Monday, September 27, 2010

Tapering for Marathon #10

Yes folks, it's been a while. Sorry I've been way from the blogging scene for a bit, but aside from the obvious (which is that my work and running life hasn't left me time enough to collect my thoughts...much less write a semi-literate halfway-decent about them), I haven't been so inclined to review my training or think about my race goals for Chicago on 10/10. Up to this point, I've been having so much fun completing workouts and training in accordance with my daily schedule that I always imagined race day as an occasion that will happen in the future. In my mind, it was always something that will be dealt with in due time...just not right now.

But ever since I received the registration packet with my bib number (#527) and corral (A) information in the mail last week and my multitude of friends asking about my plans for race weekend, I realized that I can no longer escape that marathon #10 will soon be at hand. Yes, my friends, the day of reckoning is now less than two weeks away and training for all intents and purposes is over. My body which through months of high mileage and high intensity training was transformed to an aerobically efficient running machine, must now give way to a shadow of my running self in a nondescript process called tapering.

Just in case you missed my tweet earlier today, let me repeat my personal feelings about tapering - "Runners who say they enjoy tapering either didn't train very hard or are big fat LIARS!" Consciously, we all know that the taper is important because it allows damaged body parts to heal, the liver to replenish nutrients and the mind to rest and relax before the big race. But emotionally, the taper just doesn't make sense. It not only forces you to pull back the reins at a time when you're just rearing to go, it also throws off the running rhythm you've developed through the long hard weeks of training. As a result, you feel out of sorts, you eat constantly, and the sleep and rest you know you're supposed to get just doesn't come as easily. At times, I'm not sure if I'm more thrown off by the lack of running or the nerves and anxiety I'm feeling towards Chicago. I don't know about anyone else who's in the same boat, but it's definitely a conundrum for me. I much rather continue training right now than stopping and worrying if I've done enough to prepare for this race. Maybe I have, maybe I haven't. In the end, I doubt it will even matter. I will race and let the chips fall as they may.

I just have to find some way to get through this two week torture taper first! God help me. God help us all. Uggh!


aron said...

hang in there lam, you know you have done enough, you have been here before. save some of that energy for 10/10/10. you know what to do :)

Nicki said...

This is my first marathon training season and taper and I am hating the taper part. I so understand where you are coming from as I am hating the distances I am suppose to run and the runs themselves now.

You are in prime shape for Chicago and will do wonderful things on 10/10/10.

Jennifer said...

Hey- this is Jennifer_runs from twitter.

I hadn't read this before I replied to your tweet. :) I can relate to how you feel, but I can honestly say I'm enjoying the taper now- AND I know I prepared as much as I could have this time.

Remember we do this for fun. Have fun with it. :) You're in great shape and your body will know what to do. You've prepared well... now you can relax.

Btw- my goal is an even 4:00 for a BQ time for my age group. Good
luck with your marathon. :)

(Jennifer_runs on twitter)

Anonymous said...

good luck getting throug the taper! you will get through it though and i look forward to seeing you dominate chicago :)

DumpRunner Matt said...

Gotta disagree Lam. A taper is PART of training.

I would submit that if you hate tapering you haven't been running long enough or are simply doing it wrong. :P

For starters, I have always felt that 3 weeks is too long a taper-2 weeks is good for me.

2 weeks out I do a 16 miler- last 4 at MP pace. I get my easy week out of the way after that.

1 week out I do 10 miles at whatever pace feels good. The week before I do a 4 mile temp and 4 X 400 2 days and 2 easy days. I always run the day before.

Mentally there is a component of "let's run the damn race already" but you can mitigate that with a taper that fits YOU.

lindsay said...

I've always wondered why I am most motivated at taper time... lol. Hang in there speedy! This is the easy part!

Morgan said...

You're a seasoned marathoner by this point Lam, quit your belly aching you knew it was coming! LOL! :) You are going to do great and I can't wait to see you zip by on race day!

Spike said...

You said what I was thinking. I mean exactly what I was thinking; I had to read it twice.

Get out of my head.

But really, excellent post.

zbsports said...

The race seems so interesting and challenging. The event is tough and looks everyone is happy to it. Good post too.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there!

Jamie said...

hang on a little bit longer lam! good luck making it to 10/10/10!

J said...

The days will go by quick and the race will be here soon!! You are in great shape and I hope you have a great time in Chicago!

runner26 said...

you are doing fine, lam. the taper will end soon. I'm so excited for you!! chicago is right around the corner and you are totally ready for it. I'll be waiting in new york with the beer i will owe you ;)

carpeviam said...

I'm craving peanut butter. All. The. Time.

Here's to our marathons on 10.10.10!

cg9m said...

"maybe i have, maybe i haven't"- i think those words (and what followed) were key. you're ready. i think you're gonna pr based on what you've done (lol- no pressure!). best of luck!

and i wouldn't let what others who are at your level do for their taper stress you out! we're all individuals, and our bodies tell us what we can handle. it's different for everyone.

and i can attest, tho just thru reading blogs and books, that there are many fast guys who have your pent-up energy during taper. and they seem to feel the same as you about it- climbing walls.

so, on race day...go get 'em! :)

The Laminator said...

Thanks everyone for your awesome feedback! I appreciate your comments and thoughts.

Tapering is always a tricky subject for all of us. One of these years I'll get it right! Haha!

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