This weekend I tackled my last double digit run until the marathon and I'm so glad that it's behind me! I know that people tend to complain about the taper but I'm welcoming it with open arms- I'm mostly looking at 30-45 minute runs and one six miler over the next two weeks and that sounds glorious right about now.
Per the advice of all, I stuck to my training plan and set out for an easy 10-miler. I ate a pretty large-for-me pre-run breakfast (two pieces of whole wheat toast w/ PB + jam) so I could see how my stomach felt being a little fuller. To be honest I'm typically pretty lucky in that department- outside of the one stupid time that I ate hummus + popcorn pre-run, my stomach never gives me any issues. And Saturday was no exception to that, I felt well fueled. I normally wouldn't take any fuel other than water for a 10 miler but I knew this would be my last real chance to toy with nutrition. I traded out my usual Shot Bloks for some pomegranate honey stingers just to see if I noticed a difference. For an early October day the weather was crazy hot. It was almost 80 degrees when I left my house and I was glad that there were some scattered showers coming my way. The run itself was pretty uneventful, I watched my heart rate closely and just tried to keep it super low. I ignored my pace (but I know it was SLOW) and just tried to enjoy my last long run. The next time I gear up and head out for long run it will be marathon morning! I felt good about fueling but still not so great about hydration, I think I need to work on drinking more on a daily basis so I'm at a better starting point (it also didn't help that I had had a glass of wine the night before and not drank more water before bed, rookie mistake!).
I needed this run to go well because my head has just been full of doubts. Thankfully I made it through all 10 miles pretty easily- no walking breaks, no mental breakdowns and only a few curse words (my heart rate monitor kind of went on the fritz and my patience was low). I'm well aware that being able to run 10 miles does not at all imply that I will breeze through a marathon but it feels better just reminding myself how far I've come. Now that I'm entering the homestretch I'm really trying to work on my mental toughness. Looking back at my May half marathon I know that those 5 seconds were due to giving up mentally, not physically. Obviously this race will be different, as I won't be fighting for a certain time, but I do want to be fighting for a strong run. As much as I want to enjoy the ride and soak in every moment of it, I always want to push myself both physically and mentally (not to the point of injury though!). I don't want to give up when it starts to get uncomfortable and start walking. One of my big goals was to run the whole race and I'd love to be able to accomplish that one- even if it's a slow shuffle- I want to give it everything I've got.
13 days to toughen myself up a bit. K. has found some documentaries for me to watch and I'm re-reading a few of my favorite running books. Any suggestions for other things to watch/read?