Saturday, March 26, 2011

Peak week and looking forward to the taper

Another week in the training log and another week closer to my next race, Boston. Because I ran the "ras" 5k (stolen photo left w/ the goofy socks) now three Sundays back I moved my long run to the following Monday, which I knew would set me up for a high mileage week. Little did I know I'd finish with just over a hundred miles for the week. Tuesday through Friday I ran my usual milage leading to Saturday's long run, my longest training run ever at 22 miles. These weren't just any 22 miles. I joined the Greater Lowell Road Runners for their recon of the Boston course from the starting line in Hopkinton to Boston College, just past heartbreak hill.

It was a great recon and the third time I've run on the course. If I didn't know what was best for me I probably would have ran the last five miles to the finish. Perhaps I really don't know what's best for me because after a medium long run the next day I noted over 92 miles in my log for the week so later that evening I went out for another 7+ to get that 100 mile week.

What does this mean? Not much more than I'm fit enough to run 100 miles in a week. That’s not a bad thing.

As if that wasn't enough, Wednesday I ran a Yasso type workout (10 X 800m) with an average pace of 2:49 per 800. The last two were the fastest. This bodes well for my sub 3 hour attempt. All the usual predictors indicate sub 2:55 for me but let's not forget my lack of experience at this distance, not to mention the late hills at Boston. If I don't meet my goal it will most likely be due to my head, not my legs.

William has been very aware of my running, the significance of running Boston, and that I'm dedicating it and my hard work to him and everyone affected by Duchenne. Because he's seen me working so hard this month he seriously asked me if I was obsessed. I told him no but in reality his observation is probably on the money. I just want to do the best I can and am looking forward to reducing my weekly mileage to a level that’s easier to sustain for a while.

"Taper" starts Monday. That means I'll be dialing back the running and start trying to find fresh legs. I've averaged almost 70 miles for the last 7 weeks so next week I'll run around 60, then 50, then about 40 the week of Boston. I'm really looking forward to purposely running less!

William is also eager to watch me run at Boston but I'm very concerned the experience could be a let down. For example, where do I recommend he and Anne watch? Living in the Boston area only makes me more aware of the pros and cons of each possible place to view the race. Too early along the route they might miss me in the crowd, despite giving an accurate time window. If they see me it could be for just a few seconds. Too late along the route and they would have to battle traffic and crowds and my time window would be large. How would they know if I crashed and burned or already went by? Anne works in the Fenway and has easy parking so watching at about mile 24 seems most logical but the crowds could be tough and would William be able to see over people from his wheelchair? If any readers want to join Anne and William just let us know.

Monday is William’s 9th birthday. Birthdays are always bittersweet for me. A big part of me wants to just stop time and keep things as they are. Fortunately William has always been a blast to be with at any age and I expect no less in the future. This weekend his cousins and Anne’s parents are here to celebrate. William’s has been very excited about it all week and has already opened a couple presents. He’ll be sad to see them go back home to New York tomorrow.


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