Let the taper begin! As my miles start to decrease in the next couple of weeks before the 24 Hour Race, the only thing I have left to focus on is running my daily loop at a fast and strong pace. Occasionally during a taper I have a tendency to run too cautiously with the mindset of needing to rest as much as possible while simply getting my miles in, but this time I'm keeping the pedal to the metal in order to keep my lungs in good shape. Things are looking great right now in terms of my overall shape, and I don't want to lose anything during a sub-par taper period.
The highlight of this week was Sunday's run which took place at the same time as the Marine Corps Marathon here in DC. Since I live 2 blocks from the course (and my daily Hains Point loop overlaps with miles 11-14 of the route), I had plenty of interaction with the runners who were enjoying a BEAUTIFUL fall day here in the Nation's Capital. As I made my way back home after a quick and easy 30 miler, I really enjoyed congratulating all the runners I passed on the streets who were proudly wearing their finisher's medal just below their smiling and relieved faces. Since I've been working so hard toward my goal in Texas, I can completely relate to all those marathoners who, after months of hard work on their own, achieved their goals this afternoon. Kudos to everyone who crossed the finish line today!
One more note about the Marathon: After the smoke of 25,000 runners cleared on Hains point, I swung around for one final loop before heading home myself. I was curious as to what my usually quiet "home" looked like after so many folks passed through this morning. Here are my unofficial tallies for the items I observed along the side of the road:
1) About 1,000 discarded 'Clif Shot' gels (I'm guessing there was an aid station giving them out on the loop).
2) 40 to 50 pairs of gloves (it was in the 40s at the start, so I'm guessing most people had them on until it warmed up a bit).
3) 25 Long Sleeve shirts (see above)
4) 2 seemingly Brand New pairs of Dr. Scholls gel insoles. Apparently these two people were done "gellin'" at mile 13. My question is, what did they wear after they threw these on the side of the road? I'm guessing running the last half of the marathon without insoles would be pretty rough...
As humorous as it was to run by all of these items on the side of the road, it was pretty sad for me to think that so many runners think the rules of littering and common decency don't apply to them during a race. Seriously, these people couldn't have held on to their gloves, shirts, trash, etc. for a couple minutes and just tossed them in (or at least NEAR) a trash can? If there's one running route I know, it's the Hains Point loop, and I can honestly say there are trash barrels every 100 yards around the 3+ mile loop. Sure, you might not be able to get to the side of the road right away when you're running in a crowded race, but unless your gloves or Clif wrapper were actively engulfed in flames, I think you can hang on to it for a minute or two while you make your way toward one of the barrels. ...and regarding gel packets in particular - If you were able to carry full packets with you during the first few miles of your run, you can use those same places to stash the empties on your body for the rest of the race too. Let's try and at least pretend we have some class out there!!
Monday - Off Day
Tuesday - 8.5 Miles - Hains Point Loop
Wednesday - 8.5 Miles - Hains Point Loop
Thursday - 8.5 Miles - Hains Point Loop
Friday - 8.5 Miles - Hains Point Loop
Saturday - 8.5 Miles - Hains Point Loop
Sunday - 30 Miles - Mt. Vernon Trail & Hains Point
Week Total: 72.5 Miles