well not REALLY rest, but for the next three weeks we enter a period of training called “taper.” it’s pretty much the best part of the whole season! haha. it’s a chance for your body to soak in all the benefits from the hard work you’ve done all season, and rest up for the race! can you believe that three weeks from today i’ll be running in the honolulu marathon again? i sure can’t. it’s been a great season though, and i’m excited to see it through.
yesterday i woke up at 4am and had to start running at 4:30 in order to get to the 5am start at ala wai field. the rest of the group started there at 5 but i wanted to put in a couple miles early so i could end early at my house because one of my best friends was having a baby shower later in the morning and i didn’t want to be toooo late.
i had gone to bed pretty early (10ish?) but even still, getting up at 4am hurts. it’s so tempting to turn off the alarm! but i got up, popped some oatmeal in the microwave (my standard, pre-run meal!) and put on my running clothes, sunscreen, body glide (this stuff is magic – it prevents chafing on the long runs from your clothes rubbing against your body, blisters, etc.) and was out the door at 4:30 sharp.
the run itself was good, but both karlee and i have been feeling a little “off” lately and so i think we walked more than usual. but we also threw in some killer hills for strength, although we didn’t run them in order to be kind to our joints this close to race time! karlee runs with her trusty garmin which tells us exactly how far we’ve gone using GPS. i LOVE it because we can vary our run from the normal paths we’d take and still know how many miles we have to go. we deviated from the standard marathon route a bit, taking detours for the big hills on kcc, avoiding kalanianaole highway, people watching in waikiki, and even running along the beach. hey, will 19 miles, you’re gonna go all over the place, right?
when we were just about at mile 16 (mile 14 for karlee) we ran into some HUGE crowd of japanese people in full kimonos and ceremonial dress! it looked like they were headed for the convention center, although i’m not sure why. about that time, i also started feeling that familiar tightness in the muscles around my knee. i told karlee i was going to slow us down a bit but that so far i could still run on it. about a half mile later, that little “snap” happened and it was a stroll for the rest of the run. (or should i say walk?) since we weren’t running and heat wasn’t a factor, we just needed to cover in the miles (we both had said 18 miles was minimum) so we took the long way back through waikiki, checked out hilton hawaiian village’s lagoon, tried to avoid the breakfast smells of beachwalk area (all i could think of was portuguese sausage by this point!), and eventually made it back to my house, where we split up. karlee had about 2 miles left to run back to ala wai field, and i felt bad for making her do the last 2 alone (the last miles are always the worst!) but it turns out that she was able to run them feeling good, probably because the walking gave her a bit of a break. so it worked out perfectly, and we both got 19+ miles.
i can’t say that i feel GREAT, but even with my knee problems, i’m definitely feeling confident that this will be a good year. i know that this week i didn’t do any of my strength exercises, only used my foam roller once, and hardly stretched. not to mention i hadn’t run AT ALL since last week’s 16 miler. so it’s really my fault my knee was tight. and i will do better for the next 3 weeks in order to get to top shape for the starting line!
the next two weekends our mileage is cut way back… 10 or 12 next week and probably even less the saturday before. i’m going to keep up doing my weekday runs the same (usually about 3-5 miles and 2-3 times per week) but just make sure i’m doing my strength exercises from physical therapy, as well as stretching and using my foam roller daily. now’s the time to rest and be gentle with my body because it’s worked so hard all season! ahhhh. i love taper!! =)
3 weeks and counting til honolulu marathon 2009!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!