Tapering with my Baltimore partner in crime!!!!!!! She’s the one and only, Maggie Mae!

I’m TAPERING! I’m pretty happy about it…so close! I was ecstatic to be done with my last 20-mile training run — especially because I did four of them. I was terrified I would miss one so I scheduled four and then ended up being able to do them all. Then, I was afraid I would peak to early and hate myself for over-training. Thus far, hasn’t happened — though my right leg, from pinky toes up to the knee, isn’t really  happy with me.

Listening to my uber-trained bod

Because I was having so many aches and pains, I did only ONE run last week — 8 miles on the tread. My long run this Saturday was supposed be 12 miles but I went about 3.5 and had to quit. That NEVER happens but my body just wasn’t having it on Saturday. You gotta LISTEN! Your body is smart 🙂 I knew that meant I would have to postpone my “long” taper run for Monday morning (Saturday night was a birthday celebration not suited to preparation for long runs on Sunday, if you know what I mean!)

Cranking it out before work

So Monday held my 12 miles in her early morning hands. Due to early morning darkness, however, I was relegated to the dreaded tread (anyone feel me?) again. I came prepared to the gym this morning with my brand spankin’ new copy of Runners World. Oh, RW, you know me don’t you? It was all about the taper this month — and the food I need to eat the week before the big day.

Here I am finishing up my LAST 20-mile training run!

 Eating for the marathon. Gaining four pounds?

In the past, I have done a terrible job fueling before. It’s not gonna happen this year. I’m eating my 85% carbs at every meal for 3-4 days before the marathon. RW said you will weigh about 4 pounds more than normal on marathon day if you do it right. Well, that’s a little terrifying, but honestly, if it means I can have an awesome marathon — I’m totally gung ho about it. They gave a sample meal plan for the 3-4 days leading up to the marathon, which I plan on using. Here it is:

*A day of carbo-loading for a 150-pound runner

1 bagel with 2 tablespoons strawberry jam (71 g)
1 medium banana (27 g)
8 ounces fruit yogurt (41 g)
8 ounces orange juice (26 g)

2 Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey
Granola Bars (29 g)
8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)

1 large baked potato with 1/4 cup salsa (69 g)
1 sourdough roll (40 g)
8 ounces chocolate milk (26 g)
1 large oatmeal cookie (56 g)

1 Clif Bar (42 g)
8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)

1 chicken burrito with rice, corn salsa, and black beans (105 g)
1 2-ounce bag Swedish Fish (51 g)


Magazines on the Treadmill?

Back to today’s run. Many people are fascinated by the fact that I can read magazines while running at a fast pace on the treadmill. I admit, I’ve developed quite a talent and can make a magazine last for close to 2 hours by reading slowly and every word. RW last me about an hour and fifteen minutes today — got me to almost done. Because magazines are sometimes my ONLY motivation to workout, I have a subscription to lots, including:

  • People
  • Runners World
  • Womens Health
  • Self
  • Shape
  • Glamour
  • Marie Claire

While I’ve often heard criticism of women’s magazines, I get a lot out of them. For me, they are simply motivational tools full of positive advice, healthy living tips, inspirational stories and self-esteem boosters. I draw the line at Cosmo — just can’t stomach it.

So I made it through a really rough 11 miles — only by the grace of RW. Reading about all these runners accomplishing goals, learning about good tapering practices and also, reading the amazing story of how Grete Waitz set the women’s world record in the marathon without ever having run more than 12 miles before she did it — that kept my mind off huffing and puffing, helping the miles speed by.

Now, just 12 days away from the Baltimore Marathon, I’m so ready to do this thing. I will not run too much the next two weeks — minimally to keep my joints ready for action. With all this hard training done, I feel prepared and more excited than ever to run.


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