TITLE: Beginning My Descent AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: September 16, 2006 1:48 PM DESC: ----- BODY: I am almost one week into my three-week taper now. I've only run 29 miles so far this week, with only one track work-out. That was an 8-miler on Wednesday, 6x800m at 3:06-3:08 per repeat. Tomorrow I'll do 12 miles, at a pace close to my marathon goal. My last two weeks of big mileage (60 and 58) tired me out. It rained all day the day of my last long run, scheduled to be 20 miles, so I ended up running indoors. Now, 184 laps sounds much worse than it is... I found a good rhythm, had plenty of scenery to view and distractions to occupy my mind, and I had easy access to restrooms and fluid. But I ran just a bit faster than planned, say, 1-1.5 seconds per lap, which took its toll over twenty miles. I ended up happy with my time but sorer and bit more tired than planned. So my body is ready for the rest. This week I'll do 43 miles; next week, 41. I've done a much better job this year of striking a balance between pushing myself with hard workouts and being patient on recovery runs and breaks. This is the phase of training that must be dominated by patience and punctuated by shorter runs of intensity -- but mostly not faster than marathon goal pace. I will do one more speed work-out next week, 5x1600m, as recommended by the training plan I've followed all season. What will be toughest for me is eating properly. I need to build up my fuel stores a bit over the next couple of weeks, without overeating as my mileage goes down. Plus, I'm not very good about eating regularly on teaching days, because I get into my preparation for class. I almost wish that someone would write a guide for how to eat during the taper. I like to learn from patterns of successful behavior. Of course, I could write a guide, but I haven't found the patterns yet... -----