With my marathon less than four days away, I am in full blown taper mode. For me, this means making time for extra sleep, lots of stretching and foam rolling, a huge cut back on my mileage, lots of hydrating and increasing my carbohydrate intake. With that in mind, H and I had a classic spaghetti dinner last night. I love spaghetti....well, honestly, I love just about any kind of pasta so carb loading for the race is very easy for me. I am from the school of thought that while it is important to increase your carbs and sodium in the week before the race, it is not an excuse to eat anything and everything in sight. I usually eat about the same number of calories while carb loading but I simply decrease my fat and protein intake and replace them with carbs. I have actually found that I run better when I eat a little bit less than normal but that is simply what works for me. Marathon nutrition is definitely different for everyone and it is important to find what works for you. Anyway, last night I fixed some delicious (even if I do say so myself) whole wheat spaghetti and topped it with a quick homemade marinara sauce. On the side we had huge servings of steamed broccoli and of course we topped it all off with some freshly grated Parmesan. ( I apologize in advance for the horrible pictures. My camera is on its last leg!)
It was SO good and the best part is that I have leftovers for lunch today! I am one of those weird people who just loves leftovers. Is it just me or does food taste better the next day?
I always have a really difficult time with figuring out how much to run during a taper week. I usually over do it and run too many miles but I am really making an effort to let me body rest this week. My legs are feeling really grumpy and sore so I am planning on treating them well this week and hopefully they will be fresh and ready to run on Saturday. This morning I did a nice short session of speed work to remind my legs what it feels like to run fast. Hopefully, they will remember that feeling on race day! I did an easy 2 mile warm up and then 16 x 200 meters with a 200 meter recovery jog between each set. I ran my 200's at a progressively faster pace and they felt really good. I finished my run with a 2 mile cool down (for a total of 9 miles) and then climbed off of the treadmill and right onto the foam rollers. My left hamstring and hip are super tight and they were in desperate need of some rolling. I spent about ten minutes rolling around and stretching and then went to Boot Camp. Of course the first thing we did in Boot Camp is run laps and so all of my rolling was in vain but I did have fun running with Mel at Boot Camp. We had a great workout today and I tried really hard to take it easy and not put any stress on my legs. I am not sure that I was successful at that but my plan for this evening is to put on my compression socks, elevate my legs and ice, ice, ice!
Does anyone have any good taper tips to pass along? I have tapered a lot but I suck at it. What works for you? What is the biggest pre race mistake you have made? I would love to hear your stories.