Yesterday marked the end of my true training for the 2008 Marine Corps. Marathon. The long run is the most important type of run for a marathon and my training plan this time around had 4 20 mile training runs. Yesterday was my last 20 miler and marked the beginning of the 3 week taper period. My longest run up to race day is only 12 miles!
Yesterday’s run went well.I set out knowing that I’d do fine. Since it was my last real long run I decided that I should try to push myself a bit on the run. I tried to run a bit more quickly than I normally would have especially after about 8 miles. Not only was I trying to get as much benefit out of the run as possible but I also wanted to practice my race strategy a bit. I’m hoping to take about the first 8-10 miles easy at MCM and then pick up the pace for as long as I can (hopefully to the end!).
The route I’ve been running for these 20+ milers takes me past a construction site that has a porta-potty. I’ve not yet been able to figure out how to do a long run and NOT have to stop to pee. Yesterday was no exception. I had to laugh later in the run when I saw another runner make a sprint for the same porta-potty! I saw that guy later in the run and I tried to catch up but he was just too fast. It would have been nice to chat with him but it was also nice to have something pushing me to run faster.
Later in the run I saw another runnner. Again I wasn’t able to catch up even though I tried pretty hard.
My overall pace of 8:10 was slightly slower than my other 20+ mile runs. However this came at the end of a 61.7 mile week! In addition I ran farther this time than any of the other runs. I ran about 22.7 miles in 3:05:14.
And now I’m ready to enjoy the taper period as much as I can. I have three weeks until the race and my mileage steadily drops until race day. As my mileage decreases my level of paranoia about the race will increase.