I have a few minutes while I wait for my kids to get out of school and we leave Idaho and head for Utah and my marathon race weekend! I thought I'd use those spare minutes to update my blog, since it's been a few days. :)
Typically for marathon runners, the taper period leading up to a race tends to be a mixed bag of feelings and emotions. Through each of my 5 other marathons, I have tried different things during my taper, from running everyday (even just a mile or two) right up until the day before the race, to taking the entire week off from all exercise. While it is hard for me to not do anything for so many days - at least, fitness wise - I have found that my best race performances came when I allowed my body to rest for at least 4 or 5 days prior to the big day.
So for the past week, I have kept things low-key. I went to a spinning class on Monday afternoon and then another on Tuesday morning, but that's all I've done this week. I didn't lift any weights or run stairs or go to Muscle Fusion or do any running. Normally this lack of exercise would trouble me and cause a shift in my eating habits as well. But as I am starting to get the hang of this marathon training thing, I've also come to realize that I won't get fat or gain (much) weight if I cut out exercise for one week and continue to eat healthy amounts of food.
I've acknowledged that this taper period should be embraced as a pre-race reward for all the hard training that has been put in and it should be savored. Somehow I have managed to stay pretty much stress-free this week as I've rested my body, drank lots and lots of water and eaten tons of good food - including a few times at my favorite restaurants. Why not? I know that come Monday morning, I'll be right back at my routine of going to the gym and getting in some miles on the road, and keeping my diet clean and tight, so I might as well make the most of this change in routine, right?
So my race is Saturday morning and we always make a weekend trip out of this marathon. We have some friends that we stay with in Salt Lake City and the kids get to spend time swimming in their pool and playing around while we visit, shop, and eat with the adults. It's always a fun weekend.
My goals for this race are a little different than they have been for past races. I didn't want to set my mind to achieving a PR because my training was a little helter-skelter this time around. I did get a couple of 20 milers in during training, but because of my back injury, bad weather and some other issues, I didn't get in as many miles overall as I have in the past. And I'm not sure how much it will help me that I've spent the last 26 weeks working with my trainer on building muscle and shifting my fitness focus somewhat. In some ways I think I am stronger, but I'm not sure yet how that will translate when it comes to running a marathon. My last marathon was 9 months ago and it was a great race for me. I'm hoping to channel some of the positive emotion I have associated with that day into my race this Saturday morning. But in the end, my main goal is to finish the race with a smile on my face and to enjoy the time I get to spend on the beautiful course through Ogden Canyon with my amazing friend and running buddy, Marsden. As long as that happens, we will have won the day.
Next week things in my life will start taking all kinds of new twists and turns. It's the kids' last week of school before being out for summer vacation, I will be starting a new training routine with Misty that will include some (certain death) circuits, and there's the possibility of another very big change coming....you'll have to check back in later to find out more about that one!! Haha! See you on the flip-side of marathon #6!!