SPI Do or Die – Taper Week, thank goodness!

With long runs moved to Sunday mornings because of the heat, Monday has become the new rest day. And, with it also being Memorial Day, the act of looking back for a recap is made more poignant, by looking back to the sacrifices made by others which allow me to be here today. While I have some personal issues about war and the reasons for it, I have nothing but respect for those men and women who have made the choice to serve, who have gone and stood in my place so I would not have to – you do not do it for my appreciation, but I DO appreciate it…Thank you.

This week was a high point for me, a real mental accomplishment to survive the hardest week of my plan. I made all my workouts, reached all my milestones, and learned some great lessons that will be really useful on the beach next week. Let’s take a look at the progress of the week:

  • I think I ‘m going to drop the BA class after all, I can use that time slot for a more involved weight training session. I also have a new source for a 45-minute high-cardio workout: that group trail-run on Wednesday night, where conversation during the run is part of the coaching! Last week there were four of us running together, and since I was the “new guy”, they took turns asking me questions, both getting to know one another and easing me in to this kind of training…it’s not just speaking, it’s projecting the voice…and thinking while watching the trail and minding your body…I still like running alone, but I am keeping this in the routine! So the new Thursday is 45 minutes circuit weight training, alternating between machines and dumbbells, focusing mostly on arms, chest, back and core. I will detail this out more once I have a couple of workouts written down, still experimenting – I like making up my own routines, but what else would you expect from a writer?
  • Friday found me back at the Y on a treadmill, doing race-pace miles. I intended to run 5 miles at 8:00/mile but had to cut it short after three; I spent a big part of that day going up and down stairs at work, and the quads had had enough. (Wish I had a FuelBand or a Fitbit or something to track what I do at work! It’s on the wish list, but not close to the top yet)
  • Saturday’s “rest day” ended up being “Do Dad’s yardwork day”, but I do like hanging out with the guy…he finally got OK with me doing things for him, and with me having opinions that are different than his!
  • Yesterday was long run day, and I set my sights on 12 miles – my longest run to date. I had some new gear and a new plan…lessons learned in previous weeks, and last chance to try them out before the race. Remember the golden rule: Never try out new things on Race Day, no surprises! So, I went to run at sunrise, not noon; I had the Fuel Belt I won last week, carrying both water and Nuun Lemon Lime; I had two Clif Shots, to fuel at 4 miles and 8 miles, which is about 45 minute intervals at my long-run pace; I had wristbands to help with the sweat in my eyes, that has bothered me every run since it got hot; and at the last minute I decided to run the trails instead of the Loop, to stay in the shade most of the time. The trails are undergoing some maintenance, and there were a lot of places where the way was littered with downed trees and deadwood; sometimes I had to skirt around a big pile, and over and over I passed frustrated trail bike riders, toting their bikes over stuff too large to ride over. I understand the need to cull the park, but all the trails, at the same time, with no warning signs, and left abandoned during a holiday weekend? Really, Houston, you can do better than that!
  • And that brings us back to today, a rest day. I am making a sincere effort to comply with the plan – so far I have done nearly nothing of consequence! I did take the Wife to get a water bottle carrier for her new bike (oh, yeah, got her a bike, too!),  and I signed up for the Runner’s World Summer Streak Challenge (#RWRunStreak) so I need to get a mile done sometime today…probably run beside the Wife as she rides SLOWLY! I will be taking it easy all this week, keeping the same workouts, but doing only half the distance…and spending all that extra time on the foam roller or icing my ankles so the tendons don’t shatter like glass from nearly doubling my mileage in one month!

I don’t know if I will get a chance to post again before the race, but if you follow me on Twitter I will be keeping the updates coming, and I promise a recap after the race, with some pictures! Until then, have a safe, and blessed Memorial Day…good running, good resting, good eating, and STAY HYDRATED!



  1. iRuniBreathe

    Hi Nicky, Sounds like you have a great routine going on. 8:00/mile is nothing to sneeze at! wow. My only word of caution would be to not try to do too much too soon (increasing mileage too fast is a very happy recipe for injury). Keep it up though. You are doing amazing.

  2. LilMysNinja

    Good luck on your upcoming race! It looks like you’ve been smart about your training. I need to look at getting wristbands or something because I’m having to deal with the sweat in the eyes too and I hate it. Especially since I wear contacts. How do you like the fuel belt? I have the iFitness one and it keeps riding up and I hate it. I’ve stuck with my tried and true simple hydration bottle. I’m thinking of looking into a camel back for the longer runs.

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