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Am I Mad Yet?

February 26, 2009

Found an article on Runner’sWorld.com titled “Taper Traps”, which outlines some feelings common to runners during their marathon tapers, distilling them into those that are likely to befall runners with three weeks to go, those with two weeks to go, and lastly, those one week out from their race. Wait, one of these sounds strangely familiar, and yes, it’s in the One Week to Go category:

Trap: Heavy Legs

Symptoms: Tired feeling in the legs, happening late in the taper period..

Cause: Your tissue is being repaired, and you’re also storing more carbs and water late in your taper. In other words, you really are heavy. Nice.

Solution: You’re right where you’re supposed to be! Throw in a few 100-meter striders to keep your legs fresh.

Unfortunately for me, I’ve been feeling those Heavy Legs for about three weeks, but I’m going to go ahead and take the comfort anyway, as if it applied to me. Yeah, I’m supposed to feel this way. That’s right.

Second One Week Out taper trap that definitely applies to me:

Trap: That Sinking Feeling

Symptoms: Malaise and depression which will fit right in with the physical symptoms setting in.

Cause: Runners run to feel good. No running, no feel-good.

Solution: Remember the reason you’re feeling this way is that race day is almost here. Hang in there–you only have to make it through taper. And rent a movie to cheer you up.

Oh, this has definitely been me. I’ve been so blue and melancholy lately. And maybe that is because I’ve been lying around in bed more than usual, watching later-night TV than I normally would. Unfortunately, I’m of a melancholy temperament, not given to spending time with friends when I’m depressed but tending to withdraw instead. My wonderful running friend Sarah called to see how I was feeling and I couldn’t even bring myself to return her call! In spite of this, she did not rescind her invitation to use her elliptical and I did so yesterday while she juggled our four kids*.

Thankfully, the Boss has also been incredibly attentive. He sent me flowers on Tuesday, the day I tried to run and decided it was not conducive to the plan and walked instead, coming home dejected and close to calling race organizers to defer my race until 2010. He’s been playing the role of sports psychiatrist remarkably well, talking me off the ledge. He’s also been insistent on helping do the post-dinner kitchen clean up so I can stay off my feet as much as possible in the evenings.

Is it taper madness? Probably.

Today, this overachieving nerd printed out her packing list–I generate one every time we leave town–and will begin packing us up this morning. We have to do a grocery run as we’ll be out of town all weekend and I have a feeling I won’t be up for Publix on Monday**. Tomorrow, the Lamb has school, and the Monkey and I have a playdate. The plan is to leave town as soon as we pick her up from school, around mid-afternoon, and spend the night on Florida’s west coast. Saturday we’ll rise, hit the expo, and try not to do too much before we turn in for a good night in our comfy hotel room***.

Sunday, Marathon Day. We have to drive back to the east coast that day because the Boss has to be in the office on Monday–business managers have to count the beans on the first business day of the month, you know. I’m planning on lots of Tylenol, rest breaks, and riding in the back seat of the van. Thank goodness our state is narrow and takes only three hours or so to cross.

Okay, it’s the straightaway. As you can see, my to-do list is packed, so if you don’t hear from me until race day, rest assured that your encouragement and listening ears are much appreciated. Showers are forecast for Sunday, but at this point, I’m determined that I’m going to test my training and do my best to run twenty-six ten-minute miles.

I’ve trained for this, and I’m ready.

Crazy, maybe. But ready.

*The elliptical gave me, I thought, a perfect workout. Sarah set it on its easiest setting, so I didn’t feel like I was working hard, and needless to say, the machine didn’t have the impact of running on the road. The display told me the number of calories I was burning, and I’m pretty sure at the end of ten minutes I had burned a total of . . . 8. But that’s okay. I just wanted to stay kind of fresh without that terrible sinking feeling I get lately every time I tie my running shoes on. The other thing I did that I loved was run backwards. It was great!

**Publix Supermarkets are the major sponsor of the Gasparilla Distance Classic. I thought that merited them a plug on this blog. I got an email from the RD today saying due to a high number of late registrations, they will be short finisher’s medals. How’s that for encouraging you to run maybe a wee bit faster? Hey, you didn’t finish in under four hours? Sorry, we’ll have to mail you your medal.

***Yeah, we decided to bring the kids along. We did this for my first half, and I got up and got dressed in the dark. It wasn’t exactly ideal, but it wasn’t that bad. The hotel isn’t far from the starting line, so it’ll serve as a nice warm-up, and I got my long-sleeve at a Goodwill, believe it or not, so if I have to ditch it it won’t be that bad. The race starts at 6 so the Boss plans to bring the kids down a couple hours later . . . hopefully when the weather’s dry.

One thing on my mind is that the last time we stayed in a hotel, the Lamb fell off the bed and started throwing up. We’d like to avoid that at all costs this time around.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. run4change permalink
    February 26, 2009 7:32 pm

    I am excited for you. You are gonna to awesome. I will be doing a marathon on March 15th and I am looking forward to that too. Hope all you plans go as planned. HAve a great night and great trip AND GREAT MARATHON!!!

  2. February 28, 2009 4:58 pm

    Good luck, though I actually don’t believe in luck. Praying that it’ll be a good race.

  3. Ms V. permalink
    March 10, 2010 12:06 pm

    Found your blog through wordpress, and highlighting it on my blog today! Great post!

    ~Linda

  4. the Ringmaster permalink*
    March 10, 2010 4:35 pm

    Thanks, Linda. Are you a tapering marathoner?

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