10 days to go…

Today I went to the gym and did 7.8 miles on the arc trainer this morning. I did less miles this morning since I will be running again tomorrow at the group run.

My body feels ready to run – actually I feel perfect. Last night, I treated myself to a full body deep tissue message. The message therapist messaged all my sore areas from head to toe. I had the same message before I ran the Hartford Marathon last October and I ran 8 minutes faster than my Boston Marathon time. Let’s hope this Boston Marathon brings me good weather and a personal record!

Today is only 10 days to go! This only means one thing – the final countdown.

Since its close to it lets start the seven-day race day countdown:

7. Monday: One week before their marathon, most runners do a final long run, though it need not, and should not, be too long. Runners following an 18-week programs go 8 miles at the end of Week 17. That distance takes most of them about an hour, which seems about right. Enough miles to work up a good sweat; not so many miles that they exhaust themselves too close to the race. I plan on doing least 3 miles on Saturday’s run.

6. Tuesday: You don’t need much in the way of Rest & Recovery after the few miles you ran on Saturday, but ease back anyway. This is a good day on which to reflect on all the miles you ran the previous months in practice. These are the miles that prepared you to perform. You don’t want to do anything this week that will threaten that performance.

5. Wednesday: Time to get your running shoes back on, but only for a few miles. A half hour’s worth of running should be enough to ease some of your worries about the weekend to come. About those shoes: I hope you haven’t waited until the last minute to purchase a pair to use in the race. Use the easy runs this week to test those shoes, their fit, their feel. I plan on being on the arc trainer and doing 5.2 miles on this day.

4.Thursday: Just because you’re cutting back on the miles during this pre-marathon week, don’t necessarily cut back on the pace. In this last week of tapering,  it is recommended that runners reduce the quantity or their workouts, but not the quality. Run at the same pace you used on previous Wednesdays when I schedule sorta-long runs; just don’t run as far. This will be my rest day since I did my run yesterday.

3. Friday: An optional day to run short or not run at all. With the end almost in sight, consider your nutritional needs: not your last meal on Saturday, but your last three nighttime meals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Your final carbo-loading should begin today. You don’t need pasta to carbo-load. Think rice, potatoes and other carbohydrate-rich vegetables for the final food countdown.

2. Saturday: Boston Marathon Expo day and BAA5K! Today is a day of rest.

1. Sunday:  I plan on take a nap mid-afternoon since I will be up early on Monday, and I will get to bed early. Almost everybody chooses the pasta option the night before, but consider a final carbo-snack to help maintain the glycogen levels before you climb under the sheets. I plan on doing both of these food options which will be served at the Dana-Farber pasta party which entails about 1000 guests, guest speakers, pasta, bread, drinks, and dessert.

0. Marathon Day (Monday): Have the race of your life. Personal record here I come!

- 1. Tuesday: Yes, it is okay to wear your marathon medal to work today, or the next day if you took an extra day off to return home. Particularly if your co-workers or friends contributed to a charity in your name, they will want to hear if they got value for their investment. No, they don’t care about your time; they just want to know that you finished. No running today. Take three days off.

-2. Wednesday: No running! Today’s a good day for a massage. (Schedule one before the marathon.) Although getting a quick rubdown at the finish-line massage tent may have felt good, a massage 24 to 48 hours after the marathon works best. If you have any post-race blisters, or foot problems, have a podiatrist treat them. I have scheduled a physical therapy appointment on Tuesday and I will have a message directly after I finish the race so I should be all set.

-3. Thursday: No running! And don’t substitute cross-training in a mistaken belief that it will help you maintain fitness. You may be able to swim or cycle more easily than run, because you’ll be using somewhat different muscles, but you still need rest-rest-rest to allow all your muscles to recover. Starting to train too soon can delay that recovery. You earned this period of rest. Take it!

-4. Friday: Okay, you’re cleared to run! I plan to see how your body feels to see how far I will run.

-5. Saturday: I plan on stretching on this day.

-6. Sunday: By now, most of the muscle soreness should be gone. You’re probably ready to resume your regular training routine, but don’t rush things. I plan on taking today off entirely.

-7. Monday: Quite often marathoners who did their long runs together in the months leading up to a marathon like to get together to rehash how they did. So call your friends and schedule a run of about an hour, 6 to 8 miles max. But don’t get competitive and push the pace too hard. Your body may feel better again, but it’s still in recovery mode. Which if I don’t go to the gym I will do this.

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