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It’s TAPER TIME!

October 20, 2010

Taper time? What’s that mean, exactly? Your guess is probably not much better than mine. I know tapering means reducing intensity/mileage to have your legs feel fresh on race day, but I have no idea what a three week-long taper looks like. In college, we tapered for the week before a race: less intense workout tuesday, then 20 minutes and strides Friday before a Saturday race.

Hence my problem figuring out how to gradually reduce over 3 weeks. When I hear “reduce mileage” it just makes me want to run like 2 miles a day for the next 3 weeks. I feel tricked when I still have to do 50 miles this week. Yes, a decrease from last week’s 67, but still substantial! When do I get to the easy 20 min run phase?!

Also, I think I finally just got the hang of eating properly for marathon training! I was enjoying massive amounts of delicious (AND HEALTHY, I swear) foods. I crave greek yogurt, oatmeal, avocado, fresh fruit, EVEN chickpeas. I used to DESPISE chickpeas, people. But now with reduced mileage means I need to eat less, or carry a little extra chub on race day. Or does it mean continue eating the same amount, to fuel muscles and store carbs? See- confusing! And to make it worse, I’ve actually gained weight marathon training. I know, I know, it’s muscle weight (my thighs and calves feel huge!) but shouldn’t I be a little leaner through all of this? I guess the massive amounts of healthy food may not be so great 🙂

Oh well. TRUST THE TAPER!
In any case, I’m getting a little nervous for the race. When I see we’re 18 days to go (AHH?!?!) I remember I actually have to do this, instead of talking about it. Half of me cannot wait for the thrill, and half of me wants to curl up and die.

I’m also a tad nervous because I experienced a strange twinge in my thigh on my run last Thursday. I was going to do 8 that morning, but did 7.5 since it just started coming on then and I was basically back at my apartment. Better to run a 1/2 mile less than to tear something. I felt it towards the end of my run Friday, and ooo boy did I feel it through all 21 miles on Saturday. Sunday was my planned day off and I continued to massage the crap out of it. I decided to take Monday off too, because I still felt it when walking, I had a massive head cold, and “Hey I’m tapering now I can totalllly take 2 days off in a row!”

Its starting to feel better, though I hope it doesn’t linger around for the Marathon. Its at a point where it isn’t painful, but I feel that its there. My body will get hit with enough problems over 26.2 miles, I don’t need to start the race with one. At least its beginning to disappear- hopefully.

Oh and did I mention that when I massage it, the quad muscle makes a sort of “crunching” noise? Not normal. The closest thing I could find to describe it is crepitus, which usually happens around joints/knee cartilage. This is my upper quad, not really sure. When I googled “crepitus” and “quad” the other day I got “bone cancer”. Well, so much for googling the cause….

This morning I decided to do a little tempo amidst my 8.5 mile run on the bridle path. Just two loops of the large bridle path reservoir, around 3.5? The first loop was 12:10, and the second was 11:35. Holy smokes! I didn’t realize I dropped it by 35 seconds. It was 6:47 pace overall- good for a nice quick tempo on dirt. Tempo miles are okay in the taper phase, right? And it was short!!

So, here’s to the beginning of a loooooong taper, less mileage, minimal weight gain, and weird quad pain disappearing! Though I have a feeling 11/7 will be here before I know it!

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 22, 2010 10:17 am

    I’m trying to “trust the taper” as well! Gah – it’s alreayd driving me a little nuts. I think we do need to eat decent amounts in order to store carbs, but I’m with you – I don’t think I’ll even be able to eat the same quantity of foods as I did in higher mileage weeks! Hope the quad pain goes away – I had something similar in my calf a few weeks ago, and icing, massage with arnica cream really helped!

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