Taper. Who ever thought a five letter word would bring so my stress into my life? As my marathon training runs got longer and longer I was actually looking forward to tapering. I’d get to sleep in on Saturday mornings, not be gone on a run at all hours of the day and night. I was going to do Yoga, relax and enjoy the calmness of taper.
So, yeah… that lasted like three days. Once I felt like I was caught up on sleep, it started: taper madness. Every hole in my training I’d make bigger. Every question, every pang, every missed run came back to haunt me. It’s like living in a mental hamster wheel, I keep going over stuff. And it’s all just that, STUFF.
On my first 14-mile run my lower back locked up so tight that I couldn’t even swing my legs forward. I tried to find a place to stretch but that wasn’t enough. The pain was miserable and I walked (nearly crawled) the last two miles to my car. Since that day I have done a lot of work on strengthening and stretching and I’ve done many longer runs since then with no issues. But that one miserable day is etched in my mind and every twinge I feel brings me back to the place and time that the pain was so bad I had to stop running.
I’ve also had runs where I’ve just plain run out of fuel. I felt like I was prepared, eating well the night before and fueling at my predefined intervals but the running gods were not with me on those days. I worry that marathon day will be another one of those days. I can do everything in my power to be prepared but what if it just doesn’t work out??
Now today, we got the word from the race director that the course conditions are now at a yellow alert level.?? Like yellow, which is one step from “You’re gonna die” red! Seriously, did I need this right now? My tapering brain is officially heading into over drive and I feel sleepless nights coming on.?? I sure picked a bad time to give up wine!
What’ll I do if I fail? How will my ego handle failure? Will I be able to over come such a blowing defeat? Until I go toe up on the start line on October 11th, none of these questions will be answered so for now the obsessing continues.