Sunday, March 05, 2006

Run to the Hills

Three weeks to go until the marathon, and the taper is about to start. I’m pondering how long I should run on Tuesday. The schedule says 16 miles, but that was meant to be for a long run on Sunday, just 14 days before the marathon. As I do my long runs on Tuesdays, it means I have an extra 5 days from the workout to the race. I might therefore do 18 miles instead, but I’ll decide on Monday. Unfortunately I can’t decide during the run, because I have to know in advance how long I’m going to run, otherwise I won’t return back home in time to go to work. I guess that’s the disadvantage of running your runs in the morning, but I can take that.

The snow didn't last the day. It was still cold yesterday morning, but it meant we were left with the icy road conditions, and sans snow. Today it's warmer again.

I did a hill run today; there is a road around the peak of the Devil’s Elbow, which includes a climb from 15m to about 150m elevation in about one (brutal) mile. It is a challenge to run it all without a walking break, but I managed it today, tempted as I was to stop running at the steepest parts. The heart rate shot up to 181, which is in my VO2max zone, though I didn’t really look to have such a workout. On the road back home, at about 6.5 miles, I went up another hill, just as steep but about half as high. This one isn’t ideal, because it leads to a dead-end and I had to run down the same road again, and it’s too steep to run down comfortably.

I got caught in the rain again and got competely soaked on the last 3 miles. I felt a bit of hail as well, but that didn't last more than a minute.

I guess the whole run was just over 9 miles. The road around the Devil’s Elbow is 8.7 miles, and let’s say the second climb, including the way back down, added another half mile for a 9.2 miles workout. The exact distance doesn’t really matter, it’s the effort that counts.

3 March: 6 easy miles, 55:02, 9:10 pace
5 March: 9.2 hilly miles, 1:17, 8:22 pace


  1. Hey Thomas! At this point most of the money is already in the bank and a few miles either way won't make alot of difference. The only thing that I take from the tape is to keep the effort up on the key runs (but at reduced volume). Have a great taper, relax and savor it ;-)

  2. My husband always says "the hay is in the barn". Enjoy your taper, eat, and sleep well!

  3. Wow - what a pace w/all those hills!

    Tapering is tough! Try to enjoy it. Your race is just around the corner!

  4. Tapering, the best music for my ears!!!

  5. Sounds like a very wet ending.
    Nice you can reach your max VO2 while on those nice hills.

    Now focus on the taper, that will finish preparing your body for the race, how exciting!!

  6. You are ready, whether it's 16 or 18 miles. No big difference, decide how much sleep you're willing to give up. Then - rest up!

  7. I agree with everyone that you have done the work and don't need to fret over the 16-18 miles. Staying fresh, but rested is the best thing at this point. Good luck with this last short stretch before the marathon.

  8. what a neat run! good luck with the taper...

  9. I don't think I can wait the 3 weeks to find out how you'll do!

    How do you feel about it?

  10. A few miles one way or the other at this point won't really make a difference. If you feel like stretching it out to 18, it probably won't help you in the race. On the other hand, with two weeks before the race, it probably won't hurt you, either.