Running and Tapering. Or So I Thought…

Five. Five weeks to go. Five weeks before My Marathon. You know, the one I have been busting my ass training for with my buddies, the Hansons and their Sadistic Marathon Method Training? I made the critical mistake of skipping ahead and reading up on the remaining weeks of training. Truth be told, I was desperately seeking The Taper.

Hmmm. Let’s see….
Taper? Where are you, Love?
When do I Taper??? It’s gotta be here somewhere…..

raven is nervous

Then I blacked out.

When I came to, I realized that I had a better chance of eating shrimp tacos with a unicorn, than I did of actually tapering before this marathon. The troubling fact: There is no Taper. There is, if you consider running 55 miles the WEEK BEFORE YOUR MARATHON a taper. I might be bat shit crazy enough by then to think just that. No. Taper. How in the name of Phidippides did I miss that gem? I’ll run 55 miles the week before the marathon, than a “light” week the week of the marathon which I believe IS CONSIDERED THE TAPER. I am seriously crushed.

  • No long run.
  • No taper.

You’re killing me Hansons.

Am I going to be able to do this? I mean mentally, am I going to be able to handle this? Suddenly, I’m not so sure. I realize it’s a bit late for the goddamn soul searching, but it just hit me. I’ve decided (just this second) that I’m going to suck it up. SUCK IT UP, BUTTERCUP. And run. Run. And run some more. Hopefully all the way to a PR. I didn’t endure this program, only to lose it to a mental meltdown 5 weeks out. GET IT TOGETHER, COLBY.

Trust the training.
Trust the training.
Trust the training.Trust

Enough doubt. Here’s how Week 13 of The Dreaded Hansons Marathon Method Training went down. I’m tired just writing it. And I lived this shit.

Monday: Labor Day. 10 miles. Easy. If we can recall, I flip-flopped my runs the week before so that Drunk Otis could accompany me on a lovely 8 mile jaunt around his favorite lake. He had the time of his life. Smiled the whole way through. Then plunked his brown ass in the shade and snoozed all afternoon. What I wouldn’t do for that slobbery bastard.

Tuesday: Strength Intervals. 3 x 2 mile, 800m recovery. Warm up/Cool down. 12 miles total. Nailed the pace. Ran the last two miles progressively faster. YES! Legs initially were tuckered, but shook out nicely after the 2 mile warm up. The humidity, which had politely exited stage left over the holiday weekend, returned with a vengeance. The amount of sweat during this run was EPIC. If anything, my body has excelled at cooling itself this summer. Or at least it tries like hell. I am an efficient sweat-er these days. Poor tired, sweaty body.

Wednesday: RESTFUCKINGDAY. {Cue glitter explosion.} 0 miles. I considered hiring someone to carry me around all day, like a baby, but relented at the last minute. I did walk around on my own accord- just as little as possible.

Thursday: Tempo Run. 9 miles at prescribed pace, 3 warm up/cool down. 12 miles total in ON THE GODDAMN TREADMILL LOCATED IN SATAN’S LIVING ROOM. Such. Shit. It was oppressively hot and I took it inside where it may have been even hotter. I’m seriously trying to repress this memory. I did it. My Glide failed me resulting in yelps when I hit the shower post run. I was like one of those cheap sprinklers you jam into your lawn. You know, the ones that spit water all erratically in some jacked up arc? That was me, flicking sweat from my ponytail within a 2 treadmill radius. So much so, the dude next to me actually MOVED. Right hand to God! #sorrynotsorry

Friday: Easy run. 7 miles. Nothing spectacular about this run other than that it was raining and hot as balls. Same old. Same. Old. Meh. I’m getting tired. And bitchy. Can you tell?

Saturday: Shook off The Bitchies. New day! It’s cooler! I decide to get my Long Run in today, instead of Sunday. Sunday’s weather will suck. And as you could tell by Friday’s SpunkyFuckingAttitude, I needed some weather respite. 16 miles total. I must say. I felt GREAT. And I have no idea how because I was tired. But I did. So I’ll take the 16. Even though when I finished I wished I ran longer. Trust the training, Colby.

Sunday: Easy run. 8 miles. But first, spectating with Drunk Otis! My Other Half raced cyclocross all weekend. Cross is here, Baby! Love. It. Let it be known that Drunk Otis is one hell of a cheerleader. So much so, that he cheered his Dad to a podium finish. Then shot gunned a beer and passed out in a pile of mulch. Oh, Oats. 

If only I had thumbs, I could race with my Dad. -Deep Thoughts with Drunk Otis

 Number of miles run: 65

Number of times I woke up in a panic thinking I am doomed: 3

Number of times Drunk Otis tried to run after his Dad while racing, resulting in me getting knocked on my ass, Charlie Brown style: 6

How long do you taper for? Would you panic WITHOUT a “traditional” taper? What’s your longest run prior to your marathon? Can I do this without being committed to Hansons Marathon Method Anonymous?

44 thoughts on “Running and Tapering. Or So I Thought…

  1. Did you really never look through the whole plan? That sounds so foreign to me, I practically memorize an entire training book before deciding to follow a plan…I have control issues I suppose. That said, trust the plan, it’s a good one!

    • Truth be told Annabelle, I did. But. I was so freaked out about having to jam all those runs in before work that I didn’t focus on the end. I figure. Shit. If I can actually make it through all this, I’m good. Now that I’m ready to wrap this up, I’m slightly shocked. I honestly thought it was “light” for longer. Tapering was the last thing I was thinking about. I never thought I’d make it! Fool. I’m a fool.

  2. You got this, Colby! I need a taper, but I also couldn’t do more than a week of the Hanson’s program. Too much running for me! You’re made out of sterner stuff than me. YOU GO GET THAT PR!!!!!!!!

  3. I know those rest day feels! Like, can someone just magically get me home from work, teleporter style?? Also Drunk Otis is adorable in that picture. I’m gonna try and persuade my parents to come and support my HM (whenever that actually is) and bring Shadow. Not gonna lie, I mainly want to see the dog. I think he’d probably get overexcited and run after people though.

    • If I could have had a floo network like in Harry Potter, I would have teleported EVERYWHERE. Shit. I would have taken a wand. He’s too much. How is Shadow!?!?! You never know how he’ll be until you give it a whirl. And honestly, it’s great socializing. The first time I brought Drunk Otis to a cross race, I was petrified he was gonna run after the cyclists. Because that’s what he does with us in the woods. But. My boy surprised me! Except when he sees his Dad. He gives a little woof. 😉

      • Shadow is sadly not allowed to come see my HM! His limp is worse and he has to have a cast put on! 😥 The two of us have formed an official Sore Paw club! I’m gonna go visit soon and give him lots of love, it’s thrown a spanner in the works with all the adventures I had planned for us!

      • OH NO. Not Shadow too!?!?! What happened to that sweet pup??? How are you feeling? I’m so proud of you for jumping in the pool and swimming. I am so not a swimmer. Cannonballer, yes. Swimmer, no way.

      • I know!! When we rehomed him he had a bit of a limp but the vet didn’t think anything of it. Now it’s escalated! We’re not allowed to encourage him to bound around…but I was sat in the garden with him the other day and he was sprinting round me in circles like only a puppy could! Let’s hope it gets better cos I wanna take him running!

  4. Oh, man, I am tired just reading this.
    I usually taper around 2-3 weeks. i think this time, the entire 16-week “training” period has been more of a modified taper. Gulp. The longest training run I have ever done is 23 miles. I usually max out at 21. I don’t know if I could do a training plan that excluded the long run only because it is always my favorite run of the week when I do it. So I think I would feel robbed a little if I had all the misery and none of the fun. That said, I don’t think it is necessary for a success – I think Hanson knows what he’s doing. 😉 I just would miss long runs because I like them.
    You are doing great, you will do great. And I think you will have no problem bidding Hanson adieu at the end – no need for a 12-step. We may, however, need help at a different kind of 12-step once this nonsense is over.

    • Ok. The fact that you think long runs are FUN! tells me that you will be BEYOND FINE at this bitch we’re running- modified taper or not! I know this is sick. But I might miss the Hansons a little. I’m digging the schedule. The disciple.
      Former Catholic School Girl

      ps. Fill out my reg for the 12-step. I’m gonna need it.

  5. HAHAHA. You and I must be on a very similar schedule. Last week, I logged a 12 and a 15 miler on the fucking dreadmill. I hated it. I also hated Mother Nature more, which is why Satan’s Sidewalk was in my vocabulary at all. Also, my marathon “taper” looks similar to yours. I guess when we start logging 65-75 mile weeks, we are supposed to look at 55 miles like a walk in the fucking park. After the whole ordeal, I don’t THINK SO.

    Side note – you have me interested in trying Hansons for Boston. I was doubtful because of the 16 mile run thing but you have me intrigued. Your training is sick.



      And you’re right. 65 to 55 is child’s play. Total cake walk. I don’t what I’m going to do with myself when it’s over. Oh. Yeah. Sit my ass down, watch Netflix, eat lobster rolls and drink copious amounts of IPAs. #truestory

  6. You may be tired, but you are still killing it! I think it means good thinks for your approaching marathon 🙂
    The thought of no real taper when I used Hansons last Spring scared me- how the hell was I supposed to race 26.2 when I was pooped from all those damn miles recently? But I promise it’s so worth it on race day! You’ll somehow feel fresh on race morning, & by the time your legs get tired late in the race, you’ll be so used to the feeling from training that way, that it won’t slow you down 🙂

    • THANK YOU AMBER! I am RELIEVED to hear that. I’m not kidding. I just breathed an audible sigh of relief. I’m hoping that’s the case. There’s a method to their madness right?? I so appreciate your comment. 🙂

  7. Call me a crazy running sadist, but I like the idea of the short-to-barely-existing taper. In my one and only marathon so far, I tapered for two weeks and got as fat as a hippo. (It was also over Thanksgiving. Did I mention the Turkey Taper? Fun but bad for fitting into clothes. #allthefoods)

  8. Hanson plan is intriguing. I follow a Pfitz plan and have for several training cycles but this time I really didn’t like the 2 week taper. I was bored and it made my shorter runs feel hard because I wasn’t consistently out there training, like I was slacking. Didn’t give me a feeling of energy at all. But the marathon got me a BQ so I guess that’s all that matters!
    Great on kicking butt on your workouts despite all of that humid weather!!

    • YES! Congrats on the BQ!!! I hope I’m right there with ya, Sister! And thank you for commenting~ I’m digging your perspective. I have a feeling I will have the same thoughts on the short week. And thank you! Humidity KILLS!!! 🙂

  9. Pingback: What’s a good middle ground for a marathon training taper? | Run Like Hell

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