I am in taper week for the California International Marathon running Dec 7th in Sacramento.
I do not particularly like tapering. Body complains about the inactivity, every little creak and groan of the muscles seems amplified, and my mind reels that I should being doing more to get ready.
I think tapering is like flossing your teeth: everyone knows it is a necessary evil but how many of us really do it correctly and for the right amount of time? And what is the definition of correct or right amount?
I have real trouble not overeating and keeping a good attitude during the taper.
Once I finish my last peak week I really have to fight the "nothing more I can do, so do nothing" attitude. Then the very next second, BOOM, I flip to "ARGH..WE MUST DO MORE TRAINING it is our only hope for success!" :-)
I had planned to do more miles in the last week but my stomach has been giving me issues...hard to do any distance without hitting the bathroom :-(
I also had great plans to stretch and do yoga every day this week...yah right :-) I did get a sports massage last night to dig out those pesky balls of tightness in my quads and calf muscles.
I am happy with the final 5 weeks of training I did leading up to marathon week (this week). I would have liked to do the final big push peak week one week further back and had higher mileage in the weeks leading up to the 70 mile week. I find the best success with consistent 60 mile weeks peaking in the 70s. Higher mileage than that and I tend to break.
Oct 27 - Nov 2 : 55 miles
Nov 3 - Nov 9: 57 miles
Nov 10- Nov 16: 55 miles with a 5 km race thrown in
Nov 17 - Nov 23: 70 miles
Nov 24 - Nov 30: 40 miles with a 5km race thrown in
Dec 1 - 6 - now planning about 15 - 20 miles
When I taper I try to maintain the intensity but reduce the mileage. I really find this hard to do. Any indication of minor discomfort and I back off the pace. In normal training I would push through and it would work itself out. I need to work on this.
I am really looking forward to this race...excited and nervous at the same time. Only bummer is that Trisha and the kids will not be there.
How I plan to have a great race:
- I have the mental edge of knowing I will be in an experienced pace group. The leader is an accomplished ultra-marathoner who brought his group across the line last year at 2:59:43. Sounds good to me!
- I have lots of friends and family wishing me well and holding me accountable. For me it really does help during a race.
- For the first time I will be running a race with someone who is shooting for the same goal time. This works great in training to get past the low points so I think it will be awesome in a race situation.
- The weather is looking good: little wind, low of 39, high of 61. Might feel a bit warm near the end but Ronda correctly warned me about that.
- It is supposed to be a fast course..duh!
Thank you to all the friends who have provided advice and wished me well!
Off to pack my racing flats...Wahoo!