Marathon Reflection Monday, The ALMOST Taper Edition

I won’t beat around the bush here.

I didn’t run 30 miles this weekend.

I didn’t run any miles this weekend.

At about 11 am on Friday, my mild sore throat that I’d had for 4 days got worse.  I knew by about 2:00 pm that I was in fact, infected with the deadly cold.

So, I came home, hopped into bed, Aaron whipped us both up some hot toddys (it was happy hour after all), some soup, and some grilled cheese on Udi’s gluten-free bread for dinner, and we fell asleep hoping to wake up on Saturday  miraculously healed.

Um, not quite.

I woke up at 9:30 on Saturday even worse.

Aaron attempted a run on the treadmill before realizing that he couldn’t breathe.

We hung out, slept, drank tea, and medicated ourselves hoping to wake up Sunday miraculously  healed.

Um, not quite again.

We were both feeling better overall, but I was still coughing and sneezing.

Apparently the accepted rule is that it is OK to run if your symptoms are above the neck.  Our lungs were congested, so we decided that trying to run 20 miles or running at all was not the best idea, especially because the mornings have been pretty crisp the last week. Plus, all rules aside, we just flat out weren’t feeling well.  Doing anything that didn’t involve laying down wasn’t high on our priority list.

Throughout this process we’ve had to make some hard cost/benefit analysis with regards to running.  This by far has been the hardest.

It isn’t ideal to do your last long run 2 weeks before your marathon, but we will be running our 20 next weekend.  It will be a very slow, easy 20, but our last long run was two weeks ago (5 weeks out from Marathon Day), and I’m not feeling comfortable in my endurance level.

Hopefully a two week taper will be enough time to fully recover before the marathon.  I’ve felt good after the last two 20 milers, so if we take it slow, and go overboard with recovery efforts, we’ll hopefully be fresh and ready to go on marathon day.

The good news is, I’m feeling better today, so I should be able to get all my runs in this week, and finish training strong NEXT week.

Regardless, we have 3 weeks to go (aaaaahhhh!).  I’m keeping my mind in the game (insert High School Musical sing off here), and staying optimistic for a strong marathon.  This weekend was definitely a bummer and I’m not happy about it, but we are trying to be flexible and avoid giving up.  At this point, that’s about all we can do.

And what fun would this process be to follow if everything was smooth sailing?

I hope your weekend runs went better than ours did!

20 thoughts on “Marathon Reflection Monday, The ALMOST Taper Edition

    • I’m hoping! It does through a kink in our plans, but I did get better pretty fast, and I don’t think that would have happened if I had attempted a 30 mile weekend. Thanks!

  1. One weekend recovering from a cold wont do too much damage, I’m sure. My training has gone kaput this last couple of weeks because of my lame calf/shin, but I’m still optimistic about finishing with only one 20 mile run under my belt…. You’re encouraged to drink spirits at ‘water stops’, yes?

    • Yeah, we were talking on Saturday about how all of these obstacles have been put in our way these last few weeks, and it sounds like you’re in the same boat (but probably worse since you aren’t sure if you’ll be running at all!). And yeah, if someone was handing out drinks at water stops, I would absolutely consider taking one! I know they do that at some races. Chicago might be too serious of a race for that though.

  2. UGH! I’m so sorry for the illness – but glad y’all are on the mend. Hope you still got some birthday celebrating in! You are going to kick this race’s butt!

    • We did have a relaxing day on Sunday (I got a massage which was supposed to be post 30 miles, but it was still very nice). I think we should be at 100% in the next couple of days. But I truly think if we’d run this weekend, we would still be sick.

  3. Sorry to hear about your weekend and missed runs, but I bet you will bounce back and that the two week taper will work for you. I started doing a two week taper for my last marathon and it seemed to work good for me. Hope you are feeling much better!

    • I’m glad to hear you had a good experience with a 2 week taper. I think the big thing for me is the unknown. This is my first marathon, so I have no idea how everything will work out. And thank you! I think I’ll be back to 100% in the next couple of days. (I don’t think this would have been the case if I’d run this weekend!).

  4. Well, the good news is that you sound like you’re on the road to recovery and you recover quickly from those 20-milers. I bet your 2 week taper will be fine. (Full disclosure: I’m also planning a 2 week taper, so in trying to comfort you, I’m comforting myself as well…)

    • Haha! I was looking at different opinions, and most say that you should have a 3 week taper, but a 2 week seems to be ok, though not for 1st timers who don’t know how their bodies will react. Our mileage is already reduced this week, so really the only non-taper part will be the 20 miler (I’m not sure yet if we’ll do a second run during the weekend). I’m just hoping for the best! I guess we’ll find out soon how it works out.

  5. Amy, I just want you to know I’ve been thinking about you all day since I read your post this morning. I have been where you are more times than I care to remember. You train so hard for something, get sick, and then miss out on a big workout. I’m so glad you are on the road to recovery and that means you should be 100% come race day. 🙂 And maybe this is just the break your body needed in order to get you rested and ready for the start line. I’m sending you many many get well thoughts and good luck with your 20 miler this weekend. No matter how it goes, you’re a tough chica and are going to do amazing come race day!!

    • THANK YOU! I think not running this weekend helped me get better faster. I think we were both bummed because we hardly ever get sick, and it happened so close to the race (though, luckily we do have time to get completely better), AND we were so good about getting our workouts in while we were on vacation. I’m just trying to be grateful that this isn’t happening week of.

  6. I know a two-week taper isn’t ideal but I am positive it’s better than running a marathon with the flu. So … Look at the bright side, you got your sick weekend done and over with BEFORE race weekend. Being sick on race weekend would be devastating!! I’m sure all will be ok. Maybe reduce your weekday runs by at least one run this week?
    Anyway, gllad you’re feeling better

    • Thank you! And I agree! This weekend I was just in a bad mood in general, but now that I’m feeling better I am really glad that this wasn’t all happening in 2 weeks. We have started to reduce mileage this week (albeit because we’re still a bit sick), so the only thing going against the plan will be the 20 miler (I think our weekend mileage was supposed to be 18 altogether anyway, so we really aren’t going too overboard).

  7. Hope you guys are feeling better soon!! I know that you’re nervous about being off from the training plan, but after you knock out your 20 next weekend, you will be fine, just fine!! Try to fit in some good speed workouts or tempo runs to help boost your confidence a little, but seriously, you will be just fine!!

    • Haha, thanks! Who’s idea was this marathon thing anyway??? I’m starting to feel better about the whole situation. I need you to bust out your cheerleader moves!

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