It’s taper, taper time

After a week of some good, long runs, it’s time to taper for the Mayor’s Marathon on June 23 (that’s a Saturday, right?).

Except I don’t want to taper. I love running long. I’m hoping to squeeze in another 20-miler before mid-week.

Will this hurt my marathon race? I dunno. I do know that it’s summer and the trails are out there and it breaks my heart to run 5 and 6 miles when I can run for hours and smell the deep, green scent of the foliage and feel the sun (as infrequent as it shines up here) on my shoulders and hear my breath mix with the sounds of birds and wind.

Yesterday I hit the Campbell Creek Trails for a 21-miler from heaven. I swear! It was muggy, by Alaska standards, and I was wet with sweat by mile four, and the trails were fairly empty and there was a lot of mud and tree roots and bear scat, and some killer hills.

I love birch trees. They’re so slender and peaceful.
I also love this sign. I smile each time I run past it.

Friday I ran a 19-miler on the paved bicycle trails that wind through the city.

I feel fortunate to live in Anchorage, where there are so many trail options. And really, running on a smooth surface through trees and past creeks and streams is great. My pace was fast, much faster than I intended, and the run went well.

Still, it can’t compare to running on dirt and mud trails. But I intentionally ran two long pavement runs this week, because I knew that I would run them hard and fast and wanted to be fatigued for my 21-miler.

I was, too. The first few miles HURT, and then I settled into a pace and I felt great, I really did. I thought: Running back-to-back long runs is easy.

Then I hit the hills. And more hills. I ran up to Stuckagain Heights, which is basically a mile-long push of continuous uphill. My legs screamed. I wanted to stop and walk. I suffered terribly. But oh, the run back down was glorious.

I have no idea if I’m training smart, if I putting in enough miles for the Resurrection Pass Ultra, if it even matters. I only know that I am having fun, and I suppose in the end that’s what it’s all about.

Lastly, pics from last week’s Flattop hike.

Running: 63 miles last week
Writing: Slogging through Chapter Three edits

3 thoughts on “It’s taper, taper time

  1. specialkkluthe

    Hi! I just found your blog and am doing the Mayor's Marathon this year too! It'll be my first marathon so not quite sure what to expect but I live in Denver so I hope that the lower elevation will work to my advantage. Sounds like you've put in lots of hard training so good luck to you on race day!


  2. Ah Ah Alaska

    Hi there, Denver runner! The Mayor's course is slated as a bit challenging, mostly because 8 miles are dirt road/trails. If you're used to running trails, it will be no problem. But really, the trails in the marathon course are not at all technical. Plus, with your elevation advantage, you'll probably blow past the rest of us gasping-at-sea-level Alaska runners. Good luck! Hope to see you there.


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