A solid week of cutting back

It seems all too often I read about people who are in their taper weeks and they just want to run more. It's something missing in their lives by cutting several miles from their weeks after running so much in the few months before.

After one week of cutting back, I am more than pleased with running less and giving my body a much needed rest. By the end of this week, I have felt stronger and my pace has actually gotten faster with me feeling as if I was putting less effort into it. Perhaps it's because there's less pressure to actually get the miles in. It's time to rest and take it easy if something hurts, not to log miles just for the sake of logging miles. I also ran without my iPod all week, which led me to wondering if my music was dictating my pace too much. I think I'll continue to run without music in these last two weeks to better prepare myself for race day. I'm a believer that iPods shouldn't be allowed in races (that's another post for some other time down the road), so I want to make sure I'm not addicted to the tunes. If you're hooked and think you can't run without music, I'd suggest taking off the earphones -- the sounds at this time of the year deserve to be heard ... as well as listening to yourself breathe.

Today I had my last double-digit run before the marathon and my knee hurt a very little bit toward the end, so I cut it short. No need to go another two miles just because that's what I wrote down to do this week. Why risk hurting myself now when the marathon is less than two weeks away? That's the point of this taper.

All week long I've gotten 8-9 hours of sleep every night instead of the usual 7-8. Last night was close to 10. It's been solid sleep, too. Pretty soon I'll start proclaiming that marathon training can cure insomnia and other sleeping disorders. Ambien? Don't waste your money. Several miles a day is the natural way to go.

This week will be about the same through the week as this week, with a long run back in the single digits. Eight miles is going to seem like nothing next week, and I'm really looking forward to it.