I did my last long training run before the marathon on Saturday with my running buddy, Lisa. We ran our favorite route: Buckskin Road from Pocatello down into Inkom. Lisa is on a different training schedule than me because the marathon she is currently training for is 2 weeks after the one I am doing. So, she needed to do a 20 miler and I only wanted to do 12 or 13. We ran together until we got back to my house, at which point I had gotten in about 13.1 miles. Lisa kept running from there until she finished her 20.
It was a sunny but cool day, despite how hot and sweaty we both look in the above photo. But this is the kind of running weather I have been longing for all winter. It's been so nice to be able to get out and get some sun. In fact, it was such a beautiful day last Thursday, that I skipped my usual day at the gym (treadmill run and Muscle Fusion X) and hit the road for a 10 mile run instead. I'm not sure that was the best idea for my legs, but it sure helped give a positive boost to my psyche. Normally when I run the Buckskin route with Lisa, I can cruise through the first 7 or 8 miles at my fastest pace because it's mostly downhill. But Saturday, because my legs were already feeling fatigued, I was a little slower and more stiff. My hamstrings (of course) were especially tight. I finished the 13.1 miles with an average pace of around 10:20 min/mile, which is still pretty decent for me, but I was wiped out at the end.
After a 45-mile week, I'm feeling ready to start my taper now. This week I plan to do my normal daily workouts, leading up to a medium length run on Saturday - maybe 9 or 10 miles. Then I will jump into "rest mode" for the full week heading up to the marathon. The one thing I learned from running the Pocatello Marathon last fall (and achieving my PR of 4:36) was that allowing my body to fully rest for at least a week before is crucial to feeling fully fueled and ready on race day. I know I was also a lot more careful with what I ate, so I plan to be a little more strict with myself for the next 2 weeks and focus on getting lots of healthy, complex carbs and protein. I'm really hoping that doing those things will offset some of the trials I've had during this training season and allow me to have a great race.