Tapering (or… I Am Slowly Going Crazy)

I know – I’ve been looking forward to tapering for a while now.  Especially during freezing cold long runs and icy intervals.  However, I like to complain, so here are some things which have me going a bit bonkers in preparation for my upcoming marathon this weekend:

  • Not having a big challenge ahead in my runs makes it harder (for me) to “get up” for them.  For some reason I can get excited and focused if I have a tough 10 miler scheduled.  If I’m just putting in 5 miles I find it really hard to stay motivated to even go out.
  • I’m supposed to start feeling good and fresh for having taken down the mileage, but I started my first taper week (last week) in utter exhaustion which was unexplainable based on my reduced training.  I really should start adding things like “rushed from work to take two kids to the doctor on orders of daycare because of an unexplained rash which turned out to be dry skin – made it home 3 hours later and husband was away on business so had a glass of wine to calm myself down after I’d finally gotten everyone to bed” to my training log to give a fuller picture. Too much effort though.
  • I’m hyper aware of every little niggly injury or pain, and in fact they seem to be getting worse.  I am familiar with this phenomenon, and I even warn people I coach about it – I’m not sure of the real scientific reasoning, but I’ve always believed it has to do with your body finally having the energy to address the injuries and so they’re getting better.  How to account for my sudden lower-back pain and tightness though???  I know – lifting kids into and out of things who really should be doing it themselves, but I’m always in a rush.  Still, why right now???
  • Questioning and second-guessing my fitness.  I have to go back and read my logs to remind myself that I’ve done the work.

(Yes, I’m still that old-school with my logs)

  • I use running as more than a means to a racing goal – it is my everyday therapy.  Without the same amount of “me time” (because let’s be honest – I’m not waking up at 5 a.m. to replace running with anything else) I’m way more irritable, jumpy and way less zen about pretty much everything.
  • I feel fat.  There, I said it.  I know I need to build up my carbohydrate stores and that my muscles store two grams of water for every gram of carbohydrate.  I will rely desperately on these stores at mile 20 or so of the marathon.  However right now, as I eat as much as usual and burn off less than half, I feel like a blob.  A globby blob.
  • See?  Crazy.  Three more days.  Then I can see if this has all paid off.  And you can bet that the week after the race I won’t feel like running a step and I won’t have all of these weird psychologies at play.  Good Grief – bring it on and release me from this torture!!!