My training for the Garden State 10 is peaking this week! I’ll be honest, I know some people hate tapering, but I’m definitely not one of them. I’ve got a second 8 miler on the books for tomorrow, and I can’t wait to start going down in mileage. The race is on Sunday, March 26th, so left on my “long run” schedule is 8 miles (tomorrow, my peak – same as I did last week), 6-7 next weekend, and 4-5 the weekend prior to the race.
My training this cycle, as I’ve mentioned before, has been very up and down. I’m not entirely sure why. Most seasons even if I am moving slowly, I at least feel strong. This season, everything feels incredibly hard. Even last spring and fall, my training was kinda slow but I felt totally fine. This season, on most runs I feel like someone is squeezing my lungs and I’m breathing so hard the entire time.
The last run that felt OKAY was a 6 miler. Before that, my first run of the reason. So far my “long runs” have looked like this, pace-wise:
5 @ 11:57
6 @ 13:15
6 @ 12:20
7 @ 13:16
7 @ 12:43
8 @ 12:53
The only ones that felt strong and normalish were the ones in red. The others? No matter the weather, it has literally felt like I’m struggling the entire time. Even my mid-week easy runs have felt like that half the time. It is super frustrating because I haven’t changed anything from my training plans…ever. I’m hydrating well, I’m eating about the same as I always have, nor has my in-run nutrition changed.
For tomorrow’s 8, I’m hoping to get in under 13, but I’m not taking any bets. I’m just going to run. I want to not feel like quitting every mile, I want to feel okayish. Last week, it was warmer than expected and I honestly wanted to quit at Every. Single. Mile. I did allow myself a short walk break as each mile buzzed, so that made me feel okay – but my body also needed that walk. I was really feeling it. That being said, I did finish, and I was okay with the time. I suppose I’m just frustrated that I KNOW my body should be able to do more right now, with the training I’m giving it, dangit.
At this point, I’m hoping for just a really, really, good race day on March 26th. That luck will be with me, and I’ll just feel good that day, and finish strong and feel better than I did all training season.
Things that I’m excited about for this upcoming race:
- They’ve posted the medal, which I’m psyched for. Since this is a brand new race, I wasn’t sure if it would be a very cheapy generic medal. Turns out they went ALL-IN! Yay!
- They’ve posted their full course, with mile markers and water stops – and I am delighted that it looks like it will be well-supported. As a slower runner and one with BR problems, I love seeing a course with water and port-o-potties every mile and a half or two.
- I know exactly where at least half of the course runs: I used to live around the corner! Also, it is still only 20 minutes from me. Just as close as the Rutgers Half, at more than half the price and (I think) less hills 🙂
- The course limit is 2 hours and 45 minutes – for a 10 mile race. That means that even if I crash and burn, I have plenty of time. I’m hoping there will be walkers behind me: since this brandy new, I have no idea how big the field of runners is, nor how “alone” I will be at my pace. I’ve run plenty of races where I spend most of the time alone.
- That my “goal long race” for the season will be OVER! I will not be running any more than a little over an hour tops (5-6 miles) for the rest of the spring/summer! YAY!
Here’s to hoping my 8 miles tomorrow feels better than most of my other runs – and you know what? If not, I’ll still do it. Even if I end up walking more than I’d like to, I will STILL finish my goal mileage – because that’s how I roll.
What are you running this weekend? Have you been on the struggle bus with me this year? Let’s commiserate together 🙂