“There are many things challenging about marathon training, none of which top the taper.”
First, best of luck to all the runners who are just days away from the Boston Marathon! You’ve all earned your place there and should be very proud, no matter how race day turns out. Color me jealous of every single one of you.
Which brings me to today’s entry. I just finished my last big 20+ mile run of my marathon training season and quest for Boston 2016. It was one of my best long runs ever, in terms of my overall pace, how my legs felt and the fact I was able to kick it into high gear and run a solid pace the last few miles. Speaking of good, my weekly runs have been going great as well. And I feel like I’ve got my nutrition and supplement plan down to a science. So naturally, it’s time to fuck it all up with THE TAPER.
With three weeks until the Fargo Marathon, I’ve reached this dreaded point. Each year, I have hope that the taper isn’t going to affect me. Somehow, each year, it feels worse. Like this year, for example; I want so badly to qualify for the Boston Marathon. After missing the mark by less than five minutes last year and being in way better shape this year, I really feel like it’s a realistic goal I could achieve (weather pending – oh please let it be no more than 50 degrees on May 9!). I’ve been pushing my weekly runs and, for the first time, really pushing my long runs too. I’ve been keeping weekly leg day workouts in the mix to make sure my lower half is as strong as possible. I’ve also been much more focused on nutrition and I feel like I’m carrying around fewer pounds this year.
Everything is going so well – and now I’m hitting the taper and I’m terrified that I’ll lose all that hard work. I’m scared I’ll be tempted to push myself too hard when I know I shouldn’t. The competitive, compulsive over-achiever in me is going to hate the rest of me for the next three weeks. But I’m really trying to stay positive and remind myself why I need this. My feet will thank me for giving the blisters a chance to heal. My legs will thank me on race day. I’ll be so mentally fired up, my brain will be as excited as my body is to destroy those 26.2 miles. Okay, just gotta stay positive, right?!
Any of you have tips for getting through the taper? I need all the positivity and peace of mind I can get, so please comment below or tweet me @runlikeagirl311.