on and off for the past 4 weeks.. grrr. But you will still rock it. :) Go girl!

  7. Good luck and I hope you have a great race!

  8. You got this!!! I will be thinking of you the whole time. If things get tough, just think, "Run with Jesus!" :) Relax and do what you do, Jess.

  9. I'm so excited for next weekend! How is it that all your shoes look so clean? Mine are all dirty dirty.

  10. All very good tips! I also watched Spirit of the Marathon before my first Full. Best of luck to you! Have a great race!! :0)

  11. you're going to rock this marathon! I wish I could have joined, but i'll be cheering for all of you from afar!

  12. Good luck with this marathon!! You are going to ROCK it girl!! I can't wait to read all about it!! :) WOOHOO!!! :)

  13. What do you do with allthe shoes you dont want anymore?


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