Embrace the Taper

Ahhh....those wonderful five letters. T-A-P-E-R.  Many embrace it and others loath the two to three weeks prior to a marathon race where you scale back the miles and number of days running.  Me personally?  I love the taper.  Typically around the time of taper, I'm around 500 training miles under the belt getting ready to run another 26.2.  While many non-runners think that we all are in great shape and have tons of energy, half of that may be true...in other words, we're damn tired.  I just ran 500 miles, wouldn't you be tired?

By the tale of the tape, I've logged 1775 miles this year.  That would be the equivalent of running from Denver to New York.  You tell me if I'm tired.  I'm not complaining, but perhaps justifying the fact that I need a little bit of rest.  With my European vacation (see Post) behind me, I have had no problem getting to sleep at night.  No Ambien needed here.
Common scene during this taper

At this point, I'm laying out the final details of the seven days leading up to my race on October 20th.  I have had a habit of having work travel that gets me into the time zone of my destination race so jetlag is not an issue.  At Boston this last April, I was in Montreal which sounds like another world away, but in the Eastern time zone and a short flight to Baaaasten.  I arrived Friday in Boston before noon already having slept in the EST zone the previous two nights.  Same thing seems to be lining up as I'll be heading out to Chicago next week and heading towards Columbus, Ohio on Friday morning.  It seems minor, but getting good sleep the 2-3 days leading up to race eve seems to be a winning formula for me.  A couple nights getting to bed early in a king-sized hotel bed after a good meal seem to charge my battery.

And that leads me up to the last leg of my training.  Quite literally.  I've overcome quite a bit training for this marathon; too much travel, some kind of bug, tweaking my (I try to be) gluten-free diet, and tweaking my left leg.  I've had a history of kinks and aches and pains...all which seem to be on the left.  I've got a PT appointment this week to hopefully smooth out what I hope is just shin splints.  I've had a few runs that have been tough to start, but the left leg has not been right.  Previous discussions with my ortho and PT indicate that it is (hopefully) good news that the pain seems to dissipate as the run progresses.

Anyhow...adding all that up, I am going to enjoy every minute of the taper; resting the leg, catch up on some sleep, get some treatment, and hope to knock out a healthy 26.2 miles on two good legs in eleven days.


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