It was a bittersweet race for me. A PR, yes, but not a race I had prepared for, or executed, well.
This weekend some dear friends, (runners I've had the pleasure to race with), Amanda and Nicole, are off and having their own experiences. My heart is with them..happy for their opportunity. Happy they had solid training. Happy they have family there to support them. And happy they have each other to make the race atmosphere even richer! I can't wait to hear their stories!
|I love you girls! Get ready to FLY!!!!|
Someday I might go back, well trained, ready to tear down (and up) that one-of-a-kind course. But not this year!
As of the middle of this week I can now say that I am... TAPERING... for a different marathon.
Tapering is relative to the amount of time put in, but I do plan to reduce mileage and keep sharp with limited amounts of marathon-paced running, T-paced running, and strides.
The name of the game has been, (since the beginning of this cycle in late December), )) ABSORB (( and PROPEL . My goal being to alternate hard workouts with easy recovery. Since the most recent gap in my schedule, I have leaned more heavily on the absorb end of training. It has paid off, with some quality MP and threshold running.
|I decided I needed more colors so I added in a new category: recovery. It's the same as easy, but slower. ha.|
One morning, I felt led to pull out a blank calendar and just count the total number of days left. By using the time I had left "post-gap" to get back into it and then space out three 20 milers 10 days apart, I have been able to get good amounts of recovery between each major workout, something I might have been missing before. So far, so good...
My mileage has been lower than I would have liked. I play my own sports therapist by reminding myself that many runners operate on lower mileage than this and still run 3:15 or better. I have the long run part...Why not take a chance with the shorter recovery runs if it gets me to the starting line ready to race?
I have been praying before I head out on my runs for the Lord to show me what to do- and for His protection from foolishness. This last 20 miler was no different. I didn't know if the best approach was to run it all easy and try to do some harder workout later in the week, or to run it with a large portion (12 miles) of MP. There were several reasons I could find for, and against, a marathon-paced 20 miler 18 days out from the marathon.
I finally went with MP when I realized how God has already decided the outcome of my training and my race. I could worry about a multitude of different scenarios until it totally consumes me. It is time to trust. It is my responsibility to pay attention to my body and his leading, but whether I wind up injured again, or powerful and ready to PR on race day, He is still GOOD. His ways are beyond my own understanding; but, no matter the outcome, He is GOOD.
When the kids are jumping off all the furniture and will not obey, He is GOOD.
When the phone rings from debt collectors, He is GOOD.
When everyone in the house has a runny nose and is coughing green chunks, He is GOOD.
When the two year-old dumps all of his clothes out on the floor for the third time today, He is GOOD.
When it rains for days on end and you live in rubber boots, He is GOOD.
When your husband brings home the groceries and there is Powerade powder, coffee, and fresh strawberries, He really is GOOD.
This will only be my third marathon. Read: I am still a rookie.
My plan is made out in skeleton form. It reminds me of an outline to a research paper with the subjects in place and sub-topics yet to be determined. The running is still day-to-day, but I am planning hydration and pacing strategies, cheer and shirt exchange spots (in the event of serious rain), printing maps to memorize, pace bands to wear, and dress rehearsals.
I am trying not to hold my breath for the next two weeks. I could still step into a pothole, and I am trying not to "count my chickens", as I see if I can make it to the start line prepared and uninjured this time.
Patience isn't my strong suit, but the Lord has done a work in me (and continues to!). I am learning to be patient. I am learning that He really is the one in control.
There is a certain power in being able to just trust.