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Falling in love with taper week

I would to amend my earlier thoughts on taper week.

I now love it.

The fear was that tapering -- or basically reducing the volume and intensity of your workouts leading up to a race -- would drive me a bit nutty. And regular readers of my blog understand I don't have far to go in that regards.

But yesterday's 30-minute easy paced treadmill run was ... well ... easy. Not just easy. It was relaxed and enjoyable and practically pedestrian.

My easy pace can vary but lately it's be a 10:20 mile. I felt like I was lightly jogging. The only thing that got me slightly out of breathe was talking to my friend Sue who was finishing up her workout next to me. And the 30 minute time limit? Well, I felt like I had just warmed up. When was the run actually starting?

This, as my season-runner friend Sue pointed out, meant that I was ready for the Miami half marathon. It meant I had trained properly.

For the first time, I was really excited about my weekend in Miami.

And this is what excited me about the race: The ease at which I could run that 10:20 pace. My goal from the beginning of the year was to run this half marathon in under 2 hours and 15 minutes. To run a 2:15, I have to run a 10:20 pace.

Um, that's my easy pace. My fall back pace. My safety net if you will.

That's all I have to do?

I can do that.

Which means, I can do better.

The expectation is that I will finish anywhere between 2 hours and 2:15 depending on how the stars align that day.

My goal? To run as close to 2 hours as possible.

Can I do it? Who knows. But why not try?

One of my all time favorite quotes comes from monk and author Thomas Merton: "The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little."

I thought of that quote yesterday when, getting into the pool for my master's swim practice I noticed this quote posted on the wall from Michelangelo: "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."

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