You know you are close when you get the 'Last Minute Instructions' email.....which happened today!! The final week before is a mixed bag of emotions. It's hard to explain, and probably seems silly to you if you've never run a race before, or spent months training for something, or gone through the 'taper' process. I think we are both excited, nervous, ready, not ready, sad to see the whole process coming to an end, looking forward to the whole process coming to an end......I know we both have a love/hate relationship with taper weeks. It is just counter intuitive. Here we've been pushing and pushing, increasing our long runs up to 24 miles, never missing a long run, bike ride, or workout...and then we are supposed to take it relatively easy for 3 weeks before the main event. It just feels wrong! But it is just one more of the necessary aspects of training. You have to let your body recover, your muscles need time to repair themselves completely from your last long run before the marathon. Your body needs rest to preform at its peak I keep reminding myself. We are still running an average of 25 miles during these weeks and getting our bike rides and workouts in. Taper or no taper, Brian's bike rides and my workouts are non optional for sanity's sake, although I will try to take it easy on my legs this last week before. We are doing our last weekend run tomorrow after service. We will be running the 13 mile See Jane Run course in Alameda as our last run. This is our favorite 13 miler as it is so beautiful and goes by very quickly, so looking forward to that as our last Saturday run.
This is also the time we are really focused on things like protein, complex carbs, getting to bed early, figuring out what to wear, weather (as of now it will be raining), what to eat the night before, morning of, which socks to wear, ect. Also the mental aspect of doing anything to feel more confident comes into play this week. Would more crunches help my core feel more stable? More push ups, planks, squats?? Would more (insert pretty much anything here) give me that extra boost of confidence thatI am strong enough to finish this when I have my doubts climbing the hill at mile 19?
I'm pretty sure this last week will go by way too slow, yet way too fast at the same time! One thing is for sure, it's all part of the process, and as crazy as it can be at the end, we love every bit of it!!
If you are curious as to what the 'Final Instructions' consist of, you can take a look here.