BikeMS in Arizona and London Marathon taper

Ryan, Kristi, Mike, Katie, Laura, Mile (L to R) recovering after a minor mishap at BikeMS Arizona 2016

It’s taper week for the London Marathon. We leave on April 20 (Wednesday). My training is slow and easy and short. Yesterday though, I picked it up a notch by riding for BikeMS (Team K-Lar for Kristen) for 29+ super-hilly and windy miles around the McDowell Mountain range. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to extend my heartrate into level 3 and even level 4 for a short while, but it was for charity. There were around a dozen of us in the group including my old biking buddies Kristi, Katie, Jason and Mike; and new biking buddies Tom, William, Drew and Laura. Five of us biked the shorter route (~50 miles) while the others took the longer route. All in all, it was fun!

Selfie with Kristi at a BikeMS rest stop

Missy and Simi are constantly on my mind. The silence in the house is deafening. There isn’t anything anyone can do, but coping with it is tough and emotionally draining!

The London Marathon is next Sunday, April 24. I have scoped out the course and am hoping for wind from the easterly direction. My bib number is 60056 and I will start after 10AM from the Blue start. The course itself winds through the heart of the city next to some of London’s most famous landmarks including the Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Eye, House of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. The course is net downhill, but it has up-and-down undulations throughout the course after the first 3 miles. I don’t expect anything close to a PR for the race, but if all goes well I should have better times than the Boston Marathon and certainly better than the New York Marathon.

London Marathon Course Map 2016

My projected time based on a near perfect race with no wind is 3:45. Of course in a marathon, anything can go wrong. Jetlag, nutrition, sleep, wind, fueling, nerves, adrenaline and hydration are just a few factors that will come into play. Add to this the all-important physical and mental states, and you have covered pretty much all aspects of what can go wrong. I feel good about my training. I am a few pounds above race-weight which is actually good for a marathon. As I write this, I am completely injury-free. My mental state is not the best right now and my heart remains heavy. We’ll see if this affects my heartrate during the race.

“Relax and Flow” is my mantra. With a bit of luck and a bit of perseverance, I will have a decent race. I plan to enjoy the first half. I plan to flow the next 6 miles. I plan to run the rest of the race on tough mental nerves.

More in a couple of days…

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