A taper can feel almost anticlimactic; after even just a few weeks of hard training, the sudden shift to easier and fewer miles has the sensation of winding down for the season, rather than ramping up for a PR. That’s not to say that the taper doesn’t work – it really does!
This week’s training tapered down for the Snohomish Women’s Run 10K. I spent a few weeks sharpening to hopefully break 45 minutes and after a week of hard workouts last week, I stuck to mostly easy and shorter runs in the days leading up to the race on Sunday – which if you haven’t seen on Facebook or Instagram, it was a very good race!
Monday: 5 mile easy run & core work
Those of you who have adopted rescue dogs know that many shelter pets carry past fears with them. Ollie is scared of large trucks and buses, and so waiting at stop lights to cross a busy road is nerve-wracking for him. He’s making huge improvements on our runs now!
For the first several weeks of running with him, we ran on paved trails to avoid intersections. For this route, we crossed one intersection twice (out and back route) and had to stop both times. I worked on having him sit and petting him as we waited for the signal to cross. I could see him flinch a little as the cars drove by, but he did so well in handling the crossings.
Tuesday: 6 mile tempo run
Peaking for a race does strange things to the mind and body. As all the hard training sets in and taper sets forth the recovery process, I feel simultaneously antsy with energy and sore in weird places. Hard speedwork, even with less mileage, feels like it places more of a demand on my body and therefore more of a need for recovery than long distance training.
I felt mildly tight and achy before this run and a bit sluggish during it – yet surprisingly, I hit my paces. After a two mile warm up, I ran 10 minutes at half marathon pace, 2 minutes easy, and 10 minutes at 10K pace, followed by a cooldown mile.
Wednesday: 20 minute Pilates workout
I did a quick, easy Pilates workout to stretch out and do some light strength training. I carry tension so heavily in my upper back and shoulders, and I definitely feel it released in a good Pilates workout.
Thursday: 5 mile easy run
Ollie and I ran another 5 easy miles together. It’s actual quite simple to assess if I am running at an easy effort with Ollie, since I spend a majority of the running saying “easy,” “good puppy,” and “leave it! leave it!” every time we see a waterfowl.
Thursday night brought a deluge of rain and a thunderstorm (which rarely occur out here in the Seattle area). Since Charlie lived the first 2.5 years of his life in the Midwest, where we swaddled him in a Thundershirt every time it stormed, he was unfazed. Ollie, however, panicked.
Friday 3 mile easy run
We ventured out on a newer-to-us route, which made this easy 3 mile early morning run fly by. I also cannot repeat enough how happy I am that it’s fully light out by 5:45 AM here! It makes morning runs so much more enjoyable and relaxed.
Saturday: Rest day
I always like resting the day before a race. A rest day makes me antsy to run again and puts me in the right physical and mental state to race hard. Instead, I squeezed in some puggle snuggles between prepping for Ryan’s booth at the race and running errands.
Sunday: Snohomish Women’s Run 10K, 43:53
I will share a full recap of this race on Wednesday, but to summarize: I hit my goal of breaking 45 minutes and finished second overall! Also, racing a 10K is really hard but really exhilarating. The whole race experience was a little surreal. The course was beautiful as well – definitely a race I would consider doing again! A huge bonus of this race was that I got to see two of my athletes, as one is the race director and the other ran a really strong race.
We celebrated with some Greek food (yum), seeing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (so good!), and the Hendrick’s Gin that I had held off on enjoying until after this race. And now, it’s off-season/base building until I start training again in August for California International Marathon – I registered again this week!
Do you prefer to rest or run the day before a race?
How was your week in running?
When did a race last feel surreal to you?