Just like grief or relationship loss, marathon taper has its own special phases and stages. You’ve done the work. The proverbial hay is in the barn. But somehow, cutting back mileage during the final weeks of marathon training plays tricks on many of us. Let’s take a little Kubler Ross-esque look at the stages of taper:
1. Denial: Marathon? What marathon? Seems like it’ll never get here. I wish I could’ve just run Chicago last week and got this whole thing over with. Whose idea was this anyway?
2. Anger: Dammit I think my knee hurts. And the top my my foot is rubbing. Pretty sure my toenail’s digging in. Why is everyone around me sick? Don’t you dare cough in my direction. Can somebody just roll me in bubble wrap until race day please?
3. Bargaining: If my knee behaves on race day, I will sacrifice my firstborn and an enormous cookie cake to the running gods. Oh and I promise never to skip foam rolling again.
4. Depression: 3 miles? Are you kidding me? I’ll barely break a sweat. Maybe I’ll just wear my yoga pants for that. I’m sure my endurance has fizzled away. Plus I have nothing to wear to the marathon. When did my running wardrobe become a collection of old rags? Can’t I just sit here and eat? Why am I doing this again?
5. Acceptance: Big inhale. Big exhale. I don’t HAVE to do this, I GET to do this. Hey is that cookie cake?
Have you experienced any of these stages? I’m linking up with Erika, Patty, and April today for Tuesdays on the Run. My giveaway ends tonight! Are you in?
Tuesday: Rest (giving wonky knee some healing time)
Wednesday: 8 miles upper body strength/core
Thursday: 3 miles (plyo intervals)
Saturday: 5k Race
Sunday: 12.1 miles
Except for the extra rest day, the first week of taper didn’t feel very tapery. Sunday’s 12 at half marathon pace felt like plenty thanks to the hills and the race the day before. I can definitely feel the fruits of my labor these past few months in the form of greater aerobic base and a little more speed too. Knee continues to be on watch. It didn’t make a peep during Saturday’s race, but it made it’s presence known yesterday as I approached the 10 mile mark.
This week, marathon training takes a back seat to Thing 1 and her Skate America performance coming up this weekend. The Chicago area has not hosted a major international figure skating competition since 1946 and it is quite apparent, they’re doing this one up right. To say I am living vicariously thru her would be an understatement. Ha!
One last thing: I mentioned in my weekend 5k race report they used gun time for not only the overall awards but also the AG places. After some digging I found this article which states either chip or gun time can be used, as long as its clearly stated on the race website. In this particular case there’s no mention of gun time anywhere. Just bib chip time. Live and learn.
What’s fun for you this week? Did you race? Still a little time left to enter my giveaway!