Sunday, April 11, 2010

Taper by feel, not by book

ORN:  (Saturday) 11 miles, R2/W1, 11:20/mile

Three weeks from yesterday, I line up for the Illinois Marathon.  That means I should have done my last long run yesterday.  

My taper for the LA Marathon was really messed up by a 24 miler three weeks pre-race on a very slick, snowy surface.  I had decided to not go so long this time, aiming for a "mere" 17 miles this weekend and then keep active until race day.  

However, about 8 miles into the planned 17 yesterday, the strain in my upper right calf (which has been steadily resolving since the LA race) acted up. It got tight and was affecting my gait. I was approaching a "T" in my running route, where I had to decide to either head back home for only 11 or keep on grinding it out to try to get the 17.  I decided to head home, in hopes of staying healthy, keeping the miles up through the taper and seeing what happens.  I knew from the LA prep what happens when I grind it out and then can't run for 2-3 weeks.  

So 11 miles it is, three weeks out.  May try again to do 12-14 next Saturday.  In either event, we'll learn more about tapering, won't we?  

Persevere.  That's always the right thing to do.




Wes said...

Being self coached means we are constantly learning about ourselves. Good decision!!

Darrell said...

The nice thing about running year round is that even without that last 20 miler before the race, you know you should be able to get yourself to the finish line.

I think I go a little higher than normal on the weekends during this taper, keeping a close eye on that calf.

David said...

sounds like my prep for Gasparilla. I PRed :) You can too.

Scott said...

I feel your pain (literally). I'm three weeks out from my second attempt to complete my 1st marathon. I did my 20-mile long run last Sunday. Took Monday off. Went for a 5-mile run yesterday and finished that one at my usual pace but with my left calf feeling kind of touchy. It seemed to get tighter and tighter as I walked around last night. This morning, I woke up with a big sore knot in my left calf. It's now very tight and sore. I was supposed to run 8 miles today, 4 tomorrow, and 12 this weekend. At this point, I think I'm going to have to bag running for this week and hope it gets better soon (and stays better). I can't believe I made it this far injury-free only to have something like this pop up.

Great video report from the LA Marathon, btw. I ended up turning my 1st attempt at a marathon into a half marathon last year partly due to the heat (was nearly 90 degrees on the Northern Europe). So, unfortunately I can sympathize with the heat issue, too.