Monday, January 26, 2009

Taper is here - Counting down to Austin 2009

It's here.  I have entered the taper for my training going into the 2009 Austin Marathon.  

Seasoned marathon runners often have lots to say about the mystique of the taper period.  How do we really know if we are ready to run our best race in three weeks?  Should I taper for two weeks instead?

On one hand, I am confident.  Confident that I have worked harder and put in more consistent, quality workouts than ever before.  I've got some great indicators that make me feel really good about my progress.

There's another part of me that is cautious and reserved.  I haven't run a single mile in Austin, Texas in my life.  The course elevation chart shows hills.  Am I prepared for these? 

My training has been largely made up of treadmill workouts over the past several weeks.  Will this be a factor? 

I have averaged nearly 65 mpw for the past 4 weeks - all of which have included a range of killer pace, tempo or simulated race workouts - and a decent amount of incline work.  Suffice to say, I am ready.

For this past week, I nailed 66 miles in the plan.  I did it with careful planning and discipline.  For those of you who don't read here often, I am a careful follower of Pfitzinger's training schedules and am devoted to the "up to" 70mpw program at present.

I committed to myself last week that I would get outside for at least some of this week's mileage - particularly my final 20-miler yesterday.  Unfortunately, we've not been able to break out of this arctic cold snap.    

I did get outside for a little while by doing half my 9 miler on Friday night outside.  Yesterday, I set a goal of doing at least 10 of my 20 miles outside, with a quick transition if necessary to the treadmill in the house.  And that's precisely what I did:
  • First 10 miles - outside in single degree F temps / light wind: 1:11:34 (7:10 average pace)
  • *** 5-6 min changeover period ***
  • Second 10 - treadmill w/ incline intervals: 1:09:35 (6:57 average pace)  - Final 3 miles at sub-goal marathon pace.
  • Total workout - 20 miles in 2:21:09 (7:04 avg pace)
I will spend the next few weeks mentally preparing for running my first sub-three-hour marathon.


jen said...

Wow, you are already tapering! Well I'd say you certainly have the fitness to achieve your goal. The course might be a little hilly but it will keep it interesting and you certainly can handle it. trust your training, which has been incredible. :)

Haven't seen pics of the little one latey!

wayfool said...

Wow... you are kickin' @ss! I think you're going to do fine if you run a smart race. As you go back to the roads, make sure you go back gradually as your body has now adjusted to running on a treadmill. Feel free to re-read my blog entry on Austin. I think the course is the same and I had a pretty detailed description of the course. The hills are not bad... the toughest one I recall was at mile 23, not because it was big but because it was late. Plus, you get to look forward to the really long downhill to the finish line.

monicac2 said...

You are so deservedly confident - I love it! I can't wait to read all about your race.

yumke said...

Go Ryan go! Good on you for keeping it up in the winter.