Join me as I travel around the country to fulfill my goal of running a marathon or half marathon in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Adventures of a 2 week Taper

I honestly never thought the day would come that I would actually miss running, but here it is.

The definition of "taper" is to reduce gradually. For any newbies out there I remember not too long ago thinking I would never understand runners and their weird language. I've learned a lot, and I'm still learning.

My understanding of "tapering" is that you cut back on your mileage as you get near the race. Generally, the longer the race is, the longer you taper for. Not only do you cut down on the distance/frequency of your runs, you also cut down on your speed during runs (anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong at any point).

Tapering makes sense in my brain. I mean, your body needs to be well-rested before you push it to do something it has never done before (26.2 miles in my case). Tapering does not make sense according to my body. I get the fact that most runners feel anxious and want to go for a long run, but hold back. What I'm not sure of is this: Does everyone feel like they are getting sluggish and being lazy? Cuz that's what I feel like. It's probably just crazy talk, but I feel like I'm losing the cardio stamina I've worked so hard to build up.

I'll probably regret this later (you all can chastise me) but I'm headed to indoor rock climb with some friends right now. I'm 9 days out from the marathon, it can't be that bad of a decision, can it?? (Deep down, I already know this is a dumb decision...just praying I don't pull a muscle or something)

I'm also upset at myself for breaking my no-sweets challenge this week. One day I ate a bunch of free Godiva chocolate at work. Another night I ravaged my apartment for anything sweet, but I eliminated all sugar from the cabinets a while ago. This is all I could find:

Yup, I picked out every single flippin' sugar coated raisin from that box. hahaha. god I was desperate.


Julia said...

ahhhhhh. It would definitely mean I was getting desperate to pick out raisins. The only way I will eat raisins is in oatmeal. Otherwise I just can't stand them...haha! I can't believe your marathon is getting so close!! SO exciting. Be careful tonight but have fun!!

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

Great taper advice. I've done the cabinet raid once or twice before and only sugar coated raisins means your kitchen is pretty healthy!

theAlmostRunner said...

hahaha the raisins. you CANNOT skip FREE godiva chocolate. that would be a shame and sinful to your body.

good luck with your taper... SEE YOU SOON!!!

ashley (redonk runner) said...

i know the taper will be really hard for me and i'll feel the same way.

i do not dig raisins, that would not be a sweet fix for me! well unless they are yogurt covered ones, then yum! totally would have been time for a fro-yo run or something. :)

Alyssa said...

Tapering is so tough mentally but the good thing is by race day you can't freakin wait to run! Just be careful rock climbing, you'll be fine. I love love love what you did to the raisins, that is so something I would do! I got trail mix from a race months ago and all the nuts and sunflower seeds are still there but you better believe those m&ms are long gone, from a similar night to the one you had!

Team Lando said...

I hate tapering! But it's so important... I have been known to eat odd things tapering, too. And sugar is OK is small amounts - don't change your diet too much!

Anonymous said...

You sound like me. I become cautious in everything I do. I trained to long to mess it up.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

Most runners suffer from taper brain or taperitis while nearing race day, you are not alone. Still being active is a great idea to ease the nerves and settle the mind. One of my fastest road marathons I ran 15 miles the day before. Each person is different. But for your first marathon it is probably best to decrease your intensity and mileage leading up to your event. (Any good runner's book or website can easily give you solid guidance. I'm sure you had already been following a solid training plan that planned for a taper of some level?!)
As for the sugar, it seems everyone is trying to get rid or limit their consumption lately. Good for you! I try "most everything in moderation" works best for me. Than I don't feel deprived and over eat a "forbidden" food.

Your questions on my post (I don't have your email. Mine's on my profile feel free to shoot me a message anytime)
1. We have a house in VA but rarely local enough for the Ultras that I run in MD, PA, and VA.
2. The wet socks question. With ultras there is often multiple water crossings and wet courses. At this last event there was water and mud every where. My choice (and it worked for me!) was to ditch was shoes which had a few more miles on them than I wanted for a dry, clean, newer pair but keep the wet socks. I thought was that a dry sock on a water logged foot would cause more friction than keeping the wet sock. It held true. No blisteres. Now my toenails are not any prettier after 50 miles but they didn't look good before the 50!

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

BAHAHAH YOU ARE HILARIOUS!!! I know what you mean about tapering and MISSING running. Next time just mail me all of the raisins you pick out:)

Jenn╩╗s Adventure╩╗s said...

Thank God for TWO SCOOPS! hahaha!! =)