Most training plans include a tapering period 2-3 weeks before a marathon. This means you run less, and slow the eff down in fitness and ideally in life. The theory is the work is done, your strength and endurance are built and it’s too late to try to work on speed. Now it’s time to relax and get/be healthy. The goal is straightforward: Show up to the marathon well-rested and eager to run.

I’ve heard the taper can make you go crazy. Some dub the moody response some runners have “Taper Tantrums.” I figured I’d have some issues here, but it’s not what I predicted. I expected to feel the desire to run more than I was permitted to and to feel frustrated and nervous about the lack of mileage, but au contraire. All I want to do is sit on the couch, forget running, take some naps and eat pretzel croissants from City Bakery. (I’m averaging three a week. Too much?)

wedding photo

I would like to interrupt this complaining with a gratuitous wedding photo!

I ran 4 miles yesterday at a 10-minute per mile pace (on the slow side for me) and it was a workout, not a casual jaunt in the park. Everything feels HARD.  I’m still sore from the 21 mile run. Which was like, 10 days ago. So I’d say things are going only OKAY. I feel DONE.

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Good morning! Let’s kick things off with some great things written by other people.

The things you’ll find on the internet. Evidently there is a secret Facebook group called “the Missing Chins Run Club.” Its 52 members have lost over 4,000 pounds through running and nutrition changes. I think that’s pretty cool.

Got race-day jitters? Cool me too. Robin Arzon, an epic spin instructor at Peloton and impressive runner has some tips on tapering and racing.

I love sports movies and I’m very excited to watch some of the films recommended by Race Pace Jess on her list of running movies to watch while you taper. Anyone with me?

Week 15 recap 

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Saturday, I ran 21.6 miles. That’s the longest I’ve ever run in my life and the longest I will run until the November 5 (you know, during the NYC marathon). For the first time this training cycle, I ran with a group.

I love the idea of joining a running group/club/team but in practice, I wasn’t sure if it would work for me. I’ve had mixed results with group runs.  With other people around, I get in my head about keeping a certain pace and I end up going slower than I otherwise would just to make sure I can maintain.

There is a very popular training run in NYC where you hit three or four bridges: the Queensboro, the Pulaski, the Brooklyn and/or the Manhattan. The Queensboro (aka 59th Street Bridge) and the Pulaski are in the NYC marathon. I knew at some point during marathon training I wanted to do this run but I was a little intimidated by all of the street running. I was concerned I’d get lost or spend too much time waiting at lights and mostly, I had better, traffic-free options in Central Park and the West Side Highway.

three bridges run nyc

Three Bridges Run in NYC

Anyway, I saw that a running team called the NY Flyers was hosting a 20-mile “three bridge run” on Saturday, October 14. That’s three weeks before the marathon and a popular time to get your last 20 (or 20+) mile run in before you taper. For $20, non-NY Flyer members could join and receive the aid of pacers as well three hydration and nutrition stations along the route. I signed up.  I’m ever grateful they let non-members into this group run.

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Welcome to week infinity of marathon training.

There are only 25 days until the NYC Marathon, which make sense seeing as I’ve been training for this race since the dawn of man (or 14 weeks, tomato tomato). This week was a “drop down” week which is an insulting way to say I only ran 14 miles this weekend. I don’t think I’ll ever be so tough that I’ll put a decreasing modifier before “14 miles.” 14 miles is far. And it was hot and humid and hard.

I can’t change the weather, but I can distract myself with music. In consequence, a big interest of mind these days is having a strong soundtrack on training runs (and eventually during the big show on November 5). To that end I made a 7-hour-plus playlist on Spotify. I want to be able to hit skip when I’m not feeling a tune and still have a new songs to listen to.

The playlist includes current rap, hip hop, 90s pop and maybe even a song from Rent, you’ll need to listen to all of it to know for sure. Ok yeah, definitely La Vie Boheme is there. Feel free to use it. I’d also love any additions you have to make it even better! Please leave song suggestions in the comments.

On to week 14’s workouts.

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Let’s start with a little roundup of interesting bits and bites from around the web before I dive into week 13 of marathon training.

    • 99U (Adobe’s creative online mag) shared 7 pieces of advice to help you approach your own work, pulling from the wisdom of some incredible creative minds, including this from Kurt Vonnegut,

“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”

      • A cold cup of truth this week from ZenHabits in a recent post, “The Ideal vs. the Reality of Changing Your Life
      • NY-ers, Self magazine is teaming up with some great fitness brands and hosting group runs around the city through the end of October. It’s all free, check it out.
      • Outside Magazine published a “Go List” of 6 places to visit where the dollar is currently strong. (I love Outside Mag.)
      • Runs for Cookies is a new-to me blogger. She lost 125 pounds through some major lifestyle changes, but that’s not the only thing that makes her so incredibly interesting. She bares it all on her blog, and her honesty, transparency and good humor make it very easy to connect with her. Not sure where to start? I really liked this post.

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