Wednesday, 11 May 2011

I forgot what tapers feel like

There's less than three weeks until the National Capital Marathon, and this week is the start of the taper for the race. While I've backed off some of the run volume this week, I've kept up the activity by biking and swimming this week too - since my training plan was off by one week, I want to keep just a wee bit more load in the legs heading into this taper.

Now I don't know about other people, but when I taper, I get tired. Really tired. I find that it's easier to get up and head out during the build phase. Once I start to back off, it seems like my body wants to switch 100% to recovery mode and I feel like I'm heavy, sluggish and slow 24hrs a day. Don't know if that's how it's supposed to feel, but it's gotta be good if my body's trying to recover, right? :D

I laugh at myself through this stage quite a bit. Bus rides become "quicker" when you nod off on the ride home, you fight to go to bed later than your 6yr old daughter, and you test the failure rate of the snooze button on the alarm clock (damn things are rock solid!).

But even with this fatigue settled in, I'm proud of where I am today. My aerobic base has improved a great deal, and this is something I must continue to work on. It has lead to faster tempo run times and in the two 30k rides I have done so far, they were faster too. I've been able to run nearly 30km on trails, and avoid the previously nagging pain in my right foot when I run any "reasonable" distance. I had to give up focus on the bike and swim, but I still somewhat incorporated them as cross-training for this marathon - I'm sure that has all helped with my overall fitness as well.

I'm still nervous about this race, but I'm really looking forward to doing it as well. I'm not "racing" it per se, since my only real goal is to finish this run the best that I can. And even if things don't go well, I'm further ahead than I was this time last year, thanks to the 15wks of training invested in this.

And even if things go wrong, even really wrong, it's still a journey. I've yet to DNF, although I've come close in a half-iron tri a couple years back. I will finish this run in one form or another. It will build more than character - it'll build me.

Now to prep for a 1pm meeting. Need a couple of Red Bulls to keep awake. Wish me luck. :D

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