Even though my taper for the NOLA Marathon officially started Saturday after my final 20+ mile training run, it is hard for me to FEEL like I’m tapering until after my final 10+ mile tempo run before the marathon. This is almost always completed on the next to last Tuesday prior to race day (i.e. Today).
This morning Nathan and I did just under 10.5 miles in Edwin Warner Park, on the Harpeth River Greenway and through the streets of Bellevue. Normally I want these final 10+ mile tempo efforts to be completed at race pace, but going into today I didn’t think that was feasible or smart. In the last 10 days I’ve finished a 1:32 half marathon on a tough course, run my fastest track workout since last summer, and completed a 20+ mile training run.
With that in mind I told Nathan that I was shooting for a moderate 8:00min pace. Well, this lasted for 3 miles before we completed miles 5 and 6 at 7:45 pace, and the remaining miles in the 7:30s. While this is still not quite goal race pace, it was still faster than I had planned. However, my legs also felt much better than I expected.
Now that this run is over, the mileage on my remaining runs before the race will all be significantly reduced, and it will actually feel like a taper. I should land at about 40 total miles this week, and then 15 next week prior to race day. Gotta make myself get plenty of rest and plenty of fuel to ensure I’m properly recovered from the intense training on race day. Getting excited and nervous!!