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. I conquered a 16-mile run last weekend.  (The new longest run of my life.) Regular readers know, this is my first time training for a marathon. I knew the mental part of training would be hard, but I don’t think it’s possible to truly grapple with it until you’re in it.  The physical challenge is easy enough to predict. Of course running for hours is grueling. Running for 20 minutes teaches you that. But the mind stuff? That gets exponentially tougher with increased time/distance. (You know, for me at least.)

It was so easy to write down the distances to create a training plan. Super easy – fun even – to add them to my Google calendar and to map out routes on Strava. But the night before I was slated to run 16 miles, I was in a state of disbelief. My 15-mile run was TOUGH even though it was entirely flat. The idea that I was going to run 16-miles in the Berkshires with no bathrooms and tons of hills seemed, quite frankly, preposterous.

berkshire running

running from MA to NY (and back)

On Saturday, the morning of the run, I woke up with no desire to get out the door. But I did, of course, get out the door. I committed to running the first miles at a very slow pace and that was very necessary since the first 3+ miles were straight up hill. I stopped a ton those first 3 miles.

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This Sunday, I ran the Guido’s Gr8t Road Race in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

I signed up for this small town race in March, a testament to my neurosis that I felt the need to commit to a race that most definitely wouldn’t sell out (fewer than 90 people ran it) five months in advance. The first 75 sign ups were promised a tech-t, and I love a good race shirt. I was #3 to sign up. Awkward? 

Guido's Gr8t-T

Guido’s Gr8t-T

This 8-mile race was run by the Berkshire Running Center, a sneaker store in Pittsfield, Massachusetts that I’ve never been to.  It started and ended at Guido’s, at high-end supermarket that I love in Great Barrington, not too far from Matt’s parents’ house.
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Hi guys! Summer is in full swing here in New York. It’s hot, humid and super sunny. I’m pretty into it.

Marathon training officially kicked off on July 3. I’m running the NYC Marathon in November. It’s my first-ever marathon.  I’m using an 18-week training schedule based on Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 Marathon Training Plan. Check it out:

Matt helped edit the schedule to fit in some real-life things.  For example, “CLASS” refers to the NYRR running class I am taking 6:30am on Tuesday mornings. It’s a class focused on speed work. I’m excited for it but 6:30am is SO EARLY to be running fast.

Have you run a marathon? What did your training plan look like?

All the workouts: July 3- July 9 (Marathon Training Week 1)

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