12 Miles and 12 Days To Go

I tried but I just couldn’t talk myself into braving the cold snowy mist falling to go to the gym today, where I currently have no action plan or clue what to do next anyway. Instead, I will eat some lentil soup and blog.

Saturday’s 12 miler was drizzly, cool, and breezy; no thunderstorms or downpours or any other excitement. It really seems that 8 miles is my comfort zone, 9 to 10 miles gets into the bargaining zone, and 11-12 miles is the pleading, crying, laughing, singing out loud, cursing myself, cursing the race, cursing the distance zone. My fuel plan went great this time. I took a GU Rocktane (*blech*) before going out, a regular GU at about 5 miles, and a final GU around 8 miles.

Byram met me in the golf course parking lot right at about the 6.2 mile mark with more water for my bottle, an extra GU (just in case), a glass of ready-made Nuun (oh my god it was so delicious!), and a t-shirt to swap into from my cold weather jacket I had started out in. Just seeing him helped refresh me for much of the second half.

I bought myself the song, Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine that morning to help give me a little motivation and a long run boost. It worked. I listened to the song 2 or 3 times in a row on the last mile home, alternately crying and singing along as I went. I was tired, giddy, sore, unhappy, thrilled, and did I mention tired? I didn’t crash into the Wall like on the 11 miler from two weeks ago, but I was very emotional. I understand this is normal but I do find it highly unpleasant.

Following the run and a chilling out period on the tail-gate of the F-150, I came in to see my family who were all very excited for me. I foam rollered my very sore lower body and announced I would be taking my first ice bath, and gave warning that there would probably be some hooting and hollering along the way.

Ice cubes and cold water. I did it. I stayed in my clothes (honestly, I was too sore to peel anything off yet except my socks) and added a warm sweat shirt to keep my core warmer. The first two minutes were HELL; once I got my feet up out of the water, which also forced a gentle stretch along my legs, I felt better. I did a full ten minutes and then almost immediately took a hot shower, which may or may not have negated some of the value of the ice bath, but it sure felt good. I am officially an ice bath believer. It wasn’t easy or pleasant, but I am significantly less sore than usual.

Now, it’s time to taper. I am fighting a sore left calf muscle still so I have decided to let up off of lower body weight lifting for the next two weeks. Next week, I won’t do any strength training at all. This week’s training is pretty normal, 3,4,3 miles respectively for Tue, Wed, and Thur. Six miles on Saturday, which actually sounds amazing at the moment. Sunday, 3/11, I will do 4 miles with my friend who is getting ready for the Monument Avenue 10k on 3/31.

It is next week where things get weird. The team I have trained with and whose schedule I am following is running on Sunday, 3/18, where I am running on the 17th. Their schedule has runs set for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, all 3 miles. Maybe I will do Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday instead. That should work out nicely.

As time draws closer, I need to figure out what I will wear, what I will eat all next week, hydrate, and draw up a plan for Saturday, from what time I set the alarm, to how short or long my warm up jog will be before the race, to what my celebratory meal after the race will be.

I am not loving this No-Man’s land between winding down for the race and at the same time, having 12 more days to get through. I am anxious and sort of ready to go *right freaking now*.

I guess this is why no one seems to love tapering.

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