The hardest part about running a marathon is training for a marathon. The SECOND hardest part about running a marathon is tapering for a marathon. (OK maybe the second hardest part is running the marathon itself...it's debatable!) Getting ready to taper for an upcoming endurance race? Let me introduce you to a little something I like to call TAPER MADNESS.
In the grips of taper madness? Approaching a taper? Here are 30 of the all to real realities of dealing with taper madness --
- You are afraid you'll get sick so walk around with a bottle of purrell and you use your sleeve to open doors.
- You're afraid you're going to hurt yourself simply walking so you're overtly safe about everything you do.
- You are hesitant to lower your mileage because it doesn't make sense and you question the taper entirely. (IS IT NECESSARY?!)
- You don't know what to do with your spare time.
- So you spend way to much time online searching for marathon advice.
- You try to take up a new hobby but it just stresses you out more.
- So instead you try to watch television for the first time in months but end up silently pondering the meaning of life and why you decided to run a marathon in the first place.
- You lay awake at night, restless, and thinking about worse case race day scenarios.
- Which scares you sh*tless.
- And then you start worrying about going to the bathroom on race day.
- Which makes you think about your fueling and if you practiced fueling enough.
- Then you remember that you're out of energy gels so you go online to buy more.
- And then you realize the sun is rising and you once again lost a night's worst of rest because you fell into an internet black hole.
- Everywhere you go people ask you if you're excited about your marathon which makesfreaks you out.
- Dread washes over you on your extra rest days.
- But you feel recovered and you just want to run hard already!
- You run further than you're supposed to on your easy run days.
- "One little hill repeat session won't hurt..." You think to yourself as you take off for a 3 mile "easy" run.
- You find yourself obsessing over every bit of your training.
- You scroll through training logs trying to prove to yourself that you're ready.
- You start bugging everyone and anyone you know for marathon advice.
- But then they ask you what your goal time is and suddenly you fell all this pressure to perform....
- You fight the urge to scream, "I JUST WANT TO SURVIVE ALRIGHT! I JUST WANT TO LIVE! AND IF I COULD BREAK 4 HOURS THAT'D BE COOL TOO!"
- And then you start to notice little aches and pains...could you be injured? Is that a stress fracture? Plantar fascitis? Did you develop shin splints overnight?
- You start stressing about your diet and what you're eating. "WHEN DO I START CARB LOADING? DO I AVOID CARBS UNTIL THEN?"
- You worry about gaining weight.
- And what you're going to wear on race day.
- And bloody nipples.
- And again you start panicking, regretting that you ever decided to run a marathon in the first place.
- But then something reminds you why you wanted to run this race in the first place, and everything makes sense. All you have to do is get to race day.
No one is safe from taper madness! Whether it's your first marathon or hundredth marathon, we all go through it! Just trust your training and listen to your training plan! The work is done! Don't push your workouts during your taper and expect some speed bumps! (This morning I rolled my ankle walking to the subway. I'm 11 days away from the Berlin Marathon and I rolled my ankle. Am I stressing? Yes. Is there anything I can do? No. I'm playing "Let It Go" on repeat in my head...and bugging my PT Mike every 15 minutes with panicked emails...I'M ONLY HUMAN!) Listen to your body, give it really delicious health food and just try to keep yourself busy! You can get through it! I believe in you! It's going to be worth it!
Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.