#RnRNola Taper & Recovery

In case the 100 mile week didn’t fool you, I don’t quite follow the traditional taper path. At least not for as long as some “specialists” claim you should. Nonetheless, the week of the race I take it easy.For the most part, I love taper week. Believe it or not, it gets to be a struggle at times to keep up high mileage and having the excuse to kick it back for “taper” is nice. Although if the weather gets gorgeous, I do get the taper crazies.

Taper Week

Majority of my runs during taper week really sucked. However, I was okay with that. Last few races I did sucked, but the taper week went awesome, too awesome. I figured that if my taper runs blow, my race will be awesome and it was! Proving shitty runs lead to killer races.

Monday – Rest/Lazy

Tuesday – 8 Mile Run 20 Mile Bike
I was targeting 8 race pace miles of 7:30 but average came out to 7:37, those extra 7 seconds were just not in me.  Did a “20 mile” trainer ride in about 62 minutes.

Wednesday – 7 Mile Run
7 miles at average pace of 8:22 on incline 3. I guess I was surprised how much I struggled on the run. I guess the biking is making me tired even though it doesn’t feel like it should. Since the biking was wearing me out, I decided to skip the trainer for the rest of the week until NOLA was over.

Thursday – 6 Mile Run
6 Mile incline 2. I gave up on anything too exciting happening on my runs. 7:41 Pace. It’s a great pace, but for someone who was targeting 7:30 for a marathon, it felt awful.

Friday – 4 Mile Run
Maybe I was just too excited about this being my last run before NOLA. Or maybe because I love doing 4 miles, they’re so short and sweet! Either way, it went well after my week of struggle. 7:17 Pace!

4 miler

Saturday – Rest, expo, sightseeing

Sunday – Race Day

Recovery Week

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – Rest
On Monday and Tuesday I did plenty of sightseeing and walking so I’d call it active recovery! Wednesday it snow and I kinda missed just laying on the couch doing absolutely nothing.  I shoveled the stairs.  Does that count?

Thursday – 4 miles
I was trying to do 7 but first run after a badass race is expected to be rough. Right? I wasn’t sore anymore but the gym was packed from all the people trying to make up for snowed in lazy Wednesday.  I started too fast and then my heart rate just got too racy so I decided 4 was enough for my body that now. 7:52 average pace, way too fast for recovery

Run4 miles

Friday 7 Miles
This time I learned my lesson and started out slower. Still on incline 2 with an average pace of 8:06 I got through my 7 miles

Saturday 30 mile trainer ride
To be honest, I’m pretty sure my mileage is completely off. My Garmin jumps from 3mph to 23mph. So who knows what I am actually doing. But I do know my butt was planted to the trainer for 100 minutes.  While the trainer is as dull as watching water that refuses to boil, if I get enough TV shows it becomes tolerable. Going to have to save all Nashville episodes for the trainer!

bike saturday

Sunday – 16 miles
Part of me wanted to blow off my long run. I mean it is recovery week. However, that’s the thing about social media with twitter and Instagram and all my awesome friends going on their long runs, it made it difficult to just sit inside all day eating cheese-dip. I actually made it out of my house by 10AM when it was nice and sunny and not snowing. Unfortunately, the foot of snow we got on Wednesday didn’t go anywhere so I was forced to run on the roads. I got a nice hour or so of peaceful running before the rest of society woke up and started driving and honking and getting in my way. Finished the run with 4 miles on the treadmill. I might have ran further, but I realized on the treadmill that my leg was profusely bleeding! Instagram if you want the gorey gross details.

16 miler

How did your weekend go? Run long? Ride long? Sit long?

NYC Marathon Final Taper and Final Eats

It wasn’t my best and not my favorite but crossing the finish line is always magical. Thank you all my friends and Tony my personal marathon assistant!

Photo: It wasn't my best and not my favorite but crossing the finish line is always magical. Thank you all my friends and Tony my marathon assistant! <3

I’ll post a race recap of what exactly went wrong later this week. It was one of my roughest races, but I made it to the finish line.

One thing, I know I did right was my taper. I didn’t exactly follow the plan, but I kept the mileage pre-race at about 20. After over analzying every detail on my bus ride back from NY, I decided, if I had to do it again, I would keep the same taper.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 8 Miles 7:35 pace incline 2

Wednesday – 5 Miles 8:00 pace Incline 3

Thursday – 4 Miles 7:18 pace on Incline 2

Friday – 3 Miles 7:32 pace on Incline 3

Saturday – REST, a little bit of walking around

So in total 20 miles before Sunday

When I toed the line I felt great and I can sleep easy knowing at least I did something right.

Anyways food, might have been a bit questionable and part of the problem. However, I’ve never had stomach issues while running. Seriously, I’ve scarfed down 3 tacos and went for 15 milers during the summer without any problems.

Either way, I ate many tasty things, so why regret it?

Tony and I went with my parents to Nargis Cafe, an Uzbek style place in Brooklyn. We ate as always family style.

Nargis Cafe Chebureki

Chebureki – basically a minced meat pie. I didn’t really eat, but the parents and Tony liked.

Nargis Cafe Salad

My favorite thing in the world, a simple green salad with dill!

Nargis Cafe Sansa

A pumpkin and meat sansa. I got the pumpkin one, Tony went for the meat.

Nargis Cafe Pumpkin Sansa

It was really good.

Nargis Cafe Shurpa

I also got the Shurpa soap, basically a meat broth with veggies. Okay so maybe I went more heavier on the veggies than I should be a race.

Nargis Cafe Skewers

Chicken & beef skewers

Post Lunch Walk

Like all meals, we concluded it with a walk, because it was well over 60 degrees and gorgeous outside!

I also stopped by Papa Pasquale Ravioli after reading good things about their homemade pasta.

Papa Pasquale Ravoli Pasta Company

and you can only guess what I had for dinner?

Ravoli Dnner

And yes sadly my pumpkin ones are sitting in my parent’s freezer waiting for my return =(.

How was your weekend?

50 Miler Training Week 14 – Pre-Taper to my Taper for Boston

The hardest part of any training cycle is the two weeks of taper.  Two weeks before race day (Boston), I tried to cut my mileage by about 20%.  For simplicity I’ll assume my regular mileage is 70 per week and thus I should be at 56 for this week.  Did I succeed?  Well you’ll have to keep reading to find out.

The hard part about the “taper” is that as your body is healing your mind begins to break apart.  You start to feel like you’re hitting  a wall within a mile of a run when last week you felt more confident than a bull past mile 20.  A pace that felt easy a few weeks ago, suddenly without warning starts to choke you.  All of a sudden you begin to freak out about all the people who can run faster or further or better than you.  It takes every bit of will to calm yourself down, to remind yourself that you love your more talented friends and that no matter what, there will always be others more awesome than you, but that doesn’t make you, yourself any less awesome.

The other part that makes this week so crazy is that it was pretty much my busiest week for work as far as the spring is concerned.  Yes, I could run before work, but convincing yourself to wake up at 5AM to run is a little bit difficult when you only came home from work at 10PM or later the night before.  In an ideal world where tax season  and marathon season don’t conflict, I would have liked to get in more 8-10 mile runs instead of scattered and repeated 5 milers, but it is what is.

Like they say, when life puts you in a box

Make a fort of it.  Okay maybe they don’t say that, but I wanted to insert a cute Jack photo to distract myself from potential more whining.

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – 10 Miles
Ran 5 miles in the morning before work with farleks of sprinting, catching breath, repeat.  7:27 average pace for a sweaty 5 miles.  I ran 5 more miles after work with a group of friends for the Marathon Sports event with Bart Yasso.

Wednesday – 5 Miles
Another early morning run where I tried to keep a pace while my eyelids barely opened.

5 Miles Wednesday

Thursday – 7 Miles
One of those hard runs that felt easy because I was fueling on stress. I ran on incline 3 between paces of 7.3 & 7.5 MPH, something I usually reserve for incline 2 and only felt a little strained.  Felt great after the run though!.  Average pace 8:25.

Friday – 7 Miles
I lost track of pace but I was on incline 2 and had to stop here and there to check email. So no fun, but I’m happy I got to see some miles to add to my tracker.

Saturday – 18 Miles
3 slow easy miles with the group run from Blog & Tweet Boston. I was going to continue running but it was too cold and I had too much swag.  Instead I retreated back home, procrastinated.  Finally dug out my hat and gloves and hit the pavement.  What face is that? That’s the crank face of someone wearing a hat and gloves in April.

Crank Face15 Miles as my final long run before Boston. Although what really defines a long run? More than 13? 20? double digits?  I can’t decide if the run was good or bad.  Things were perfect for the first 12 miles, then I hit a wall, and I went into a coughing fit.  I couldn’t decide if I was hot or cold and really struggle to pace up for the final 3 miles.  My pace before my choke down was around 7:50.  None the less, it felt good to see 15 miles in sub 2 for a training run.  I know I’m ready, just have to keep reminding myself.

Sunday -11.3 Miles
I saved Sunday for trails. The trail group I look up to does this one trail weekly at 8AM. Sadly I am nowhere near their pace and instead am determined to practice it once a week until I can keep up and am less scared of each pebble in my path. I always hate confessing this but my love for trails isn’t exactly there.  I’ve had good runs, but each step is a struggle.  I kept the pace at 12:30 minutes per mile on Sunday and felt slightly disappointed in myself.  I know patience and practice, patience and practice.

I think I got a plan and the best microwave meal ever

I’m starting to enjoy tapering. B For example I took a6 mile run on incline 2 with no pace goal other than feeling comfortable. B It ending up being only slightly slower than my tempo run speed.

However with the lack of mileage and fear of trying anything new (I don’t want to be sore for Boston) I tried to adjust my diet accordingly. B I tried to eat like my co-workers with calories and control in mind. B I tried, but I failed.

I substitutedB my muffin + 3 cups of peanut buttered oatmeal for this:

Ignore that giant ball of cream cheese, it’s there for calcium

Lunch I tried again to be normal

Grilled Vegetables Mediterranean with Rice! B Although not nearly enough food, I have to admit this was my favorite microwave meal for under $4. B It’s under 250 calories, but that doesn’t mean much if you consume an equal amount of 250 calories bag of trail mix. B I liked how the sauce was cooked separately in that steamer thing leaving my food not that least bit soggy.

The plan for the rest of the week is

Wednesday 10 miles

Thursday 6 miles

Friday rest/cross training

Sunday easy 4

This should leave me for a total of 25 miles for the week and then the marathon!

Any suggestions for healthy lunches? B I’m bored of salads and I’m not eating to run this week. B Therefore, I will be trying to keep my apetite in check to the limited level of activity.