Taper Time

As I write, I am 13 days away from the Boston Marathon. Thirteen days sounds kinda catchy so I ask the “crack” marketing department to Google research “13 days” and the best I could come up with was the Cuban Missile Crisis (and related Kevin Costner movie) and “13 Days in Hell” video game. I guess I should have waited until tomorrow, then I could have compared to the 12 days of Christmas since I’m feeling more festive than combative.

Last weekend was a “circle the calendar” run for me—my last long run before starting the much needed and deserved “taper” period. A taper period is the 2-3 weeks prior to a marathon where the miles drastically reduce and you rest the body. Many runners have anxiety over the taper because they feel they will lose their conditioning—I am not one of those runners. I relish the time off and take full advantage of the rest.

The last long run was not one for the timid as it was one of the Runner’s Edge of the Rockies most notorious tough and hilly courses. Our starting point was the Runner’s Roost Aurora and sported a pure asphalt/concrete course that traversed hilly Parker, Colorado, boasted 2,245 feet in elevation gain and decline over 20 miles. Just to make it a tad more challenging, “Mother Nature” threw in some heavy headwinds and crosswinds on the return of our “out and back.” I traded off “drafting” with my running buddy Tim. My peers in the 3:15 pace/training group and I all had a jubilant feeling once we completed the run knowing it was our last long one. I also felt good about the 8 minute a mile average considering how tough the course was..

I recall my first marathon back in 2007 (San Diego Rock and Roll) and one of my goals was to “complete training” which should be every distance runner’s goal as charting 600 miles over 16 weeks and running or cross training six days a week is an admirable goal in and of itself. Given that, you can see why the last long run is a “circle the calendar” event.

My Monday run was another “good omen” as it tends to be one of the better energy runs of the week. I felt I was “holding back” yet averaged a brisk 7:37 pace. Monday also delivered my second Christmas in April surprise—my Team in Training racing singlet for the race complete with a custom screenprint of “Kyra Meyer” who I’m racing in honor of. Kyra lost her life to Leukemia at the age of 16 just last year (catch the blog story at; “I didn’t See This One Coming.”) That was a nice gift indeed. Purple is not my first color choice, but I will wear it proud in honor of her.

Today’s run was a 2/2/2 (two mile warm-up, two mile goal pace, and two mile cooldown)—once again, my energy level was strong and finished with a 7:32 average pace.

My second (or is it third) gift is that my brother Todd has booked a flight to see me run Boston—it will be the first time he has seen me race and combined with my wife cheering me on, that will make it all the more special.

I have to admit with only 30 training miles to go, I am looking forward to not setting the alarm early a few extra mornings in the next week and a half. The exception will be the early alarm for my flight to Boston. Ahhh…the thirteen days of Christmas!


  1. Ty, congrats on getting in the last long run before the Big One! Enjoy the taper, hope you stay away from injuries, and congratulations also on meeting your fundraising goal. Running is one thing, running with a purpose is an entirely different thing. Nice going.


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