Races, Training

Taper Madness!

Thoughts About Tapering for a Marathon

This is it, less than two weeks to the Philadelphia Marathon!  Needless to say, I am excited and nervous about running 26.2 miles.  Even though this is my fifth marathon, I don’t feel any less nervous than I felt running my first marathon.  A lot can happen over the course of a marathon.  Since I am entering every marathon runner’s least favorite part about training (tapering), I thought I would share my thoughts.  This way, you can read this list and think “hey, maybe I’m not so crazy afterall”.

15 Things Running Through my Mind as I Taper for the Marathon

  1. Stay hydrated.  Like, really hydrated.  Analyse urine color to the extent that no sane person would.
  2. Don’t get sick.  I haven’t caught a cold yet this school year, is it my turn now?  The girl’s bathroom by my classroom is out of soap, that means no one is washing their hands.  Germs everywhere!!! Don’t touch anything!!!  Take a crap load of vitamin C just in case.
  3. Eat like Gwyneth Paltrow. Me: no, I don’t want to order pizza tonight.  I’m training for a marathon.  Husband: But you ate pizza last week.  Me: I’m only eating non inflammatory super foods.  Husband: Like what? Me: I don’t know, like Kale and shit.
  4. I should have trained harder.  Yes, I did a couple of 20 milers to build up for this race, but what if it wasn’t enough?  I ran those long runs pretty slow, what if I can’t hit my goal pace?  I did more cross training this cycle, will that come back to bite me in the end?
  5. What if it’s: too hot, too cold, raining, snowing, sleeting, fireballs falling from the sky? I try not to get too worried about the weather.  I’ve trained through summer in Florida, I feel pretty confident about running in most conditions.  Well, maybe not snow.  Dear baby Jesus, please don’t let it snow!!!
  6. Watch your step.  Like, really.  Remember that time you sprained your ankle in the middle of training for the Fort Lauderdale Marathon? Yeah, don’t do that again.  In fact, only wear old running shoes for the next 13 days.  You don’t want to take any chances.
  7. Get to the airport insanely early, wearing anything you will need for the race.  Hope that TSA doesn’t mistake your baggies of Tailwind for coke.
  8. My legs feel tight.  Why do my legs feel tight? Do I have piriformis syndrome? What is piriformis syndrome?  I see a lot of people post about it in the 50 running groups I’m in.  I better look that up…oh crap.  I do have priformis syndrome.
  9. I better stay off my feet the day before the race.  Room service!
  10. What am I going to eat for breakfast on race morning? What if the hotel doesn’t have a microwave or refrigerator? What if all of the bagels are gone?  Like, there’s a sudden bagel shortage because of all of the runners in town, then what?  Note to self: bring own bagels.
  11. What time should I wake up on race morning?  It starts at 7… the starting line is one mile from the hotel.. I need to make sure I get there early enough to use the bathroom before the race starts…what if road closures makes it difficult to get there?  2 am.  Yep, set the alarm for 2 am….and 2:30 and 3:00, just in case.
  12. What if I have to use the bathroom during the race?  Remember that marathon when  the person in front of you pooped their pants?  That was gross.  Please don’t let that happen.
  13.  What if they don’t have my bib at the expo?  Wait, did I actually register?  I better search my email for the race confirmation, just in case.
  14. I wonder what the post race food will be.  Like that really matters.  After running 26.2 miles, I’m pretty sure I can eat anything.  Anything, except anti-inflammatory super-foods.  Give me PIZZA!
  15. Trust your training. Pain is temporary-pride is forever, someday you won’t be able to run- now is not that day, one foot in front of the other, run the mile you’re in, you’re lapping everyone on the couch,  and any other inspirational running graphic I’ve found on Pinterest.

Wow, writing this helped a lot!  I know I can’t be the only who thinks these things before a race.  What are your common taper thoughts?

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