With two weeks to race day, my major quality workouts are now behind me. The last, my run yesterday, was better than awesome. It was my 3rd of three marathon-paced training sessions… I got to run 24km at my marathon race pace. My coach asked me to run it progressively, with a 5:10/km for the first 8km, a 5:05/km for the second 8km, and a 5:00/km for the last 8km.
After a nice, easy 3km warm-up (and already dreaming of post-run pancakes), I stripped down to my tank top (it was super nice, sunny and warm) and took off into the beautiful Stanley Park. I settled into a pace around where I was supposed to be and thought, this is way too easy, I am going too slow. But I wasn’t. So I held myself back from speeding up. Which I really wanted to do. But I didn’t.
The second 8km felt harder and I was a bit all over the place – either too fast or too slow. I was midway around Stanley Park and kept trying to find other runners to ‘pace me’. That never works. It took a few kilometres to fall into a comfortable and even pace but I finally did and managed to carry it to the end of that set, coming out of the park and into Yaletown.
The third set was definitely challenging. As I dodged the cute little doggies being walked along the Yaletown seawall, I kept thinking I had slowed instead of speeding up, but upon checking my pace, I was doing just fine. I rounded Telus Science Centre and found myself running smack into the wind. My pace dropped by 2 seconds per kilometre (which was nowhere near as bad as I feared). I passed the Forerunners running clinic water stop with just under a kilometre left to go, and I could hear them offering me water. It would have been nice to stop and chat. But I had 900 meters left to go, so I pushed through, finishing strong. And then I went to go make myself some post-run pancakes.
My paces for each set were:
- 8km @ 5:09/km
- 8km @ 5:02/km
- 8km @ 4:54/km
To which my coach said, “Excuse my language Sarah but, HOLY CRAP! You’re flying right now!!! You really need to have confidence in your fitness over the last couple of weeks and not worry about anything except getting fresh”.
Seriously, having a coach is the best – I wouldn’t be here, feeling this confident and ready, without my coach.
Yes, with two weeks to go, I will enjoy my taper now. Bring on race day!!!