Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chicago Marathon Taper Time

This morning, I ran my last longish (19 miles) run before the Chicago Marathon, and so begins the pre-marathon taper time. If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that means only one's time for our official taper mascot, Tippie Tapir. For those unfamiliar with the term 'taper' in the context of running, it is the period, usually two weeks, prior to a race, in which you gradually reduce your mileage. For those unfamiliar with the animal 'tapir', here is an excerpt from Wikipedia.
Tapir: (pronounced as "taper") A large browsing mammal, roughly pig-like in shape, with short, prehensile snout. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. Their closest relatives are the other odd-toed ungulate mamals, including horses, rhinoceroses, and marathon runners.

I have given some thought to a target time for Chicago, but am not ready to commit to one yet. I think I'll try to run smarter than I did in Cleveland. If you remember, in Cleveland I tried running with the 3:10 pacer for as long as I could. I did end up with a 3:15 marathon, a couple of minutes faster than Boston, but I paid a price. The last six miles of that race were the worst I have ever experienced. I was very close to hitting the wall in that race. It might be smarter to try to keep a 3:15 pace, and if I have anything left in the last few miles, try to pick up a minute or two.

On Saturday, I ran 13.15 miles on the trails with the Lock29 group. Again this week, the group was sparse as many area distance runners were participating in the Akron Marathon. Congratulations to all of our SERC runners who ran Akron, but I have to make special mention of Barb Broad. She won the women 55-59 age group with a 3 hour 33 minute time, twelve minutes faster than the second place women in her age group. She is phenomenal...dedicated, hard working, disciplined, and flat-out fast. She is also warm, kind, and always positive and supportive. She is one of the reasons I am proud and happy to be a member of Cleveland Southeast Runners Club.


E-Speed said...

I think you are in shape for a 3:10. If the weather is good. I would go for it. Chicago is flat and an even paced marathon will serve you well there. If it is like last year though all bets are off, go for survival :)

I think with the pace you are running your long runs and track workouts in and your mileage base you can comfortably run with the 3:10 group. (just my two cents)

Steve Stenzel said...

HA!! I love the "taper tapir!"


Jim Oper said...

This is Oper. Been following the blog. Great stuff, with the proper amount of Frank humor that I came to know so well (and miss a lot). Good luck in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

Best to you at Chicago, Frank. :)

Thank you for your very nice comments at my blog on behalf of my friend Laura - I'm sure she appreciated it very much.

Just getting back into the loop since the floods and going on my own long run soon.

Happy trails,

Connie :)