Officially in full on taper mode today and for the remaining three days leading up to the Charleston Marathon this Saturday. Don’t mind me, I am in a bad mood. Steer clear, I am going to be a real dictator at work today. Back off, I don’t feel like listening to your useless banter today. I’d rather be running than listening to your petty gripes and complaints.
Do you ever feel this way? Does tapering for a big race just mess with your moods? I think it’s the combination of nervous energy that has nowhere to go, and a heightened sense of irrational behavior as a result.
I really want to run, but my body needs rest. My feet are used to moving, but I must try to keep them still. All runners must experience a varied mix of strange behaviors leading up to the big day. For me, the change in routine is what really gets to me. Sets me off. I am used to routine. Being off kilter is irritating to me. The mix of nerves and calm without my normal way to relieve them is tough to get used to. This usually results in a combination of me being more quiet, or just a general lack of patience. Self reflection, thinking, planning in my head. I usually become more antisocial. Wow! I guess I could be considered a real A$$hole in the days before a race.
I actually think I am better at tapering now than I have been in the past. I now realize how the rest is beneficial to my body, and letting my muscles revive themselves before the race. The longer the race, the more important the taper. This coming Saturday is my ninth marathon, so I should be pretty used to this by now, right?
Right now I am undecided as to how many more miles I will put in before the race. I ran 3.1 miles yesterday. The run felt good, but slow. Slow is ok though, I must keep in mind. The important thing is that I got out there and moved. Lucky or not, this morning the weather has not cooperated for a run. So, today, I am not running. Maybe tomorrow I will run one last 2-3 miler. I’m thinking of taking both Thursday and Friday off completely, and trying to keep me feet up in the evening. Taking the last few days off before a marathon has worked for me in the past, so I am going to use what I’ve learned.
The start of the Charleston Marathon is just 4 days away……
As much as I look forward to a big race, tapering is tough. How do you deal with the taper? How long do you taper? Do you find yourself in a completely different state of mind in the last week leading up to a distance race? How do you keep yourself calm, and ready at the same time?
I think for me, letting my body rest naturally leads to more reflection. Thoughts about how my training has gone. Thoughts about my race plan, and how I plan on tackling the race course. My brain works harder during taper than my legs do. I guess it’s a natural reaction, and the best thing I can do to be both physically and mentally prepared for race day. Excitement, nerves, bottled up energy… All things that should get me to the starting line as prepared as possible. At least that is the way I look at it.
Today I will try to envision running down the street in this photo. Part of the marathon course this weekend. It looks very beautiful, and quiet. Maybe it will quiet my nerves and settle me today.