Final Tune UpMay 25, 2009
This weekend was my last minute tuneup before starting to taper for Rev3. I found out that some of my friends were planning on doing a road race down on Cape Cod, and since I was already planning on getting a long run in, I figured I might as well join and have some company while I run.
There was a 5k, 7.2 miler and a half marathon all on the same morning. One college buddy was doing the 5k, and two others were doing the 7.2 miler. I was left doing the half all by myself, but at least I had some familiar faces to run through the pre-race routine with and I had a guaranteed cheering section once I came through the finish line, so I was happy.
Since it was a last minute addition to the training plan, I got some advice from coach to help with my race day game plan. Much to my dismay, he nixed the idea of tapering, but I at least had a few mental touch points to run through in my head while racing.
Don’t taper for it. Just treat it like a regular run. Definitely enjoy yourself, pay attention to nutrition, and especially pay attention to the ups and downs you feel as the race goes on. Notice how after a down, there’s an up. You must train yourself to not give in to the downs and to not go too hard during the ups. Don’t get caught up in the moment and pay attention to yourself. Do this and you’ll have an amazing run “experience” no matter how it goes and you’ll learn a lot about how you run.
It was pretty cloudy and cool, but was perfect weather for a run. The wind kicked up and almost blew me backwards as we ran along the beach during 4 or 5 times along the course, but otherwise it was a perfect day to race. I stuck almost exactly to an 8:50 pace all the way through mile 5 and gently cranked up the pace all the way to the finish.
Minus some cramping around mile 10 (which was helped out after I gumped down some water at the next aid station), everything went amazingly smooth. My favorite part about taking the first part of the race a little easy is all the people that you get to pass during the second half of the race! I made a point of cheering on anyone who looked like they were bonking and were walking, but every other person was my rabbit. I picked out anyone with a bright colored shirt (or crazy purple/animal print skirt in once case) off in the distance and slowly tried to reel them in.
And once again, the race plan worked like a charm! I crossed the finish line in 1:48:43 (unofficial). That averages to a 8:17 pace. That is almost two minutes faster than pretty much the same course in February, and without a taper. Sa-WEEEEEEEEEET!
And the best thing about this race? I topped it off with a nice dip in the ocean to cool off the legs and some cold beers.
And with one more hard workout/race in the books, I enter Taper Land. Population: ME!