week 15: tune up

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I started my taper this week, dropping down to 35 miles. Since I had been running 50-60 miles  leading up to week 15, my legs had some extra spring that helped me complete two of my more difficult runs.

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On Wednesday I ran a mile at tempo and then eight two-minute repeats at my 10k pace. This run took a lot out of me. While gasping for air at the finish I was glad my speed workouts were over. I was still a little tired from the previous weekend’s 20-miler so I’m starting to appreciate my two week taper.

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I picked up my race packet on Saturday and finally seeing my bib put 16 weeks of training into focus. My race is only a week away and the hard work is behind me. I’m slightly fatigued but not injured. With a light week of training ahead I know I will be ready on race day.

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Sunday’s run was my last tune up before the marathon. I ran ten miles with the final seven at my goal pace of 7:45. I started in Hermosa Beach and headed south to RAT beach and then back along the Strand. The morning was cool and clear, just like next weekend’s forecast. I tried to simulate race conditions by leaving at the start time, wearing my racing gear, and going through my  warm up and fueling routine.

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I usually have trouble holding my pace but I nailed it today. I felt good during the run but it was daunting to imagine adding another 16 miles. My race strategy is to start much like I started this run, work up to pace and then hold it for as long as I can. I’m confident I can get to 22 miles- about as far as my longest training runs- and the rest will be new territory.

I can’t say how it will turn out but that’s why we do it, right?

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