Taper week!

It’s my first official taper week of the 2014 racing season! I say taper WEEK because yes, I’m only tapering 1 week for this race. Typically I would taper 3 weeks out before a marathon, but since this is not my top priority race, I’m only tapering 1 week. Also, last week was my typical planned “rest week”, so I guess it could be called a two week taper :)

During my taper week, I obviously cut down on my mileage and strength training, and add in sleep and hydration. Along with that, I also plan out my “race strategy”.

Location and weather:

This race is right near where I live, so we won’t have to travel prior to the race day. In fact, it’s so close, we won’t even have to get up very early! So that helps a lot with the planning. Right now, the forecast for Sunday is partly cloudy with a high of 54. This is absolutely ideal temps for a marathon! However, I am slightly nervous because last Sunday I got over heated in 55 degrees :) So, my plan for this race is to wear a hat (or visor), and sunscreen!


Right now, given the forecast, I am planning on wearing my Hammer Nutrition tri top with my Pearl Izumi arm sleeves and shorts. The shorts might change to capris depending on the level of sunshine :)


Yes, shoe planning belongs in a separate category from clothing :) In fact, the shoe planning is where I’m struggling most this race. I’m in a difficult spot where my new running shoes are TOO new and aren’t broken in yet, but my old running shoes are TOO old and can not stand another run. Then I have a pair of Mizuno Inspires that are my old standby shoes that I’ll wear when it’s snowy because they have good tread. I’ve done a few long runs in these shoes, and I know they can withstand a marathon, BUT they’re a little too heavy for my taste. Unfortunately, my only other option is a pair of racing flats: Mizuno Ronins. I’ve raced a marathon in them before and they did fine, but admittedly my feet were very sore the last several miles. So, do I want to be comfortable but possibly a tad slower, OR do I want to be fast but possibly a tad uncomfortable?? :) I may decide even the morning of the race….


The race offers Gatorade and GU products. I don’t do Gatorade OR GU. So, I’ll be bringing my own fuel and just using the aid stations for water. I plan on wearing my Nathan fuel belt and carrying Hammer gels ( 1 for every 40 minutes of running), and then fill the two bottles with Perpetuem. As a back-up, I’ll be bringing Endurolytes (electrolyte caps) in case it gets hot!

Race course:

This is an out-and-back course almost completely on a bike path. This isn’t your typical scenic bike path either-it’s literally stick-straight for MILES. Haha….yes it’ll be boring. The race description says it contains rolling hills, but I’ve run on that bike path several times–there are no hills. The one good thing about the design of the course is that since it’s out-and-back, I’ll constantly be seeing other runners, so hopefully I won’t get too bored.


This is an open course, so anyone can come join the runners as long as they don’t cross the finish line. However, they don’t have “pace groups”. Since this is a small race, I’m not anticipating having too many people that just happen to be my pace, so I asked one of my friends to pace me for a few miles at least. He’s going to start with me and stick with me for as many miles as he can before he feels like stopping :) This will hopefully help me start on pace and not get too excited and go out faster than I should (yes, I have a tendency to do this).

I think that’s all the “strategizing” for the race. I should be ready to run now! I’m not going to stress out about it too much because again, it’s not my number one priority race. I’m just going to try and have some fun while doing it!



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