In a later post, I will put together a comparison of this cycle vs. my previous marathon training cycles, but suffice it to say, I have targeted this race and only this race with a vengeance for about 10 months and have not let my foot off the gas until now.
As far as taking my foot off of the gas: This week, my first taper week, I ran 70 miles. It's hard to believe that a 70 mile week is running less, but since the previous two weeks were both over 80 miles, it is indeed. I once thought that I might max out once at 70 miles, but this cycle I've had five weeks over 70.
As for "taper madness", here are some symptoms I'm experiencing:
- One day I think that it's frustrating that I won't be able to run as much as I have previously. I worry that I'll experience lower daily endorphins, gain weight, and slowly watch as my fitness declines. Then the next day, I'll be frustrated that my taper doesn't entail only running one or two miles per day! I still have to run 90+ miles over the final two weeks. This includes two 12+ mile runs. Not exactly chump change.
- I'm having the typical "injury paranoia" where every little twitch and pain might signal a marathon DNS. I tripped over an open kitchen drawer (near the floor) the other night and bruised my right shin pretty badly. I thought for sure I had done something which would shut down my running, but when I woke up the next day, the pain was gone and I was back to normal.
- I'm second guessing myself if my four 16 mile long runs were enough. I've read about numerous people who have at least one or two 20+ long runs under their belts. Then I remember that some coaches recommend the long run be 20% of weekly volume. Guess what, I was dead on 80 miles * 0.20 = 16 miles. My marathon PR was based on maxing out at 16 miles, so there's that as well.
Anyway, here is my training chart with only two more weeks of red line (forecasted):
So now I'm about to start the "heart of the taper" and try to stay mentally and physically healthy for a couple more weeks! Is anyone else having interesting "taper madness" symptoms?