Marathon Training winds down as Goofy approaches

Last week, I ran 30.75 miles, including my last Long Training Run of 20 miles.  This brings my monthly mileage to 110 miles (another 100+ mile month), and over 1,100 miles for the year!  Wow!  Pretty exciting for a guy who hadn't run even 1 mile 2 years ago.

I have to admit that this week was harder than usual for me from a motivation perspective.  I am getting tired of all the training miles.  That is all I have been doing this year -- training and training and races.  20 races altogether for this year, not including the two virtual Half Marathons for 2012.  But as someone recently said, "No success comes to those who quit" so I got out there and did what needed to be done.

So other than the two weekday runs, the biggie was on Sunday -- my 20 mile Long Run to cap off my preparation.  After an unexpectedly difficult 5K run on Friday afternoon at the gym, I was left with some doubts.  If I couldn't do the 5K, how would I tolerate the 20 miler?  Of course, this logic made no sense given that I ran 13.1 miles last Sunday and a full Marathon back in October.  But doubts don't always make sense.

So Sunday was the big thing.  I decided to run a 10-mile loop from my house to my church and back, doing that loop twice to reach 20 miles.  I woke up to 16F temps, wind, and overcast skies.  I ran the first loop with my friend Mike.  It was great running with him.  On our way back home on that loop, I slipped on the ice and fell.  I hurt my right ankle a bit but not too bad.  Then Mike fell.  Note to self: no more running on snowy/icy bike paths without YakTraks.

We finished the first 10 mile loop and Mike decided to call it a day (he had worked all night Saturday night).  So I changed into dry shirts and 1/4 fleece jacket and started out on the second loop.  I did pretty well actually.  I finished the full 20.56 miles in 4:28 and didn't fall the second time around.

Finishing that 20-miler really felt good.  It restored my feeling of being prepared for the races in 2013.  I have done 3 back-to-back training runs to simulate Goofy, and I have put forth the foot-time required to build up my endurance.   Now I get to start my 'tapering' period, where I reduce my weekly mileage allowing my body to rest and recover.  So come January 11-13, it will be healthy and ready to meet the challenge.  Bring on Goofy!

I am so ready for the Taper.  I need the rest. This week is only a 20-miler, including a Half Marathon fundraiser to support the families affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy..  This week is also Christmas!  Perhaps I will put in a quick 5K on Christmas Day.

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