Let the Taper Begin 
Sunday, October 26, 2008, 05:10 PM
Posted by Administrator
Yesterday, I set out at 6:30am and, 4 hours 1 minute and 40 seconds later, I returned home with 21 miles under my belt. Three weeks from today, I will run 26.2 miles at the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon.

Every marathoner knows to simulate the race as much as possible during training runs, and so I wore my Camelback with the bladder full of XOOD - love the pomegranate flavor - and the pockets stuffed with a flask of espresso-flavored Hammer Gel and my cell phone. However, a lack of clean laundry forced me to make some regrettable clothing choices. My comfy green running top and awesome new compression socks were in the dirty pile and so I threw on another favorite running shirt, but one that I had not yet worn with the Camelback. After a few miles, I discovered that it did not come high enough on my neck, leading to some irritation where the Camelback rubbed. And my Injinji socks, the ones that are like gloves for your feet and are specifically designed to prevent blisters, actually gave me two blisters. I made a pit stop at home at mile 13 and pulled a pair of socks out of the laundry basket. Yes, they were dirty, but, after 13 miles, so was I.

During the last few miles, my stride became a dead man's shuffle, through which I tried to gain as much forward movement as possible while bending my joints as little as possible. My lower back was tired, my hips and hamstrings hurt, and my feet were killing me. I was thrilled to be close to the end of this run, but a bit unnerved thinking about the added 5.2 miles that would come with the marathon. Despite this, I actually feel pretty ready! I've been dedicated to my training plan, even including speedwork for a change, and I feel confident that I can go the distance and set a PR. Mind you, none of this means that the race will be fast or easy, but that is part of the allure.

Yesterday, I also received my race confirmation card in the mail. The marathon recently sold out, reaching it's capacity of 30,000. I have been placed in starting corral #18, along with 999 others who run a similar pace. Paul, on the other hand is in coral #2. He also completed his final long effort yesterday (23 miles) and is feeling ready to run a 3:10 race.
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