Friday, March 16, 2007

Taper Methodology by Nat: Cookies, Kids, Wagon and Dog workouts

Follow these tips and you too will find yourself stronger come race day!

Sorry about the lack of posts. I have been way too busy these past few days eating cookies to blog much. Plus I was thinking that maybe my consumption--aside from a little embarrassing-- might be a tad boring. But the good news is that we have broken into the last box of Samoas. Tagalongs and Thin mints still remain but those I have no problem resisting so the posts about the cookies should be waning soon enough.

I admit it. I am no good at the taper. I never know what to do and training pretty much falls apart. Basically I just cut out the long run the last 2 weeks before a marathon and just do the runs I like to do at a comfortable pace or whatever the hell I feel like doing. I did go look at my Advance Marathoning book for Petey's suggested taper and yeah, well, I'm not going to do that. So here is how I have tapered so far this week:

Sunday: 2 1/2 mile walk with the kids and Lola. I know that doesn't sound like much or worth mentioning as a workout but I count it because when I go for a walk with the kids I end up carrying Beau on my shoulders for part of it while Lola pulls me in every direction. I "wear" her via a leash wrapped around my waist so I am hands free for the kids but my whole body gets twisted and tossed around as a result. It really is quite a workout since I am always so exhausted after one of these outings, physically and mentally.

Monday: 6 miles in 48 minutes

Tuesday: 10 miles in 81 minutes. In the afternoon I pulled the kids in the wagon-- little over a mile but it was hard as shit. See how when you are mom your training is a little less traditional? I am thinking that in that last 5k of the marathon when I am running up some hill on Peachtree I will be reminded of trying to run up the hill in front of my house while Beau and Parker scream at me to go faster and I will remember how I survived, preserved and conquered that hill. Peachtree? Well, let's just say that I happen to think the marathon will prove easier. I'll let you know how this comparison plays out.

Wednesday: 10 miles in 88 minutes in the morning. Did the elliptical for 35 minutes at the gym in the afternoon. Thought about doing weights but didn't. And here is an example where the thought does not count.

Thursday: 6 miles in 52 minutes.

Friday: 5k in 21:09 on the treadmill. I think that is the fastest I have ever done a 5K. It felt great and probably should have been faster. I really think in a race I could get that under 21 minutes. I started running on the mill at 7:45 pace but it takes a while for it to get there so I lose time. Then I pushed the pace through the run and finished at 6:15 pace. So a negative split. Then I ran 2 more miles and finished the whole run in 38:22 so not a negative split there but that was just cool down. Did a few weights and found that I have grown weaker. The 15lb dumb bells felt heavy after just a few reps. Generally I can get through a couple of sets before they even remotely feel heavy. Sometimes this happens because I am just worn out but I think yesterday it was because have been bad about doing weights lately and really am weaker. Whatever the reason--tired or muscle loss-- I don't really care as I can get my upper body strength back after the marathon fast enough. However, I am looking leaner up top so maybe I don't want it back. I like looking like a weakling. Last summer my sister commented on my "guns" and asked if I was "tossing Ryan around." Who wants to look like they can toss their husband across the room?

Saturday: I don't know yet. I am going to finish my coffee and call Lala and Pop and see if they will watch the kids so I can go do a 7 or 10 mile run. If not I guess I will go torture myself on the treadmill for a shorter distance and maybe try the weights again. Or maybe I'll go real crazy and do a yoga class. What I do know is that I will be eating a Samoa or two before I do anything else. They seem to be helping.

PS. Good luck Charlie!


  1. Thanks Ms Natalie,

    Ran the VA Beach Yuengling Marathon... on Sunday, but my time was not anywhere near my BQ...and it was sooo disappointing. I went out with the 3:30 pace group...8 minute/mile pace...and was doing really well and feeling really great...(we went through the 13.1 mile mark around 1:44)...until about the 17-19 mile mark when I hit 'My' Wall. I dropped back from the pace group btween mile 18-19 thinking that all I needed was to finish in 3:35 for the BQ and could keep a pace to get me there. I started having thigh cramps at around mile 21 and had to stop three times to stretch and massage them out. I kept running and after the third stop, the cramps pretty much disappeared. At times they seemed to want to come back but I noticed that if I didn't stop, they seemed to improve. But the good news...except for the three stops...I ran the whole race...oh there was a fourth 'pit' stop I Had to make but that was early in the race aroung the 7 mile mark...nature was calling...probably from the morning coffee...but I was able to get back with the pace group then. Did I mention that it was really cold and windy...Well, it was! Even though I wore gloves, my fingers were numb until I got back to the car and turned the heat on. In all I was happy that the time was under 4 hrs although disappointed that it wasn't a BQ. Maybe next time. My next race is a half in middle of April and then I want to do the Fredrick Marathon the first week of May.

    Hope you all had a wonderful St Paddy's Day!


  2. Charlie
    I know you are dissapointed you didn't get your BQ but considering that you are coming off an injury and your training was well below ideal I think under 4 hours is a time you should be proud of. And geez--windy and cold, yeah, under 4 hours is awesome. It sounds like my experience at the Alpharetta half. I can't imagine having to have been in that cold and wind for nearly 4 hours. Yuck, yuck yuck. Well, you will be stronger next time.

  3. Thanks Natalie,

    I'll just think of this as a 26 mile training run! ;o). Here are the splits listed from the chip time...the 3:30 pace group was going a bit fast out of the gate:

    6 mile: 45:23 7:34 pace
    13.1 mile: 1:43:13 7:53 Pace
    18 mile: 2:22:31 7:56 Pace
    26.2 mile: 3:55:58 9:01 Pace

    So I really sucked after the 18 mile timing mat!


  4. Okay, that makes me nervous about going out with the 3:30 pace group at ING. I am not counting on 3:30 but just really would like under 3:40. It looks like, from your splits, you would have done better to pace yourself since they went out way too fast. I guess they were trying to bank time.
    I am goign to have to give this some more thought:3:30 pace group, 3:40 or just pace myself as I normally do and the let the chip time fall where it may.