The hard part about the taper is that you’re forced to take it easy at a time when your body has mostly recovered from training and you have lots of energy to burn. It’s even worse when the weather is perfectly spring-like outside and you’re not out on the streets.
I’ll confess that I haven’t been the couch potato that I said I would be in my last post. After all, there’s stuff to get done around here – a winter’s worth of yard work that was largely neglected due to marathon training, preparations for a baby that’s going to be here in about three months, getting organized and packed to travel this weekend, the daily parenting a 4-year-old, a full-time job. You get the point. Just because I need to rest doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find the time. Besides, I have a desk job and, therefore, 8 or 9 hours a day of sitting built in to my schedule.
But I front-loaded my week with chores so I can hopefully bring it down a notch in the three days before the race. I also got in my last run today – a 4-mile jaunt at around race pace. I made an executive decision to eliminate my last speed session on Monday since I had just done 10 at race pace the day before. My legs were slightly tired so I just decided the workout wasn’t worth more than the recovery I’d get from taking the day off. Otherwise things have been feeling good – I’ve been foam rolling and wearing my compression sleeves and most of the soreness from peak training has disappeared.
All I can think about this week is, of course, the race. I’ve decided to write some notes on my arms on Sunday morning to help me through the marathon. On my left forearm will be splits for 10k, 13.1 and 20 miles so I can know my marks even if my Garmin fails me. On my right will be three words or phrases from which I can draw inspiration when things get tough – I know two of them right now and am pondering the exact wording of the third.
I’ve also decided that I won’t be carrying my CamelBak during the race. As good as it sounds to have my own perfectly mixed beverage with me at all times, I’ve studied the water stops on the course and I feel like I can make them work and leave the extra weight behind. (However, it makes me a little nervous that the race organizers say water stops will be “about” every 1.5 miles – what does “about” mean? If it means one is at 1.48 miles and the next is 1.52 miles down the road, well, that’s OK. But if it means one’s at 1.25 and the next is 2 miles later, that’s going to present a bit more of a problem for my finely tuned nutrition plan.)
Today starts the final countdown. My carb intake ramps up along with my rest (seriously, I have a movie to watch during the couple hours my daughter’s in preschool tomorrow morning). I’ll probably be laying off the Internet, too – whenever I’m here I’m checking workouts on Daily Mile or catching up on running blogs or re-reading the same Runner’s World article about taper strategy for the 43rd time. I just need to think about other things or risk driving myself crazy.
Now I’m off to cook the big pot of pasta that will get me through the next couple days.Bike: 0/334.5 miles Run: 3.8/418.6 miles