It’s that time again — taper time! For the past couple of weeks I have cut way back on the mileage while trying to stay calm and injury-free. In past pre-race taper periods I have generally overdone the running, as if to try to convince myself that YES I REALLY AM READY to run this race!!! This time, I have not only avoided that temptation but I’m starting to worry that I’ve become too lazy and complacent.
There was the day I didn’t run 12 miles because gosh, it was pouring down rain and I didn’t have anything more to prove in that regard. There was the day I didn’t do my planned 8 mile run because it was my birthday. There was the day I slept in, after dreaming all night of running a marathon, and didn’t do my planned 8 mile run because I just didn’t feel like going out there. Now it’s six days before Victoria and I’m not sure how much more running I want to do between now and then because… what if I did something stupid and injured myself NOW? Certainly a final LONG run is now off the table. Maybe there is still time for one more 8-miler but that’s about it.
Other than dreaming about running (something I actually don’t think I have ever done before), I guess I’m doing okay mentally. I have figured out some goals:
- Simply finish
- A finish time I’ll be satisfied with (I’m not telling!)
- A finish time I’ll be delighted about
I’ve only spent a few hours calculating when I’m likely to see the lead runners (when I’m still outbound at about mile 9 and they are returning at about mile 19.5), and when I’m likely to be at several possible spectator vantage points. And marking up the map for those vantage points and reviewing it with my very patient friend…
I’m trying to eat well and get lots of sleep. I expected to gain a couple of pounds during this time and that hasn’t yet happened, but I’m trying not to freak out about that. I’ve lost some sleep to obsessive “what-if” middle-of-the-night scenarios, but not too much, not yet.
The runs I have actually managed to do have been solid ones, which have reassured me that yes, I really do still know how to run. I just have to keep reminding myself that I know how to do this taper thing, too.
I think I’ll be just fine, but I’m certain that I won’t know for sure until race day.
It’s terrifying and invigorating, expected and worrisome — it’s taper terror!
I’m going to be okay. Oh yes I am. Really I am. Absolutely!
One step at a time.