Friday, August 15, 2008

An extended taper

This week, I exhausted myself with a tough swimming workout the night before a long run (I was wrong - a 12-miler deserves the respect due to a long run. It is still a long run for a first time marathoner!) My knees started exhibiting distress symptoms - nagging pain in my inner knees (which is exaggerated when I climb stairs) and overall fatigue. My lack of sleep is catching up. Totally spent, I slept for almost 9 hours last night. Today, the pain is gone, but I don't feel 100%.

In spite of my restlessness, I have decided to take a break from running till Sunday. I will probably go for a relaxing (emphasis on "relaxing") swim later today.

I wonder if it is OK to start the marathon taper 4-4 1/2 weeks before the race. I have four 17+ miles under my belt, which includes one 20 and one 23 miler. All of these runs have been longer than 3 hours. I don't want to be creaky and underprepared for the race, but I definitely DO NOT want to be limping to the start!

My schedule has a 20-miler next week, but I will cut that short - by how much, I am not sure yet. If there is one thing I have learned while training for a marathon, it is to be flexible and let your body tell you what to do.

I was able to squeeze in a 30 minute swim (about 10 laps) in the evening and no more. My arms still felt spent; and thunder clouds were looming, so I was politely but firmly shoved out the gate by a bored lifeguard, who was keeping the pool open on account of one neurotic swimming fan (to his credit, he didn't actually ask me to leave; but when I emerged from the shower, he was waiting by the gate, lock and key in hand, ready to leave for the day).

I met Pearl and Brenda at Edison Train Station at 8 pm. They were here for our Girls' Day Out tomorrow, consisting of a hike in the Catskills, followed by a shopping trip to the Woodbury Outlet Mall. Fun fun fun! We ordered take-out Thai and did some shopping for our hike.

Then, we all had dinner while watching the Olympics on TV till 12 am.

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