So how do you do this taper thing?

Last week I thought that I had the taper thing under control. I would take the few weeks leading up to the race nice and easy so that come race day I was a bull ready to be let loose. My muscles would be recovered and mentally I would want to do nothing but run. I was looking forward to the taper and no long runs. But, now I want to run-hard and race.

Yesterday I was suppose to do 15 miles. I am so sick of running circles around this isolated town, that I decided to take it up to the trails. JWail had been out with the dogs at Happy Jack during the week and said it was pretty much dry.

Dry except for this part where they rolled in the snow.

Mentally I couldn’t do the pavement. Not to mention that the winds had kicked up-again. But, two hours of trail running sounded perfect.

I carpooled to the trailhead with this hunk (do people still use that word)?

But, he told me he was taken and wasn’t interested in hanging out with this coolness. So,  we parted ways. He on his mountain bike and me on foot.

It took my two hours to go 10 miles. But, I had some steep uphills to climb  walk, and I got into it with a fallen tree, meaning that I ripped my pants and had some major scrapes. After about 4.5 miles I got into my groove and finally stopped making excuses and just kept moving.

Surely you take the "cardiac bypass" when you are tapering. Wait, this sign is misleading-both ways are tough.

I love these trails! The views never get old.

The last two miles were up a steep trail called “Middle Aspen.” Most of the time I have to walk it on my bike. So, there was no surprise that walking was an option today. But, merely an option. I remembered that miles 8-10 of the marathon are completely uphill and since I was at miles 8-10 of my run, I wanted to give it my all. I kept trucking and refused to look at my 12 min/mile pace on my garmin.

Today’s fueling was brought to you by this:

High fructose corn syrup city!

This is what I hear that they will be dispersing at the marathon aid stations. This or some other variation like powerade. I never drink it, but figured that I better in order to build up a stomach for it. I believe that carrying my own water defeats one of the purposes of signing up for a race. Anyways-disgusting and incredibly sticky. I do not know how people drink this on a regular basis. It is chock full of everything that is bad for you-high fructose corn syrup, other ‘toses, artificial flavoring. I diluted it a bit with water just to make it manageable and prayed that I metabolized everything from it in the 2 hours of hard running

The run left me with an incredible high and lots of thigh pain. Today is an active recovery day and then tomorrow starts the first of the short track mountain bike series! Tapering, what’s that?

What is your secret for managing the taper? Less mileage, less intensity?

Why do you sign up for races? The support-not carrying my own food or water. The camaraderie of not running alone. Being able to pass people and run faster. To support the cause.


8 responses to “So how do you do this taper thing?

  1. I cut miles, time on my feet and frequency, but I keep some intensity mixed in until I’m right up on the race. Ahead of the Houston Marathon last January, I did some intervals on the Wednesday before the Sunday race. It keeps your legs fresh and your mind satisfied without compromising your race.

    Good luck!! That sounds like it was a wonderful trail run.

    • I try to do those three things, but I either over taper or under taper. sigh. I wish there was a magic formula. I like your idea of intervals the Wednesday before.

      • I enjoy trail walking 🙂 I love being in the woods mostly, but those trails look beautiful. I live in Quebec, Canada and there are so many beautiful places to roam. I did a half marathon once for charity in Orlando, running through Disney, but for reasons I can’t remember, I let go of that lifestyle. This past year I have been getting healthier all around (brain,body and soul) and running has been on my mind. I recently saw an ad for the Color Run and it looked so fun! Maybe I will get up the courage to try again 🙂

  2. I love run/hiking (we call it “riking”) the Happy Jack trails! Running the whole time is definitely not an option, so I feel ya on the 12 min miles (speedy!) and walk/hiking part. Totes necessary. After your marathon, we should go for a fun run/rike there together!

  3. Well, I’m currently tapering from nothing right now… hoping to actually ramp up the outdoor runs now with no gym membership!! Haha. Riking really does sound fun, huh? 🙂 I hate signing up for races because I don’t like the commitment. So I just train for nada most of the time. BUT! We are thinking of signing up for a half in June!

Thoughts? Ideas? Questions? I love hearing from you all!

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