I'm on page 4 of 4 of my running schedule now (started on Sunday), which is technically on the first week of the taper schedule, but it's not really taper time yet. Instead, there is one tough week that immediately precedes the two true taper weeks (it's just on the taper schedule b/c your start to the taper schedule is tied to your race date). So basically I'm on my last 40+ mile week of training and the cake walk starts next week -- I think it's only low 30s for mileage, followed by something like a 20 mile week.
This morning's run was 8 miles, with 2 easy, 2 race pace, 2 easy, 2 race pace. Because of people out of town this week, I was actually the only person in the group this morning who had that run on the schedule. But since I run with guys whose race pace is significantly faster than my own, a couple of them were willing to stick with me and do my scheduled run. Our first 2 easy were great pace-wise. Then 2 great race pace. Then the system broke down a bit. Instead of doing 2 easy, we basically did 2 a tiny bit slower than race pace (about 10 seconds each mile). And then instead of kicking back to race pace, we went way too fast for the last two -- about 15 seconds faster each mile than the first two race pace miles. It did not feel sustainable, but if I really ran that pace, I'd qualify by a long shot.
I need to practice more correct race pace. Maybe tomorrow if my legs feel good. One of my friends from law school is in town visiting so we drank a bit too much sangria last night, so that made it tougher to guage my effort -- couldn't tell what part of any struggle was related to alcohol, hills, heat, humidity, etc. She joined us on the run this morning, which was nice. She's trying to requalify, though technically her marathon time from last year qualifies her for Boston 2011 as well. She's going to run Marine Corps.
Another cool thing about our run today was that between about mile 0.5 and 2.5, we descended about 140 feet. MTCM has a climb over 2 miles of 160 feet, and I'd really like to practice it, so this will probably be the place to do it. I'd like to drive out to 2.5 one day in the next week or two and then run back to 0.5 to get a feel for what 140 over 2 miles feels like so I'll be less intimidated. I've been searching for the perfect grade over the right distance and this is the closest I've found so far.
My taper madness project is going to be to organize all loose paper in the kitchen related to recipes. I've got a binder and tons of plastic page covers, and am going to buy dividers this week and then I'll get started on Sunday. Woo-hoo. It will be like my own custom cookbook when I'm finished.
And the family medical issue is still there but we're adjusting to a new normal and the impending financial crisis may not be as imminent as originally feared. So life is coming up roses right now for me! Just need to hold strong for 19 days of running (including MTCM!) and get my mental game in order. And then have this medical issue actually get handled so that things are back in the clear all around.