Once upon a one year ago, I dreaded the taper. (What's a taper? It's a period of time where you reduce your weekly running mileage and workout intensity so that your body can fully recover and get ready to kick ass and take names on race day.) I like to call the period of time when you're tapering "taper madness" because NO ONE is safe during a taper. Not friends, not family, not loved ones, and definitely not your sister. (Shoutout to my sister who I picked the stupidest fight with. We're still not talking...my bad...BUT WHO BAITS SOMEONE WHO IS TAPERING?!? SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER!)
WOAH. Where was I? OH YES, taper madness.
The hardest part about going into a taper is wrapping your brain around the idea that busting your ass two weeks before a marathon does more harm than good. I know, it sounds crazy, you're about to run a marathon so you basically stop running as much to get ready. It's ESPECIALLY maddening if you don't feel like you're ready. But alas, the online running Gods tell us to taper so we roll up are sleeves and attempt to survive the taper madness.
Before my first five marathons, I dreaded the taper. I would have traded my liver to avoid it but this time around, I am head over heels in love with the taper. That is why I want to go on the record and take back everything I have said about the hell that is the taper because I AM A CHANGED WOMAN!
Look, tapering isn't easy. It's a hard transition! You're used to busting your a*s day in and day out and all of a sudden, you have all these rest days and then you have all this time to think about your upcoming race and then you panic. Next thing you know you're crying about something stupid and screaming at a stranger because they didn't say good morning back to you. (No? Just me? MOVING ON...) It's the circle of taper.
My only piece of advice is to spend a good portion of your day telling yourself that you're ready. Even if you don't think you are, pretend. Repeat it until you believe it. Do whatever you can to calm your nerves and trust the taper because if you don't, you'll experience first hand how dangerous taper madness can truly be. (Pro-tip, maybe stay away from sharp objects...)
Now go do something you haven't done in months like talk to your friends or significant other or catch up on some Netflix. (I recommend binge watching Gilmore Girls. That makes me feel better.) Just don't try to cram in last minute workouts because they won't help. Just eat smart, healthy, and a delicious foods, stay hydrated, get your rest, maybe sit on your foam roller for a second, and spend the rest of your time in a power pose.
6 days until the Chicago Marathon!
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Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.