Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tapering Madness

For weeks, maybe even months, I looked forward to this week.
Now I just need to get through it.
The marathon's Sunday, a week away as I'm writing this, and that means this week, I do practically nothing.
I run three easy miles Monday, three Tuesday, run four quarters Wednesday and rest until the day before, when I run a couple. That nothing might still be something for you, and if so, I'm not trying to offend. Trust me, after a marathon plan, it's nothing. At peak, I ran 50 miles a week, many of them hard, with a 10-miler and a 20 on back-to-back days.
Oh, there were so many days when I looked forward to this week. Most of the moments came in the morning, when my alarm buzzed and I rose my bitchy body out of bed to put on my running clothes in the dark. Up until mid-March, I put on several layers and looked forward to running in single digits, with frozen cheeks and frosty eyelashes. I had several days when the temperature couldn't even hit zero, and one day, it was, I shit you not, -25.
I had terrific training partners by my side, the routes were great and the training went surprisingly well. I was not only never hurt, I never even got a twinge or the normal aches and pains you can expect during a marathon training plan.
Still, it was a grind, and with any grind, after a while, you look forward to it ending.
Now I just need to get through the taper.
Yes, a taper is not only an excuse to take time off, it's a mandatory edict from your "coach" ( to rest. It's wonderful. And yet, it's not. It's not at all.
If you're a thinker - and that would describe me to a hilt, and probably a fault - then something like a taper will drive you nuts.
I'm not as bad as some of my training partners, especially the ones who completed the Ironman back in November. One already sent me a plan that included another day of running. She just couldn't follow the plan, despite the common knowledge that the rest, the chance for your body to heal, does you more good than any run this week. Another follows the plan but goes certifiably batshit.
I enjoy the rest, and yet, I start to feel anxious, like cockroaches are crawling through my skin, by Wednesday. I honestly wonder if meth addicts feel this way when they're in search of a hit. Training is not only reassuring, since you're doing what you're supposed to be doing to get stronger, it's also soothing, as there's nothing like a good endorphins rush when you're in the shower after a cold run.
Finally, the wife just got through a cold, and my 6 year old son now has one. Now every time I blow my nose or feel a tickle in my throat I'm convinced I'm coming down with something. I've had to run races through sinus infections, the flu and cramps. I do not want to run 26 with any of those.
I got into this marathon because last year's didn't turn out the way I wanted. I wanted a better finish. One without cramps at the end. One strong, like I know I'm capable of.
The rest will help me get there. All I have to do is make it through it.

1 comment:

kurokitty said...

Good luck!!