Chicago Marathon Training: Week 17

I don’t know about you, but my previous experiences with the 26.2 marathon taper have been filled with anxiousness, worry that my physical abilities will decline with the reduced mileage, concern that my little nagging aches and pains are more serious than they are.

This, friends, is what we call taper madness, taper tantrums, taper crazies, etc. Here’s my favorite depiction of signs that you’re experiencing this phenomenon.

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Source: TheRUNiverse.com

Let me ask you, fellow marathoners, have you in the past or are you currently experiencing any of the above symptoms?

I’m lucky to report back that my week 17 of marathon training was completely opposite of the taper madness that I’ve typically experienced. In fact, it was downright awesome! I felt fresh, well-rested, and most of all — speedy!

Here’s a recap of my runs this past week:

Monday: cross-training : took a rest day
Tuesday: 4 mile run: ran 4 miles — 7:51 pace + massage
Wednesday: 5 mile run : 1-hour hit reset session with Jasyoga
Thursday: 4 mile run : ran 4 miles — 8:15 pace
Friday: rest : ran 5 miles (in place of Wednesday run) — 7:50 pace
Saturday: 3 mile run : ran 3.1 miles — 7:12 pace
Sunday: 8 mile long run : ran 8 miles — 8:01 pace + floatation therapy session
Total miles: 24.1 miles

Um. Seriously. Just typing the above mileage and their respective paces makes me sit here in awe. Who am I? Where did these paces come from?

Had a great speedy run on Tuesday on the treadmill.  I think I finished up a re-watch of the Spirit of the Marathon movie? Streaming Netflix on the treadmill makes the time fly by. In addition, this speedy run allowed me to debut my Alexi Pappas bun. Prior to the run, I had gotten an hour-long massage. I definitely need more massages in my life.

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From the gal herself — wise advice.

On Wednesday night, I decided to hit up a much-needed reset yoga for athletes session with my favorites, Jasyoga. I felt rejuvenated and limber afterwards.

Here I am with my OMies Erin, the head coach/owner, and my pal Lauren.

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Thursday night, I hit the treadmill again for 4 miles.

Friday night was absolutely gorgeous for an outdoor run. Fall is descending upon Seattle, so I have to enjoy the pavement while I can!

View of Lake Union from the Eastlake Bridge.

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Rocking the Oiselle Quill Long Sleeve. Super soft fabric and perfect for the fall.

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The fallen leaves are absolutely beautiful and one of my favorite things about changing of the seasons.

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Did you know that Friday, October 4th, was National Taco Day? To honor this, we went to Laredos Grill in lower Queen Anne for Mexican. They have a great late night happy hour menu from 10pm on. These Al Pastor Tacos were, I think, $4?

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One of my favorite dishes there is the Avocado Tostada. It’s amazing how huge the tostada is. Delicious!

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Saturday morning, Joe and I started off our morning breaking in our new baby, the BlendTec Designer Series version. We’ve heard such amazing reviews from friends and online and decided that this was the better option over a Vitamix. Our first concoction consisted of a peach green monster. You can make two servings by blending the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 2 peaches
  • 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seed
  • 2 handfuls (~8-10) ice cubes

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Late Saturday morning, we brought Lola to the Magnuson offleash small dog park and met up with our friend Arielle and her two pups – Phoebe (Lola’s full little sister) and Clementine the baby Frenchie. Love!

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Isn’t Clem adorable?

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I had postponed my 3 mile run till later in the afternoon. It was still gorgeous out.

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To my surprise, I busted out these 3 miles (upped to 3.1) in the fastest pace I’ve ever run. And I felt great! Splits were 7:19, 7:13, 7:08, and for the fun of it I ran the extra 0.1 miles at a 6:50 pace. 3.1 (5K) time of 22:20 unofficially beats my official race PR of 23:56. This is a whopping 1:36 faster AND during marathon taper? I can’t believe it! This definitely increased my confidence going into the last week of training.

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That night, we went over to a friend’s house to watch the Detroit Tigers baseball game and the UW / Stanford football game. As you know, Joe is a huge UW Husky fan/alum so we were definitely excited to watch such a close game. Great game, Dawgs.

I came prepared with taper-friendly beverages. I really enjoyed this Honest Tea. Great flavor.

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Ever since going to Capitol Cider the other week, I decided that I do like cider. Hence, I picked up some of this delicious Crispin cider from Whole Foods.

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Coconut water to wash it all down.

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On Sunday morning, I got out at around 9:45am for my last “long run” of 8 miles. Yet another beautiful day in Seattle.

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Busted out the 8 miles at an 8:01 pace and, again, surprising myself.

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Post-run, I was super excited to meet up with other local Chicago Marathon runners for brunch at The Dish Cafe in their new Green Lake location. The Ballard location is awesome. This one seems bigger.

From left to right: Devon, Rebecca, me, and Kristin. Rebecca and I have known each other since last Fall and she’s now my Oiselle teammate! I just recently “met” Devon and Kristin through the local runner / social media grapevine. Love making new runner friends. :) We had a great time talking about our preparations for Chicago Marathon, excitement, etc. Plus the food was great – I got the Garden Scramble and it was delish.

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For the rest of the day, I just relaxed in taper mode. I then hit up Float Seattle to try out their floatation therapy / sensory deprivation isolation tanks.

This floatation therapy promotes a variety of benefits from stress relief, physical restoration, reduction in muscle tension, elimination of fatigue, mental visualizations, etc.

Sarah, Oiselle’s Marketing Director and my teammate, had just recently tried Float out for the first time a week or two ago and has already gone back multiples times since in preparation for her Chicago Marathon race. Read her recap about floating to recovery here.

The process for booking appointments is very easy. Float Seattle has a handy online booking tool and I was able to book my session with moments.

Your first float experience is at a discounted rate of $39. They offer packages and also a monthly membership if you plan on floating on a regular basis. I might actually take this up.

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Once I walked in the door, I was greeted by two friendly gentleman (presumably the owners?) who brought me to my float room and walked through the basic processes.

Here’s the float tank that I’d be laying in for the next 60 minutes containing many pounds of epsom salt solution.

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First, you strip down, put in foam earplugs, and wash your hair and shower to ensure complete cleanliness.  Make sure to dry your face well. Tip: if you wear contacts, bring your contact lense case and solution. Take the contacts out before you get into the tank.

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Next: open up the float tank. Doesn’t it look scary? Completely pitch black, no sound, nothing. Sit back, crawl in, close the door in front of you, and lay all the way back into the solution.

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Look… not so scary, huh?

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To be quite honest, it wasn’t scary at all. During the 60 minutes, I felt very calm, relaxed, and able to completely let go of everyday stresses. Floating was quite easy – relax the body, raise the arms up, relax the neck.

At the end of the 60 minutes, gentle music is played to signal that the session is over. Upon crawling out of the tank, you once again shower up and get dressed.

The outcome of the floatation session for me was calmness and relaxation. I felt great, rejuvenated, relaxed. I definitely plan on going again with Joe who expressed interest in trying it out if I felt any benefits from it.

Have you tried floatation therapy before? What are your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training: Week 17

    • I highly regard your advice, Robyn! Thanks. :) Agreed – I’ve just been feeling so good at faster paces, but definitely will keep this week at slow and steady running. Only 9 more miles stand between me and Chicago!

    • Thanks so much, Megan! :) I was speaking to the Float guys and it sounds like people with claustrophobia are okay in the tanks, but definitely a personal preference. It doesn’t really feel so much like a tiny space you’re stuck in. Maybe try with a tiny crack of light?

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