Last Long Run Done, Time to Taper!


In Texas heat, this beautiful, special sweatband has been an active part of my long runs!

This week in recap:

  • Monday – 1 hour of strength training with the trainer.
  • Tuesday – 7.3 miles with 7 ”San Fran-style” steep hills in the middle of the workout.
  • Wednesday – 7 miles.
  • Thursday – 1 hour of strength training with the trainer.
  • Friday – rest day!
  • Saturday – 19.7 miles in the morning, 0.8 miles on treadmill early afternoon immediately. followed by 1 hour of strength training with the trainer
  • Sunday – 6 mile hike on trails

Last Long Run
It’s done. I’ve done that last 20-miler. I did 3 20-milers on the way to my first marathon. I’m particularly proud that I then went on to do a hard strength training workout Saturday after this last long run.  The end of this long run was celebrated with a couple friends who were along for the run. A dip in the pool and some mimosas to celebrate the start of taper!

Friends Counteract the Effects of Time and Heat

Trail Running

6 Miles on trails with friends. A great recovery from previous day's 20 mile run.

I’ve felt so grateful for friends this week. None of my runs were done alone! Tuesday was about 5 of us. Wednesday was 3 of us. Saturday’s 20 miler was broken into a 10-mile run with 8 friends immediately followed by the next 10 miles with 1 friend who did the full 20 and another who came out for just that portion. Sunday’s “recovery”was a hike, not a run. Although now I think a hard hike is harder on trails sometimes than a light run, LOL. But I did this with 2 friends, where 1 of them had a hysterectomy just 3 weeks ago so she’s still not cleared to run.

So this week felt significant with running midweek at 7:30 with friends when it’s 98 degrees at the start of the race. And having 8 friends drive to your neighborhood to run at 4:30 am for your last 20-mile run. Funny how the temperature and early wake-ups didn’t seem so bad when others were doing the same thing.

And Now We Taper
Here’s the plan for the next 3 weeks to race day!

Running – slow decrease in miles. I have decided to run the El Scorcho 25K, a race that starts at midnight next Saturday and is set on a 5K loop. I think it’s a good way to get in my long run. So that’s 15.5 mile long run this weekend, and then I’ll do 6 miles the following weekend. In between, just light midweek miles.

Nutrition – with all the strength training and running miles, it’s a lot of physical stress. I have been gaining muscle but the stress has an impact on not moving the number on the scale much. About a month ago, I took a week off running so much and dropped 10 pounds and 5% body fat. My trainer hopes to see another 5+ pounds off by race day with the orders to tighten up my eating. I have chosen to remove all alcohol and Starbucks yummy mochas to get those calories out of my daily routine up to race day.

Everything Else
– try to keep my stress level low and my amount of rest high! Try to not stress out and just trust the training!

The Week Coming Up:
A few midweek runs and the El Scorcho 25K race this weekend. Cement my race strategy mentally. And find out what this “taper madness” people talk about is like!

Libby Jones has been running for 5 years, is a self-described “serial half-marathoner”, but has never attempted the marathon distance. She is also an active part of the Dallas-Fort Worth running community. She is the Founder and Race Director of the New Year’s Day Half Marathon in Allen, Texas; founder of the North Texas Runners running club; contributor to the Heels & Hills and Heels & Hills & Him women’s half marathons in Irving; the North Texas State Representative for the Road Runners Club of America; past Dallas Running Club President & 2008 RRCA Scott Hamilton National Outstanding Club President Award Winner; and an RRCA-certified running coach. She’s also a wife to Steve and a mother to Marissa (3 yrs) and Sophie (3 1/2 months). Read her blog “The Active Joe” and follow her on Twitter @libbyruns

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