Setting expectations, tapering, and racking up those miles

This week marks the beginning of my Taper -- the period where you reduce your mileage and workouts leading up to a Race so that your body can recover, repair, and store up Glycogen -- for the Illinois Marathon Weekend on April 27-28. I am doing the "iChallenge" -- running a 5K on Friday night, followed by the Half Marathon on Saturday. When I finish both races, I get medals for both races, plus a third medal to show I completed the iChallenge. Fun stuff! I love a challenge!

So this week, I am cutting down on my running miles (but not my walking mileage for AVON). On Wednesday, I walked for 6.5 miles at a 14:25/mm pace. It was a nice walk on a bike path for part of it (thanks Megan for showing it to me last week). Today, I went to LifeTime Fitness after work to run 3.81 miles on the Treadmill. I decided to do a Tempo Run, with a 3.46 mile run segment at a 9:38/mm pace. I even ran the last 1/2 mile at a faster 8:45/mm pace just to push it a bit. After the run, I foam rolled my piriformis muscle which has been sore for the past week. I am trying to get it nice and comfy before my races next week.

I am hoping to PR both of my races at the Illinois Marathon Weekend. My goal is to run the 5K at a 9:00/mm pace, and run the Half in the 9:30/mm range. We will have to see how this turns out. But as long as I PR the two races, I will be satisfied. A good race result here will be the times I will submit to Disney for corral placement for the WDW Marathon Weekend in 2013.

Earlier this month, I estimated that I would run/walk for over 100 miles in April. So far, I have 'moved' (walked and/or run) for 83 miles! Woo Hoo! There is no doubt now that I will cross the 100-mile/month threshold for April! Since I am tapering, my mileage will be much less than in prior weeks. But even taking that into consideration, it looks like my mileage total will be close to 115. Whew! I just bought my Newtons on March 27th and they already have 60 miles on them!

Today, I spent some time finishing up my training schedule for the ENTIRE YEAR and entering all of that information into my iPad calendar. Now I can just follow the plan day-to-day. I am sure the plans will be adjusted as needed -- certainly once I start my marathon training program through the RRCA, there will be changes to make -- but at least now I have a complete game plan that includes all my scheduled races.

I have to admit that as I entered in all these runs (and walks), I started to get a little panicked. Can I really accomplish all of this??? I mean we are talking hundreds and hundreds of training miles (with many Long Runs in the hottest part of the summer), not to mention the Chicago Marathon AND the Goofy Challenge. I will likely exceed 1000 miles in 2012. Am I crazy??!! I guess we will see -- and you get a front seat right here as I chronicle the journey. Stick with me because I will need all of your support and encouragement as I keep moving forward. We will encourage one another, okay?

Speaking of support, the AVON Walk for Breast Cancer research is coming up fast -- June 2-3, 2012. There is still time if you feel called to support me with a donation, and help us fight the battle for a cure to this disease and help women and men get the care they need to overcome. Just click the SUPPORT ME link at the top of this page to learn more and make a donation. Thanks!

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