Posted by: pointlenana | August 26, 2012


Janet and I did a trail run today – she did the half, and I did the full as part of my quest to upgrade my Marathon Maniac-ness by one level (goal to get to silver level: 8-11 marathons in one year, one more to go before early Oct).

It was a perfect day.  55-70 degrees.  Sunny.  Running in the shade most of the time.  Nice trail – a trail but not too many roots, rocks or tight twists.  Wide enough to pass people easily.  Dry after weeks without rain.  Only one encounter with horses.  We did a half-marathon trail run last weekend, and managed to get our son to do the 4.5 mile race.  We should have taken him to today’s race instead.   The trail last week was highly-technical (rocky, rooty, twisty) – Wyatt tripped and went down fairly hard in the first mile, but hung in there and finished respectably, maybe in the top 3rd.  I only tripped once today (managed to stay up again like last week, at the cost of a hamstring that’s still slightly cranky).  We did see several people today with holes in their knees, just to remind us that yes, it really was a trail run.

As I was finishing the 4th and final lap (4 laps on a 6.55 mile course through the park), I thought about my experience today vs. my first marathon.  My body seems to have thrown in the towel and now keeps itself permanently prep’d for these things:

What                        Seattle, Nov 2007                  Redmond Watershed

Previous event       Half-marathon, 2004           Half-marathon, last weekend

Surface                     Road                                         Trail

Training                   6 months or more                  Doing other crazy stuff this summer

Taper                        3 weeks                                     Didn’t run yesterday

Race week miles     20                                               56

Carbo-loading         Big focus previous week        Food for dinner last night

Hydration                Big focus previous day           Wine with dinner last night

My mood                  Anxious                               “oh yeah, we have that run tomorrow”

Time                          3:41+                                            4:17+

Division place          47/183                                   Top three maybe?  Small race 🙂

Run again                  1 week later                             Tomorrow

Next big event           Seattle Marathon, year later    Cle Elum 50k, 3 weeks from now

Thanks body, for putting up with this stuff.


  1. Amazing! I’m not sure if I should be asking you this because you’ve already achieved “permanently ready” status, but since it’s only my third marathon and my body only has partial retention from the last one, do you recommend a two- or three-week taper?

  2. Hi Kelly, I looked back at my training before races I took seriously, and it appears I do a 3 week taper. Maybe 80% of peak miles 3 weeks before, 70% in week 2, and 50% or less during the last week. It also depends on how you feel going into it. If you are a few weeks away and feeling really tired you might cut each week back a little more. I still haven’t run a marathon hard without slowing down towards the end, so maybe the answer is to taper more than I’ve done.

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