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Taper Week Begins

The ING Miami Half Marathon is six days away meaning my training has officially entered the taper zone.

Sunday marked my last longish run leading up to the 13.1-mile race that starts in downtown Miami and winds through South Beach. It was an hour and 15 minutes with a few tempo pick ups and generally felt good. In fact, my runs lately have felt so good it almost made me nervous. But in general I'm feeling strong, confident, like I could run faster during my easy runs. It was a bit of a challenge to hold back. That's never happened before. That feeling of not just being able to go faster but wanting to go faster I take as a good sign.

Within the last week, the race has updated its website to offer the ability for runners, family and friends to donate to Haiti relief efforts. Runners can still get involved with Team World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization which works with children and families to tackle the causes of poverty and injustice worldwide. While it's late in the game for this week's ING Miami event, the organization's website has a list of other running events across the country in which they are officially sponsoring teams. The group has a strong connection to running as American distance runner Ryan Hall is a supporter and has volunteered with World Vision.

Additionally, runners, friends and family can donate through the ING Miami Marathon website.

The charity tie-in for major races can, at times, be a point of contention within the running community. But whether you're a fundraiser for a cause close to your heart or just running with a lot of spirit in your heart, there is an energy that is uplifting among the runners on race day. We run because we can. Because it brings us the intangibles in life -- whether that be joy or confidence or peace or strength. And when we all find those things in our lives, we can't help but affect change in the world.

--- Amy Moritz
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