And so the taper begins… I finished my last “hard” effort of this training cycle by knocking down a ten mile tempo run, and I felt pretty good doing it.
But, history will show that I’m not a good taperer. I get all grumpy and restless and worried and … well, just plain difficult. But this time it’s going to be different. I’m a little older and a little wiser so I should be able to handle this, no? Let’s just see.
Through a miracle of modern technology, I was able to jump forward into the future to race day, and look back on my taper. Here are some tidbits from the realtime transcript. [cue wavy effect to show timeshift]
Friday, April 13 — Wake up, check my calendar and remember that I’ve got no run scheduled today. Oh yeah, I’m going to love the taper. Just kick back with my feet up; the hay’s in the barn, baby. Why is my head so warm? I think I have a fever. It’s probably my wife’s fault.
Saturday, April 14 — Just a nice, easy 8 miler on the plan today. A leisurely jaunt at no particular pace. Ahhhh, the birds are singing, the breeze is … crap. How did I forget to bring water? What kind of rookie mistake is that? I hope I don’t do something stupid like that on race day. Maybe I should make some kind of list so I don’t forget anything. Yeah, that’s the ticket, a list. Now, how I can remember to make a list after my run? “Make a list, make a list, make a list, make a list, make a list …” Wait a minute. None of this looks familiar. Where the hell am I?
Sunday, April 15 — Ten miles? That’s it? How am I supposed to know it’s a Sunday if I don’t have a long run? Well, I better get on with it. Got my shorts, my socks, my tee. Oh my God, I look fat. I wore these same running clothes last week and didn’t look fat, how can this be happening? I bet I’m losing fitness every single day. Either that or my wife is over-feeding me. I bet she’s doing it on purpose.
Monday, April 16 — Do have to go to work today? I am just so tired. Fat and tired. There’s no way I’m running a 3:30 marathon, I was nuts to ever think it. Those damn coaches will tell you anything just to make a buck. Oh yeah? Well screw today’s run, I don’t effin need it.
Tuesday, April 17 — Man, I don’t know what my problem was yesterday, but today I feel like a million bucks! Let’s go knock out this little six miler and get back in the groove. A few miles on the shoes I’ll wear in the marathon will help too. And we’re off! Ooh, I’ve never felt that pain before. Weird, it’s on the top of my left foot. Every time my foot comes down, it’s like a needle jabbing into the top of my foot. Okay, let’s not panic, it seems to be subsiding. Maybe I should think about a different pair of shoes. I wonder what the weather ‘s going to be like Sunday.
Wednesday, April 18 — Doo da doo. Time to check the old forcast-aroo: http://weather.com. Oh boy, rain. Should I pack a rain jacket?
Thursday, April 19 — http://weather.com. Oh boy, cold. Why!? Why can’t I get one mother flappin race day with good weather?
Friday, April 20 — http://weather.com. Humidity?! How I am supposed to run a decent race with this foot injury, ten pounds overweight, the wrong damn shoes, I’m not packed yet, my wife’s clearly sabotaging my diet, and it’s going to be rainy, cold and humid? Lemme check a few more times. http://weather.com, http://weather.com, http://weather.com.
Saturday, April 21 — What does that mean, “You are in violation of the terms and conditions of this website. You have exceeded the permissible number of access attempts in a 48 hour period.” Now the Weather Channel is against me too? Better get packed. Now where’s that list?
- Shoes: check. Maybe I should throw in another pair just in case. Why not?
- Shirt: check. And just to be safe, a long sleever too. And arm sleeves. A rain jacket might also be a good idea.
- Shorts: check. Hmmm. What color will I feel like tomorrow?
- Gels: check. Fifteen ought to do the trick.
- Socks: check. A pair of black. A pair of white. And one more for good measure.
- Garmin: check. And the charger. And the dongle. And I’ll need my laptop. And its charger.
Sunday, April 22 — And we’re back to raceday. [cue wavy effect] The weather is perfect. I feel strong and ready. This is not my first rodeo.
“Runner’s take your mark! 10 … 9 …. 8 …. 7 ….”