The Taper Before A Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon takes place in Arlington, VA in October. I am participating in its 36th anniversary. Participating in marathons became a trend these past few years. I am no exception. I ran my 1st marathon (NYC) in 2009. In order to be able to run this marathon, I had to register in late February. I rather did it the first day the online registration opened to avoid a surprise that I had encountered when registering for 2011 Boston marathon in October 2010. That marathon sold out in just 8 hours.

On the other hand, the mandatory early registrations allow runners plenty of training time for the race. I started my training plan 20 weeks before the race that takes place this coming Sunday, on October 30. I was gradually increasing the distance of my runs and the speed, too, ending the 20-week long training plan running around 60–70 miles per week. I feel well prepared and capable to finish the marathon under 3 hours. 2:59:59 is fine. I finished my previous, NYC marathon in 3:02, so there comes the motivation for improvement.

Past 2 weeks, I have been watching carefully what I was eating and running just shorter distances and avoiding speed workouts. My last hard effort was the local Malverne 5K run. I reserved my accommodation starting Friday in a hotel about 8 miles away in an effort to avoid crowding of streets and the subway. The last thing I want is to be reminded through what pain I’ll go on Sunday. I can’t wait to have it over.

Recently, I have been reading runners reviews of the previous Marine Corps marathons. They reflected great crowd support, excellent course, marines support.  The reviewers were also commenting on long access time to the start as well as long waiting line for the subway after the finish. I can’t do much about the access, as I need to go through the runners village to register my bag of spare clothes to change after the race, phone, and money. But I plan to change my escape route. I’ll rather walk than wait in line. My middle daughter drives with me and she’ll provide the much needed support on the course and beyond. I am looking forward to it. If you are interested, you can register (link will be invalid after the race) to receive updates in 10 K increments about my progress. I’ll write more reflections on the race itself in another post.