Monday, October 13, 2008

Since when did 54 miles in a week constitute tapering? / Taper week 10/6-10/13

Today is my dad's birthday. Happy birthday, Dad!


A big congratulations to Steve Hawthorne, who finally qualified for the Boston Marathon, running a 3:08 at the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, Pa. on Sunday, Oct. 12. Steve came within a heartbreaking 20 seconds of Boston at this year’s and last year’s Cleveland Marathon. The Boston monkey has been on “Steamtown” Steve’s back for a few years and now it’s finally off. He has already registered for Beantown.

(Will I register for Boston? The answer to that question is yet to be determined and relies largely on whether or not I can find a hotel room in the city. Currently, most hotels are sold out.)

Another congrats to Frank D. for setting a PR at the Chicago Marathon. Frank, who is 52 years old, ran a 3:07. Way to go, Frank!

A final congrats to Amie S. (a.ka. solarsquirrel) for also BQ’ing for the first time. Nice job, Amie!


As far as my training week, since when did 54 miles in a week constitute tapering? Fifty-four miles in a week used to be status-quo for me. Now it’s tapering. Funny how things change….

I had a decent week and saw some great progress with my right hamstring. Last week I thought a sub-3 at Columbus was in serious jeopardy with my blown-up hamstring. Now I’m feeling the injury is behind me and I’m ready. Here’s how the week went:


AM: 8 miles easy
This was not a good run. With the temperature in the low 40s, my right hamstring was tight and moderately painful. As I ran up Washington Street only 2 miles from home, I was thinking, “this is not good, this is not good, this is not good…,” as my hamstring ached. Arnica, ice and ibuprofen were in order.

AM: 8.4 miles easy
With the temperature now in the low 50s, my hamstring felt much better – looser and less painful. I felt much more encouraged than I did the previous day. I decided to stay off the track for the timing being.

AM: 8.2 miles easy
The temperature was again in the low 50s, allowing my hamstring (and body) to warm-up more quickly. I decided to test my leg with a few sub-7:00-minute-per-mile surges and my leg felt very good.

AM: 9-mile track workout at Chagrin Falls High School
The night before, I read over my pre-Cleveland Marathon workouts and noticed that on this week—two weeks before the event—I was running 5:34 mile repeats. I hadn’t run that fast going into Columbus this year and so I decided (perhaps stupidly) to head to the track and give it a go provided my hamstring was in good working order. Running to the track, I felt strong, loose and excited about going hard. After a few warm-up laps, I eased into a progressively hard pace, running 4x1600 at 5:57, 5:43, 5:33 and, as an “up-tempo cool-down,” 5:55. The 5:33 was my fastest-ever mile repeat time (but just by one second). I felt strong and in control during every lap and ran home minimally tired. I am glad I was able to get one last hard effort in before Columbus.
PM: 6 miles on the treadmill
Total miles for day: 15

PM: 6.1 miles in Wheeling, WV
With the temperature in the mid-80s, I took it easy.

AM: 8 miles in Wheeling, WV
I felt trashed and out of it, maybe from insufficient sleep the last few nights (Noah was pretty rascally on Friday night and often lack of sleep doesn’t catch up with me until a few days after the fact). I also felt some slight pain on the top of my left foot that I’m not going to worry about (just yet).

Total miles for week: 53.7
Total miles for month: 121.2
Total miles for year: 3156.58


I’m driving to Columbus on Saturday with Jeff U., who’s going for a sub-3 and, like me, finally broke that elusive barrier at Cleveland in the spring (he ran a 2:57; I ran a 2:58). It seems that whenever Jeff and I drive to a race together we always set PRs. So, not wanting to break the PR streak, we’re going to Columbus together.

As far as Columbus, I respect 26.2 entirely too much to feel overly confident. There are a few things I do know, and they are: 1) I didn’t get in enough 20+ milers; 2) The quality of my training declined the last few weeks due to life circumstances; and 3) I missed a key workout (marathon-pace long run) the last week of training. All of that said, THERE IS NO REASON I SHOULDN’T BREAK 3 HOURS AND, QUITY FRANKLY, BREAK 2:55.

My goals for this week are:

  • 50 miles (including the marathon)
  • 3x1600 at marathon pace (6:40) on Tuesday morning
  • 9 hours of sleep on Thursday and Friday nights
  • Protein-loading from Sunday-Wednesday night
  • Carbo-loading starting Thursday morning
  • And, most important of all, a 2:55 at the COLUMBUS MARATHON!

I’m starting to think about my 2009 race schedule. I’m not sure of exactly which races I’m running, but I do know that my 2009 schedule will consist of a 100 miler, where I’ll be looking for a VERY good finish; a spring and fall marathon, of which at least one will be a PR effort; a 50K and 50 miler, where I’ll be looking for PRs; a 10K, where I’ll go for a PR; and, of course, a half-marathon or two. I’m also very interested in a 24-hour event.

Onward and upward!


  1. Sounds like you're in very good shape for Columbus. Good luck, and go get that sub 2:55.

  2. Good luck Wyatt! Looking forward to the report. Perfect weather is in the forecast!