Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Taper Tapdance

The taper tapdance has begun.

I weighed in at 178 pounds yesterday, a new low, or a new high, depending I guess upon the way you look at it. After watching my weight slide around between 179 and 181 pounds for a week, I just stuck to my diet and quit diddling around with makeshift substitutions and making it up as I went along. That's a fancy way of saying I have stayed out of restaurants to a greater degree and stuck to my original plan. That is the best way to battle the temptation of the bread basket, and the lure of being surrounded by bounteous. bizarre calorie offerings.

After last week's 24K on Friday and 40-oddK on Sunday, the hammer dropped I guess and pushed me past the latest weight plateau. Now, as I enter my marathon taper and substitute miles for speed and greatly decrease my mileage output, it will be, at least in theory, much harder to lose weight. It will be harder to maintain a calorie deficit as I eat to recover from my weeks of high mileage (60-75 miles at my peak), and my daily and weekly calorie needs plunge as my work load is drastically reduced - by about 50% this week, and by 80% in the week before the marathon itself.

If my weight stays at 178, I will be happy. Am happy. Make no mistake about it. Back in January, my goal was to get my weight as close to 180 pounds as I could. On May 1st, I ran the Vancouver Marathon at 203 pounds. Since then, as of this morning I have lost 25 pounds. At 203 pounds I was 22% body fat. My guess now is that I am somewhere around 11 or 12 percent body fat. By changing my cross training regimen, I have clearly lost some upper body muscle mass through my shoulders, arms and chest. Even my legs have leaned out.

Now the great imperative is for me to maximize my stength and endurance. I have beat my body up this marathon clinic, make no mistake about it, but I have never been injured this session, only subject to extreme fatigue, the peak of which was the two weeks immediately following my escapades in the Stormy 64K Ultramarathon Trail Race which I did in 7:41.

I have also raced more this clinic. I was very happy with my 10K performances, in particular at Summerfast. I saw a 43 minute 10K time and did not go out as hard as I could have. And as Hugh and Patrick and Justin and Tim would attest, our weekly 8K tempo runs were done at a brutal pace.

So I breached 180 pounds. Seems kind of anti-climatic now. But losing twenty five pounds in the past five months will hopefully be a harbinger of faster marathon times in my near future. I will be happy with my losses and gains to date, but will continue to hope for 175 - 176. My primary concern though, is to show up in Kelowna for the Okanagan Marathon in peak physical condition and to arrive as rested and as recovered and as fast as I can possibly be. The training and dieting part are largely complete. The die is cast. The end result, other than my effort and strategies on race day, now out of my hands.

The rest is in the hands of the Marathon Gods.

In the words of Bill Rogers, "The Marthon can humble you."

Respect the race. Respect the distance.

I have done the best training that I am capable of.

Or, in the immortal words of Popeye, "I dids what I dids and I ams what I ams".


Blogger Scooter said...

OK, Vince, since you've acknowledged having completed your weight loss, let's apply the quickie 2 sec/mile/lb formula and see what comes up.

25 lbs x 2 sec/mi/lb x 26.2 miles = 1310 sec

Then converting that to minutes:
1310/60 = 21 min 50 sec

That's over 20 minutes BEFORE you take into account the improved quality of training! Boston is yours for the taking. You have another thing working for you - the discipline of being a pace group leader. I tend to be brave (and foolish) by running as my body feels, often suffering late as payback for early exuberance. That's a problem you shouldn't face. Taper wisely!

8:49:00 AM  

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