The Road to the Half: The Taper
The race is in just a few days. I can’t believe I am here! I am kind of freaking out and very, very nervous about it.
Because of the last few weeks of crazy, my training plan has not been perfect. I was going great guns until the end of May. I got my 12 miler in on 5/29. I had planned on doing my 13 miler on June 4, but it rained. I did five miles on my treadmill that day, making up a shorter run I’d not completed the weekend before. I tried again on June 6, but after having run the two days prior, I just didn’t have it in me. I ended up with eight miles that day before I gave up.
With the travel and crazy that ensued, my next chance to run long would have been this week, which was too close to the race. I need the taper, I know. So I haven’t done the 13 miles in training, which makes me nervous. I know tons and tons of people go into halfs with less long runs than I’ve done. I’ve been as consistent as I possibly can be. I’ve done the eight, the nine, the ten, the eleven and the twelve mile runs. I know I can complete the thirteen. I am just not sure how much walking will be involved in those last few miles.
I’m now in the taper part of the training and it does make me nervous. I ran a five mile run on Sunday, and it honestly felt really great after a few days of not being able to run. I suppose that’s the idea of the taper. I did a four miler yesterday and it wasn’t as nice; still felt strong but it was really warm, so I was slower. I kept thinking the whole time, you’ll have to triple this on Sunday! How can you be ready to stop? OY!
At this point there’s nothing more I can do but trust in the training and do the race. The forecast, thankfully, is not terribly hot. It should be probably 65 or so and not very humid during the race. Still not the cool 50-60 of most of my training runs, but still far better than it was last year for this race.
- I am worried about the hills, but I plan to be very conservative about the early ones to preserve my energy.
- I am worried about the chafing, and am planning on bringing a small container of vaseline to try and reapply during the race. I think I have figured out the best sports bra combo to minimize it. Even yesterday’s four mile run brought out a chafe in my usual spot so I have to really be aware of it.
- I am worried about my feet. I am trying different socks this week on my final runs to see which ones will minimize blistering. I am going to need a serious pedicure to remove all of the dead skin on them when this is over. My feet are a real mess.
- I am worried about parking. I hate shuttles. This is a 5,000 person race. My plan is to just get there really early and park on site. Since I know I will be one of the last finishers, it shouldn’t be a problem. This means I will need to leave my house by 6am. I will try to have all the parking places on a list in my car in case it fills faster than I anticipate.
- I am worried about time. My twelve mile run was 2:44, which means that thirteen would likely be around 3:00. The course services end at 3:15. That means if anything at all goes wrong, I am on my own. I just don’t want to finish after the course limit time. I had hoped it was four hours so I would have some comfort there, but it doesn’t. So hopefully all will go well.
Four days left. Two three mile runs, one fifteen minute shake out and then I’ll be running my first half marathon. I can’t believe I’m finally here.