How I’m Tapering for the Marathon
April 9, 2012 § 2 Comments
I’m on the last week of a 3-week taper for the Boston Marathon.
The taper is the hardest part of the training cycle for many marathoners, yours truly included. It isn’t that I mind not feeling like an old woman (achey joints and superearly bedtimes are par for the course during training) or all the other wonderful things I get to do with the time I save by not running so much:
- eating homemade pizza
- going home to Texas to
go to my favorite grocery storesee my family
- gardening with my sister
- indulging in a little vino
No, I love all those things and I’m so grateful to be on spring break so I can relish them fully. There’s one thing that just gets harder by the day, though.
I stop feeling like a marathoner.
As my mileage gets lower and my rest days more frequent, I start second-guessing myself. Can I really run that far that fast? What am I thinking, planning to pace at speeds that make me breathe hard over 6 miles, not to mention 26 miles?
I woke up this morning and went down to the Town Lake trail. My legs felt heavy and my head felt light. Not a good combo. I made it through, about a minute per mile slower than my marathon race pace, and went home for my typical breakfast of sweet oats and crunchy peanut butter. As I ate, here’s what I told myself:
- “Your worth is not in a PR.”
- “If you don’t crush the hills, you’re no less a runner.”
- “You’re in it to have fun and be a part of a historic experience. You’re not in it to win it this time.”
I’m holding on to something my sister said the other day when we were running together. I told her that I felt like I might not PR.
“Will you still like me as much if I don’t PR?” I asked.
I loved her answer:
“I’ll probably like you better.”