Ah, tapering


With nine days and counting to the Derby City Mini Marathon, I am thoroughly enjoying my taper week.  When I first laid out my training program for the mini, I was none to happy about the idea of tapering.  There were several things I was concerned about.

  1. If I tapered, I wouldn’t run the full distance of the mini until the actual mini, and that made me nervous.  Several months ago when I was planning my training program, when two miles was the most I could do and I was incredibly slow, the idea of jumping from 12 miles to 13.1 was ludicrous!  In my head, I needed to run that distance before race day.
  2. Tapering seemed like such a ridiculous idea, and every fourth week I was scheduled to drop my mileage and have a taper week.  Crazy!

So, that was at the beginning of the year when I first started, when going from two to three miles was a huge deal, when 13.1 was still perceived as an unattainable distance, when I was a crazy slow runner.

And here I am today, nine days away from running the longest distance in my life, not at all phased by my approaching mini marathon, and loving this tapering thing!  I’ve learned a few things over my last few months of running.

  1. I can do this, and 13.1 miles is, in fact, not impossible.
  2. I’m not the fastest or strongest runner, but I am a runner.
  3. Running has become incredibly addictive.
  4. 10K is my favorite distance.  Not too long, not too short.
  5. I wish there were crazy psychedelic and bright running shoes that were appropriate for my wide, prone to supinate and pronate feet.  I’m not going to lie.  I really want some neon pink running shoes, but between having a wide foot and ankles rolling whichever way suits them (my stride is apparently better and more neutral when I run, and after the mini I’m hoping to get fit in a new shoe that is a little more colorful than what I have now), I’ve been stuck in pretty boring shoes.
  6. I don’t believe in jogging.  You walk or you run.  You might run slowly (like me!), but don’t demean what you do by calling it jogging.  Give yourself some credit.  You are running.

Ah…I am so ready for the mini to be here.  I’m more than ready for it, and the days are just creeping by.  While I’m in the single digits of the count down, nine days still seems so far away.  I’m itching to check the mini off the bucket list and move onto the next challenge, running faster.  I’m going to take a break from long distance running for a bit and work towards that nine minute mile and sub 30 minute 5K.  I briefly toyed with the idea of trying to train for a marathon, but I want to first see how the mini goes (it’ll go fine) and now that I’m back in school, marathon training can wait for a bit.  And I’m not 100% sure if I really want to run 26.2.  And my husband will start his training for his ultra marathon soon…

Maybe when I’m an NP, my children are older and life is a little less hectic, I can think about training for a full marathon.  But for now, my running agenda post mini will be to run faster.  When I started running, I was running close to a 15 minute mile.  Now, I run just over a 12 minute mile for my long runs (yesterdays five mile run was between 12.08 to 12.28).  So, I’m still slow, just not crazy slow like I was.  I’ve signed up for The Color Run on July 29th (crazy expensive for a 5K, but I’m so excited!)  By that time, I’m hoping to shave my miles down nine minutes.

I think I can do it.  Hell, if I can go from not being able to run for 30 seconds without feeling like I was going to die to being able to run a mini over the course of a few months, I can run a nine minute mile.  I can run 3.1 miles at that pace.

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11 thoughts on “Ah, tapering

  1. YEE! I am so happy for you! And you are giving me the confidence in believing I can do longer distances if I just keep working on it. I don’t care if my run is slower than an old lady’s fast walk… at least I am trying. =D Keep up the awesome work!

  2. I used to run a lot like you – a little faster, but not by much, and I was the same about distances (nothing over a half)… I push cycling a lot to get fast at running. Since I started riding last summer, I’ve knocked off more than a minute a mile. As we get older, the slow twitch muscle fibers take over from the fast twitch…the easiest way to get faster is to build the fast twitch fibers and cycling (medium speed, high rpm) is what really did it for me. I went from a 27 minute 5k to a 23 minute 5k – and I’m almost down into the 7 minute miles for 7.2 miles (I missed by 3 seconds per mile last week).

    Good luck on your half and keep it up, and remember to keep it fun before fast! I don’t blame you for not wanting to do the marathons – that’s too long for me too.

  3. Great job! I’m slow too but trying to work on it. I haven’t done more than a 5k but hope to soon. Good luck on your half. I’m sure you will rock !

  4. I’m embarrassed to say that I make fun of myself for being more of a “jogger” rather than a “runner” due to my slow long runs. I’m going to change that now after reading this. What you said is so true! I put in a lot of hard work, and it sure as hell feels like running to me! 🙂 Good luck with your run!!!

  5. LOVE THIS POST! You’re doing an excellent job and definitely an inspiration to all of us amateur runners out there. Keep it up! My first half is only 14 days away, and I CAN’T WAIT!

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