Alright, lets blog this sucker (as Destroyer Watson would put it).
So last week I stressed my tired legs once more, returning a 1:43 21K for the third time in nearly two months.
And I was thinking and asking myself - have I hit a plateau? Will I ever get this taper thing right? Four weeks ago, I had done a solid week of 126K in Entebbe and I knew it was not for nothing.
And so I decided to get a final answer - so help me God. If its tapering, I will taper this sucker. So I did some 100m floats on Thursday and then rested for two days to remove the cobwebs (acidosis).
On Sat and Sunday I was invited to parties and I allowed myself to eat and stuffed my belly with humongous amounts of food. I let it rip and wasted no time with the food.
Slimpossible has been killed, my wife said.
Fuel, I thought. There is work to be done.
Then I went for an easy 12K recovery on Sunday to ensure every bit of cobweb is shaken off.
I had added a kilogram. My left eyebrow rose as I regarded my new weight.
Fuel, I assured myself as I stepped off the scale, squashing my worries.
Monday I rested again. Ensuring I am well hydrated and easing off the binge fest.
Tuesday, I knew it was Dday.
I started hydrating early, downing several bottles of water, glasses of fresh juice and tea.
I ensured that by 1pm, I had eaten some solid lunch. Nothing too crazy, just some potatoes and meat and vegetables. I ensured that by 2:10, I had gulped my last bottle of water.
All I needed to do now was to empty my bladder and watch the clear fluid with satisfaction, knowing I was over hydrated.
By 3:30pm, I sneaked from the office. I feel bad stealing my employers time but a mans gotta do what a mans gotta do. Goals must be met.
I wasted some 40 minutes in traffic. Damn.
I rushed to the changing rooms and changed then took my time in the toilet.
Garmin, check. Heart rate monitor, check. Shoe laces tied and double tied, check. Cap, check. Skin tight worn comfortably, check.
Time, 4:15. Check. The field is clear, no walkers, no overweight suckers looking for quick-fix-weight-loss-exercises, check. Warm up for 300metres, check. Garmin has locked on satellites, check.
Here we go!
As I started, the main thing I wanted was to ensure that I don't allow my heart to rest below 165Bpm. Anything above 165 was good, so long as it felt comfortable.
It was kinda cold so my legs weren't well warmed up. In fact, they started feeling warmed up at the 9K mark.
My legs felt easy, not very light, but okay. I started with 4:36 but I became a monster at the 14th K and surpassed 4:36 more than twice without even straining. In this run:
I learnt the importance of proper breathing at this run.
I learnt the importance of eating well before a race.
I learnt that proper rest before a race is important and for me, from today onwards, the last run will be a 20 x 100m floats then a two days rest, then a 12K shake out the one day rest then I hammer the sucker. That is how I will be tapering.
At any rate, I crossed 13K in 1:01. and 16K in 1:14:XX.
I was very strong up to the end but at 18K, I started experiencing stomach cramps that slowed me down to the end.
But on looking back, I didn't give it 100% mostly because of fear (lack of confidence in my abilities) and also because of the cramps towards the end. So I am kinda mad at myself for walking away with a fuel tank that is not 100% depleted.
Now I need to learn how to give 100%.
I am in 1:35 shape right now. What I need to do is have a few solid weeks of training where I will teach myself how to leave everything on the track or road, whenever I am racing.
At any rate, I have broken my PR. And I am very happy about that.
Here is the breakdown:
________wk2 20+18+20 = 58Kms
________wk3 16+16+18+20 = 70Kms ..................(lower ankle pains)
________wk4 20(1:50)+20(1:53)+20(1:50) = 60Kms ...(fighting each Km - legs screaming)
________wk5 20(1:53)+10+10 = 40Kms......(Revert to moderate 21K @ Sato - no more fighting)
Feb_____wk1 21(2:05)+11+10(47:56:52)+6+10 = 58Kms (tight hamstrings)
________wk2 21(2:06)+14+12+7+10 = 64Kms...........(first sub 4 mins 1K!)
________wk3 21(2:01)+15+12+12+12 = 72Kms (Malaba, crazy intervals)
________wk4 21(2:19)+16+14+10+10=71Kms (recovering from intervals)
March___wk1 21(1:57:51)+18+11+11+11+11=83Kms (Kampala)
________wk2 21(1:56:39)+15+10+10 = 56Kms (PF threatens-recovering from 83K week)
________wk3 21(1:53:39)+19+17+12+11=80K (bad cold, health scare - tight PF)
________wk4 0Kms rest - with a flu
________wk 5 21(2:14)+15+13+16+13+12=90Kms (Mombasa - recovering and coming back)
April____wk1 21(1:56)+10+16(in 1:18)+10 = 57Kms
________wk2 21(1:47:25)+7K+16K (in 1:16:56) = 42Kms (ITBL injury)
________wk3 14+10+10 = 34 Kms (feeling great but pressed for time)
________wk4 21+7+16(1:14:43)+10=54Kms (ITBL flare, rain interruptions)
May_____wk1 22+17+15+14+16+12=96Kms (Arusha-nursing PF and ITBL)
________wk2 21+13+10+13=57Kms (ITBL almost healed, tight PF and some shin pains)
________wk3 22+18+10+14=64Kms (nursing ITBL & PF - break into new shoes)
________wk4 21(1:53)+21(1:43:49-HR165)+8+10=60Kms (stomach cramps) ITBL finally gone. PF persists.
________wk5 23+20+18+21+15=97Kms (PF getting better - corner bistro training)
June____wk1 24+20(a K in 3:58)+16+19+19+13(a K in 3:57) = 111Kms (Kigali Kayciru - PF getting better)
________wk2 24+16+15 (a K in 3:50) +13=68Kms (PF getting better)
________wk4 21(1:46)+14+12 (a K in 3:48)+13(a K in 3:46) = 60Kms (PF is healed)
July____wk1 21(2:08)+15(1:12)+21(1:43:28-HR158) = 57Kms (Tororo)
________wk2 23(2:16)+(15+9)+(16+9)+10+(16+9)+(12+7)= 126Kms(Entebbe)
________wk5 12+21(1:38:50 HR167)+17=50Kms