20 Miles and Tapering

Last Saturday was my peak training run, and the first time I’ve ever run 20 miles. Since moving to The Heights, I’ve been able to take advantage of some good elevation changes while running. I planned it out so I’d hit a really big hill around the 16 mile mark. I was a little nervous about it, knowing that most of my training has been pretty flat, but I knew that it would be a HUGE confidence booster if I could do it. One of my biggest fears going into Marathon day is how I’m going to handle the hills on the bridges. I’m happy to say, even 16 miles in, I was able to conquer that hill without issue. All in all, it was a pretty good run. I finished in just under 4 hours and I felt pretty good after….just really sore ankles and knees. Assuming I’ll run a bit faster during the Marathon, I’m really hoping to get in under the 5 hours mark. It’s not a lofty goal, but it’s my first marathon so I’ll really just be happy if I’m able to finish without hurting myself!

This weekend I was supposed to run 12 as part of my taper. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. Sean and I recently got engaged (yay!!) and we spent the weekend looking at venues and worrying about furnishing our new home. I just couldn’t bring myself to get up early to run before venue shopping. I haven’t been getting the best sleep lately (likely due to all the stress of having to do a million things) and I needed to take it easy. I’ve also been feeling pretty sick and the last thing I want is to make it worse 2 weeks out from Nov 1. This morning, I just wasn’t feeling it. I was starting to burn out pretty hard a few weeks out from my 20 miler, and I really just felt like I needed a break. That, and I hurt my neck on Friday morning during a 5 mile run. Instead of the 12 miles, I ran 2 with Sean on a pretty tough course that goes up a VERY steep hill. I felt like my breathing recovered really well after the hill, so I was happy with the effort I put in even though I couldn’t do 12 today. Tomorrow would usually be my rest day, but I’ll probably get in a couple miles before work to make up for this weekend. I’m not too stressed about it. I have my base and I’m ready to go. If I can add on some extra miles this week, and maybe do 10 instead of 8 this coming weekend, I think I’ll be set!

I just got my bib # and start time from NYRR this week. I’ll be starting at 11 am (and hopefully done by 4 pm haha). In just 2 short weeks I’ll be running in the NYC Marathon!

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One month out and I’m feeling the pressure!

Yesterday marked the official 1 month countdown until the marathon. I really felt like that was an enormous milestone, but i was just too busy to even have a moment to myself yesterday. We’re in the middle of moving, and this week has been a challenge. I had a 12 mile run scheduled for tomorrow, but knowing that we had to wake up early and move the remaining things out of our apartment tomorrow and move into our friend’s for the night (until we can get into our new apartment on Sunday) I just felt like it would be impossible. That and impending hurricane “doom” (that has now been squashed) forced me to change that run to BEFORE work on Thursday.

Let me tell you–when you work all day and come home to packing and moving boxes out of your current apartment and into your new apartment every night, your body is shot. I’ve never felt this kind of exhaustion before. And then after moving a bunch of heavy crap all night I decide to wake up at 5:30 am for a nice 12 mile run before heading into the office (and then coming home to move MORE crap). What is wrong with me? I don’t think I’ve ever been as dedicated to anything before!

Buuuuut it’s almost over. Next Saturday will be my peak mileage at 20–and from there I start to taper. I’m excited for the taper period because I think my body really needs to recover before Nov 1. My knees in particular have been feeling pretty sore lately. Over the next month I’m hoping to focus more on yoga and swimming because yoga will help stretch me out and swimming is much lower impact than running.

The view from Jersey City during my 18 miles run a couple weekends ago

The view from Jersey City during my 18 mile run a couple weekends ago

Three things that have me a little nervous–first, I’ve only trained on hills a handful of times this year. Second, I feel like the jump from 20 to 26.2 is HUGE. Last weekend when I finished my 19 mile run and I started to walk, I hardly noticed a difference in speed haha. I was pretty wrecked. I know I know…race day adrenaline. But honestly whenever I’ve trained for half marathons in the past I always trained up to 10 miles and relied on adrenaline for the last 3.1 and I can safely say I always felt a pretty big difference between 10 and 13.1. Third, I’ve been training SLOW. Part of my thinks my GPS watch doesn’t work well in my area because when I train in Central Park I’m at least a full minute per mile faster than when I train in my neighborhood. Maybe that’s a good thing–maybe I’m putting in way more miles than I even think I am! After the marathon I’ll loop back and reflect on how prepared I think I was. It’s a little too late to change much, so I’m hoping all the miles and workouts I’ve put in pay off!