Taper Thoughts

Well, it is officially Taper Time in Marathon and Sprint Land, and here are a few thoughts that have been buzzing around my head:

1. This is the weirdest freaking taper for both of us. For Colby, there is no taper. She doesn’t have time to get the taper crazies because she is too busy running “Hanson style.” All day, every day. On a treadmill, for Pete’s sake. For me, it doesn’t feel any different from earlier weeks. Other than a handful of long runs, the past 16 weeks weren’t sufficiently different from a taper for me to feel like I earned this. I think we both feel a bit robbed. (and I’m feeling a bit scared.)

2. Overnight, the forecast for Baystate (yes, I’m checking) went from cool temps and rain to a high of 59 and sunny. Thank God the rain went bye-bye. It better stay that way. After my hypothermic experiences at the 2014 PMC and 2015 Boston Marathon, I have started to feel like a bit of a jinx. Let me repeat, Mother Nature: Cold = Good! Rain = Bad! Sun= Meh! Clouds please! But more importantly, can we please keep the weather for this race to something that won’t leave me with blue lips? Philly weather was perfect (40’s and cloudy), but I’d like to skip the serious allergic reaction part, as well. So I’m ordering up cloudy, 40’s, hold the nuts. Am I asking too much? Let me know.

3. I may not be prepared for the race itself, but I’ve got plenty of plans for afterward. We are going to have a full-on Masshole celebration! Wahlburgers! Laughing in a Boston accent! Lil & Mike! Watching the Patriots Game! I’ll bring some Patriots gear for you to wear, too, Colby. Yes, we need to suit up even if only watching on TV.

4. Anyone have any tune suggestions? This is a double loop in a not-so-scenic area with varying crowd support. I’m thinking a few new songs might not be a bad idea.

5. Has anyone run a good marathon on crappy training? Please feel free to share your success story. Oh, and by “good” I don’t mean “win.” More like finish with dignity intact and not in a medical tent.

6. Even a lame taper motivates me to clean. What is it about the taper that brings out my inner OCD? And good god, my house is a mess. I am overwhelmed.

7. I still need to figure out what kind of fuel I think I can stomach (literally) during the race. Ugh. I need to get on it. Honey Stinger chews are the front runner but they are so bulky to carry. Any suggestions?

8. This will be my third marathon in an 11-month period and I am just plain tuckered. I know there are plenty of people who run multiple marathons every year but I don’t think I was intended to be one of them. I think I could actually run 3 marathons each year, no problem, as long as I didn’t have to train. It’s the lead up that kills me. Either I train hard and am exhausted, or train poorly and am mentally exhausted from beating myself up about not training well. Either way, it’s exhausting.

9. I know I’m officially sick of training for races, because it has been a sheer joy to go out for a run this past week and not worry about how fast or long it was when I am finished.

10. Colby is going to kick ass at this race and I am so glad I will be there to see it!!

Who else is tapering? What’s buzzing around in your mind? And GOOD LUCK to everyone racing Chicago and anywhere else this weekend!  


31 thoughts on “Taper Thoughts

    • Dude – I have an ENTIRE Masshole section on my playlist – Boston, Aerosmith, Marky Mark, the Cars, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Dropkick Murphys….and of COURSE Jovi and Bruce are represented, even if they are from NJ!
      Bruce was my very first concert.
      I haven’t used sports beans in a while. I have to try and remember why. I thought I liked them. Thanks for the reminder! Do they have cabernet flavor?

  1. I’ll be at Baystate – with you on the weather request! (last year was pretty good) Swapping fuel myself, only a couple weeks before race – thinking GU causing me a problem and going back to EFS. (neither easy to carry though)

    Hope you both have great races!

    • I’m definitely not going to die, as the Patriots are playing the Colts that night, and I don’t want to miss it. As for fun? I’m sure fun will be had; just maybe not during the race.

  2. I wish you both the best! I’ve enjoyed reading about both your journeys!!! I’m a big weirdo… I don’t fuel with anything in the race except water and gatorade (the ratio of gatorade to water increases as the race goes on) and maybe the odd bite of banana if provided. It doesn’t make me the fastest, but it keeps my tummy settled and my pace consistent! 🙂

    • Oh, I’m with you. I am also a weirdo and would never bother with fueling for anything under 15-16 (don’t tell Colby – this drives her crazy). I at least want to bring something during marathons, though, even though I rarely finish them. I know I can’t just grab anything off the fuel tables throughout the race because of my ridiculous stomach, so I need to pack my own. I don’t think I could go 26.2 without anything but water. And gatorade does not agree with me. At all. After running is ok, but not during or before.

  3. I ran three marathons last year and Bay State was my final race of the year. I had planned to BQ and worked fairly hard all summer.
    But by the time Bay State came around I was sick of training and just didn’t have the fire anymore.
    I think 2 marathons a year are my limit.
    If you are rested on marathon day, crappy training may not be so bad. If you are under-trained AND tired you may have a long day. Rested legs can do amazing things.
    Have a great race and try to enjoy yourself!

    • Thanks so much!!!! I think I might be better suited to 1 marathon a year, at least until my kids are older. I am planning to rest well this week. Can’t do anything about my undertraining at this point, but I can at least try to be rested! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Sport beans are indeed everything. I don’t even know what I’m wearing on Sunday. It is weird not traveling for a marathon and just waking up and doing it. It’s like I don’t even know that I’m going to be doing it! And then today, at the expo, it was like holy shit, I running the Chicago Marathon in a few days. This has been a weird taper for me as well. Definitely not my usual style. Whatever. I’m going to have fun with my run and just have my victory lap. Good luck to us all!

  5. Huma gels. The fruit ones are thinner than the typical consistency of gels and are the only ones I can stand eating. They have several different flavors. My favorite are lemonade and strawberry, but love apple & cinnamon (thinks it tastes like applesauce).

  6. Bananas and bagels. I once knew a guy who had a Beagle named Bagel but anyway… Gels don’t give me a feeling of fullness in my belly which is what I need to get through 26 +. I run sans music so I’m at a loss to suggest tunes. I usually conjure up tunes like Route 66 and Take the A Train. Thunder Road is the time undisputed champ if I had to pick one. Good luck.

    • Oh, Thunder Road! My oldest had a gig on Friday and the closer was “Rosalita.” Crowd went wild!
      I cleaned out the fuel section in REI last night – we’ll see what I figure out.

  7. I have a VERY sensitive stomach. I am carrying a small handful of pretzels in a zip lock for my 10 mile race tomorrow. Best of luck for y’all tomorrow! Excited for you!

  8. Love #5. I could also use some stories about how the race went well without optimal training! And finishing “with dignity” sounds like a great plan! I think I’ll borrow that one.

  9. I’ve done a few runs without music recently (on purpose and not) and am amazed at the difference it makes.
    What kind of music are you feeling? I have TONS of playlists on spotify from teaching spin and will gladly share suggestions with you, just give me some direction.

    • I’ll turn my music off for at least part of the race – I always do – but it definitely helps me zone out when needed and helps turn off the monkey mind (am I running too fast? Too slow? Am I thirsty? Is that a twinge? Did I turn the coffee maker off? Will Kim Richards overcome her addiction? Ugh)
      I love classic rock, 80’s pop, alternative. I’ve got everything from The Grateful Dead to The Violent Femmes to the Beatles, Elvis, Offspring, Sublime, Led Zeppelin, Ramones, U2, Queen, Madonna, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder….the lists goes on. Before the last 3 marathons, there were some fun pop songs that came out and were good for adding something totally new to the playlist. My 11 year old daughter keeps me pretty current on pop (whether I like it or not), but there don’t seem to be any catchy new songs. Where are the “Songs of the Summer”????? I certainly don’t want to run to that sad song that was written for the guy from Fast & Furious who died. 😦

  10. OMG I HATE cleaning but tapering always motivates me to clean! Check out the Halsey album, Badlands. Not super fast but awesome lyrics. Definitely some of my new favorites to run to. GOOD LUCK!

    • Oooooh – off to check them it out. I don’t always run to fast stuff anyway. Thanks!
      I love to clean but live with 3 messy kids and one messy husband. I feel like Sisyphus.

  11. So here are some music thoughts (and my apologies in advance for the ramble that this is going to become). These are songs that I like to run/spin to….
    Shimmer – Fuel, Walk – The Foo Fighters, The Veldt – Deadmau5 (8 minute edit), Love and Memories – OAR, Best I Ever Had – Gavin Degraw, Numb – Usher, Marilyn Monroe – Pharrell, Omen – Disclosure and Sam Smith, ‘Till I Collapse – Nate Dogg and Eminem, Our Song – Matchbox 20, Tarida – Henri Pfr

    Here’s a link to my running playlist on Spotify. I usually just throw it on shuffle. All these songs are on it, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to give you the link.

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