In spite of several curve balls, my final long run went really well yesterday and I'm now officially in taper mode!
Well over a month ago I began planning to do my last 20+ miler of the training cycle in Boston along the marathon course. I recruited a couple of teammates who are also running to join me for the trip, booked an Airbnb spot near the course in Newton, and worked on the logistics. The plan was to drive up early Saturday and do an easy run in Boston on Saturday afternoon. Then on Sunday we would take a cab to Ashland, run the last 22 miles of the course, and take the T back to our AirBnb so we could shower and drive home.
The first thing that went wrong with this plan was the forecast. Early in the week it became clear that it would be cold and snowy in Boston on Saturday. No big deal, we would do our respective runs in New York first thing in the morning and then drive up. Obstacle #1, easily overcome.
Then my wife and I decided somewhat last minute that instead of me driving to Boston with my teammates, I would drive up with her to see her brother and sister-in-law and their new baby, our adorable nephew Matthew, in Kingston, Mass. I could then take the commuter rail from there to Boston later in the day and meet my teammates who would drive up separately. Along the way, of course, we hit some snafus with our doggie daycare spot and had to adjust our departure time by a couple of hours. Again, not the end of the world: obstacle #2 dealt with.
The drive to Kingston was fine, just a little snowy, and we spend a couple of hours hanging out with our new nephew (who may in fact be the world's best-behaved baby). Of course, just as I was getting ready to leave for the train, I got a message from our AirBnb host that she had the flu. She was still more than happy to host us and tried to reassure us that our chances of catching her flu were minimal, but with Boston just over three weeks away, none of us wanted to take any chances. I did some quick research followed by some frantic phone calls and booked us a room at the Lenox Hotel. Obstacle #3 overcome.
The final obstacle was a pretty minor one. Since we were now going to be staying in Boston near Back Bay Station we decided that taking the commuter rail to Framingham made the most sense. Well, Framingham is only 20 miles from the finish and we wanted to get in 22 miles. What did we do? When we got there were jogged a mile west before turning around and tackling the rest of the course.
After all of those minor bumps in the road the actual run went great. All of us finished with extra energy, though of course we replenished our stores with a great brunch in Boston before heading back to New York. With that run out of the way I feel confident heading into my taper. I know a lot can happen over the next three weeks and race day itself can be unpredictable, but I'll worry about things as they happen. For now all I can say is, bring on the taper!