The past few days are best described as a roller coaster, and not just because of the ups and downs of tapering!
It all started on Monday when we learned that pilots on the airline we were booked to fly to Paris with were staging a three day strike, meaning that our flights to Paris were cancelled! Fortunately, we were able to sort out an alternative so what turned out to be one of the biggest hurdles was overcome. Not the ideal way to start the week, especially when I had reached the stage of thinking all I had to do was turn up with my suitcase, but at least it was Monday we found out and not at the airport!
After that, things got better and better. On Tuesday I picked up my parents at the airport after their trip to the USA and they had in tow a big bag of running goodies for me. This was a huge surprise – even better than Christmas – and I had a great time going through it all like it was my own personal running expo!
I knew there had to be a benefit in having a dad who runs and a mum who likes shopping haha! Notice they’ve focussed on warm and water-resistant gear, perfect for the sort of weather we’re continuing to have. The gift that I’m most looking forward to trying is the pink item on the right which is a Flipbelt. It’s a type of valuables belt for carrying a phone etc whilst running. I actually read something about these on an American running blog recently and made a mental note to look out for them when I’m on holiday this summer. Dad got one at an expo and loves it so decided I should have one too. I’m also excited to try out my new argyle patterned compression calf sleeves. I can’t wear any new kit for the marathon this weekend, but it will give me something to look forward to when I get back.
Further treats came my way on Wednesday. I recently read about a running music exchange between Girl Runs Wild and TartanJogger and thought it sounded really cool. I wasn’t the only one to think so, and the music exchange has been expanded. Those of us involved have all bought cheap Mp3 players, loaded them up with our favourite running songs and we are sending the players to each other to enjoy on forthcoming runs. There’s something quite exciting about the idea of a surprise when it comes to the music we head out with and I’ll be posting more about the exchange as it goes on.
My first player arrived on Wednesday and it was from TartanJogger who had put together a lovely package of treats including cosy socks, cooling foot gel, nail polish (which is already on my toenails ready for the marathon!) and a nice card wishing me all the best for this weekend. A lovely treat to get in the post, especially right before a big race so thank you very much Jayne!
Thursday was all about treating myself. We runners have been whispering to each other for the past few days that this would be the date Aldi would get their spring/summer running kit in. This kit is usually good quality at an affordable price so stocking up on things like socks and other bits and pieces is always a good idea. The stock often goes down very quickly so you have to be quick! I was up sharp for a dental check up (all fine thank goodness after starting the year with the toothache from hell!) and my dentist is close to Aldi so I took a walk along afterwards and got myself some socks, a short sleeved compression top and a running gilet. It doesn’t look like it’s going to stop raining any time soon but it won’t be long until it’s a bit too warm for wearing a full running jacket (unless I want to recreate that sauna experience whilst running!)
Throughout all of that, there was still the small matter of a bit of Taper Training to do. The frequency of my training still remained the same, but the volume of what I did dropped a lot, so my total in the Around the World Running Blog Relay (ATWRBR2014) is a bit lower this week! since I have been on holiday this week, I also treated myself to a daily steam room to make sure there was no chance of my sniffle coming to much. It was really nice to head up to the gym to relax in the steam room/sauna/jacuzzi and it’s probably something I would have done this week anyway to keep me relaxed ahead of the race.
My training for the week was as follows:
Monday – Metafit
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – swim/sauna
Thursday – coaching running club
Friday – rest (travel to Paris!)
I got up and did Metafit at Steve’s studio first thing on Monday, leaving me the rest of the week to really wind down. It was nice to work hard in the session knowing I still had plenty of recovery time ahead of me. On Tuesday I had to wait until after my airport trip to head out for my run. It was raining (again!) but it was “only” 4 miles so I just got on with it. My pace was a bit erratic but nothing unusual for this stage in the taper – a fight between my legs wanting to run fast and my brain saying to take it easy. I was a bit more consistent on Thursday night with the running club as I was running at their pace which gave me a nice easy run. I took my group on the loop I like to do on a Saturday morning as at roughly 4 miles I thought it would be the ideal distance for them right now. I’ve been wanting to take them on this run for ages, but had to wait until the lighter nights to do so. I think they all enjoyed it and it was nice for me to have my last run before Paris with a bit of company!
And so that’s it. Today (Friday) we head to Paris. Tomorrow it’s the 5k Breakfast Run then Sunday is the marathon.Right now I feel that jangly way between nervous and excited which is probably about right. The Taper Demons are pointing out that it’s been 3 weeks since my last really long run, while Sensible Head is reminding me that it’s supposed to be that way and I need to trust my training. The thing about a marathon is that you never know what might happen on the day, regardless of training. I simply need to turn up and do my best – the result will be whatever it is.
If you want to keep up with me over the weekend, remember I have a Facebook page for the blog. I’ll probably post a few updates there this weekend so head on over and click “like” if you’d like to see those and I’ll be back on the blog with a race report next week.