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 store see 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.”

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§ 2 Responses to How I’m Tapering for the Marathon

  • auntlez says:

    double love this one and i’m saving pic of you and Sar…loved your transparency :)…continue the chill.

  • subthree says:

    First of all, the pizza looks amazing. I’ll be right over….Ha.

    Secondly, you nail it in the last three points. Go. Enjoy the experience. Boston is wonderful, you and 25,000 of your best friends out for a long run. And come home the richer for it.

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