Thursday, November 4, 2010

Taper in sight

Folks in the other parts of the world are going to think I'm whining again but this damn heat has GOT TO GO. It's a perpetual summer around here in Phoenix. The uncanny part is that it seems that the hottest day of the week just happens to be on the day I'm doing my long run. Another 90-degree day today and I have the tan lines to prove it. I certainly hope it has cooled down by race-day.

Compared to last week's ill-prepared long run, I was not going to let the heat, sweat or my aloof attitude wither away what would be my final long-run before tapering. I set out around 8:30 am figuring that things would heat up nicely toward the end of the 3-hours/20 miles (whichever came first).

The first 2 hours of the run were as expected - holding a reasonable pace (9:15-9:30) with the clear recognition that I was sacrificing speed for distance today. Then the wind kicked up. If the idea of running into a 20 mph headwind doesn't dampen your spirits, the cloud of dust blowing into your eyes most certainly will. See, Arizona is a dessert and there's dirt - lots of dirt. I'm still picking it out of my teeth.

For whatever reason - conditioning, the wind, the heat or all the above, the last hour of my run seemed to take an eternity. While my mind was still in a good place, my quads were on fire. I had stopped and stretched throughout the run just to keep things loose but I was at a place where my muscles just felt like they had reached their limit.

So while I'm happy with the run I am still a little unsure about my stamina and ability to muscle through 26.2 after a huge bike ride.

This weekend I'll be doing my last large brick - 112 on the bike followed by an hour run. I realize it's a little late to be doing a huge brick, but I'm a week behind the curve due to my sinus infection last month. After this weekend though, it's all about the taper, baby.

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