So, I liken the taper to a whirlwind relationship. At first the taper and I are very much in love, the honeymoon phase. I cannot get enough of the taper. I spend every moment being thankful that the taper is there for me. Then, as time goes on, little things the taper does start to annoy me. Like not allowing me to run my favorite routes because they are too long. After a while I really begin to resent the taper for holding me back. I begin to wonder what the heck I ever saw in the taper. Before you know it, I'm starting to think I would really like to dump the taper. And finally, I show that taper--I run 26.2 miles and that taper is history!
Right now I'm still in the honeymoon phase. I'm enjoying taking it easy and having a little more time at night. I'm looking forward to a weekend in which I will not be doing much of anything, including not much running. But I know by next weekend, I will start to feel lazy and antsy. The 3.5 days of work in that last week before the marathon are going to go by soooo slooooowly. Especially since I will try to put in some extra time to get closer to 40 hours for the week so I don't have to use as much vacation time.
Last night I did a marathon pace run of 4 miles in the middle of my 8-miler. It went pretty well; but the miles were not very consistent even though the average looked good. I'll probably do one more shorter pace run next week, and maybe fartleks of some kind the week of, and that will be it for harder workouts. I'm shooting for 26 or 27 miles this week, and between 21 and 25 next week. The week of, maybe 15 or so (not including the marathon of course).
My half marathon time predicts a 4:07 marathon. The thing to keep in mind is that the half marathon was run on tired legs and was not the focus race (even though I would have liked a better time). Still, I'm not sure how married I should be to my original 4:00 goal. I think I will probably set that as my primary goal (and I will start out the race at that pace) and set an additional cushion goal of 4:10 or something (still a considerable PR, so I certainly won't be doing too much complaining if I can't hold the initial pace). I'm really, really lucky to have found a group going my pace (thanks Al!). It's ironic that I never took advantage of the pace teams at any of the larger races I've done, and now I've found one for the smallest.