Tired, Cranky….wanting to eat everything in sight….it must be time for the taper! The last few weeks before a race after 3 1/2 months of training it is time to reduce the mileage, and let everything rest up so that it is fresh for race day. Different people react to this change differently, and have various theories on why it induces these feelings – but the bottom line is the hard work is done, now is the time for rest and recovery.
After today’s track workout the plan says “as we start to noticeably taper after today, now to focus on quick turnover, lots of recovery, rest and good eating/sleeping.” As I finished that track workout, the sun set over the damp track – it seemed like a poetic metaphor as the last “workout” was signed, sealed and delivered.
This past weekend was the last “long run” of the training – with a marathon race pace finish – the last 5 miles at planned race pace. We were signed up to run with Scott Jurek, ultra runner extraordinaire, and author of Eat and Run – who was coming into town to speak at Vegfest on the same day as this run was scheduled. As soon as I saw the training schedule, I knew that I had to give up my spot on this group run/vegan breakfast and focus on this run instead of trying to squeeze too much in. Kacey – being the good running buddy that she is – with a kind of in the trenches “we came here together, we will leave together” attitude decided to also skip the run and join me. It was a cold morning, but the sun was shining and I declared it would be “Glorious” which both made Kacey laugh at my word of the week and lured here out of her warm car. It indeed was glorious as the lake was completely still and we made it through our run at a nice pace with our prescribed last 5 miles at marathon race pace. After the run, and some delicious Panera food to warm us up we headed to Vegfest to hear Scott speak – so even though we didn’t get to run with him (which let’s face it would require him to slow down considerably!) we did get to listen to him give a great speech on nutrition and sample – maybe a few too many – vegan cupcakes and other samples.
It is hard to believe that there is only a week and a half until the Flying Pig Marathon. It’s nearly time to fly!