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Taper time!

With my 20 miler under my belt yesterday morning, it's time to taper. I felt pretty good in terms of fitness and muscle fatigue for most of the way and am actually going to chalk up my not feeling well to the heat. It was 60 at the start and in the 70's by the time I ended and I'm simply not a very good runner in warmer weather. I accept it. Came home, opened the door, and found a puddle of pee in our hallway and my son with a worried look on his face saying, "I'm so sorry." So no usual post-run euphoria for me. I had to shower and we were meeting another family at a fall festival. I didn't get enough to eat or drink either, spent more time on my feet, didn't nap, and ended up falling asleep on the couch a little sore.

I'm mostly doing ok this morning. Which is, I'm hoping, a good sign.

The hot topic in endurance sports lately seems to be taper length. Mine is going to be the standard 3 weeks though people are doing more or less these days. Aside from the athletes trying to get a workout in the day before a race (not helpful) there is some variety in trying to find the right spot on the rest/maintenance curve. Keep your volume too high and you won't feel as fresh. Taper too soon and you won't feel as fresh. Nobody likes dead legs, soreness, and being tired either way.

For me, tapering is always less about the fitness though this race I think I'm going to go by the book for my long runs, but keep my speed workouts a little more intense than suggested at the end. Just because I prefer the theory that race prep should begin to look more and more like the actual race. For me, personally, I think my body needs a little extra practice at my goal pace.

I don't know who these people are that give the advice that tapering is the time to catch up on hobbies, do all these other activities, watch tv, etc.. I'm training during those other activities, raising 2 kids, and doing my workouts when my partner has some availability to watch the children. So tapering is less about down time and more about the mental aspects in my universe.

It's time to start watching the weather. Worrying about not getting sick. Second-guessing my goal time. Thinking about packing...though I admit packing for a marathon in infinitely easier than a triathlon. But still, you have to think about cool weather, warm weather, travel logistics. What carbs do I want to be eating during Race Week? What to do about my evening meal on our drive to Ohio? Worrying about trying to stay off my feet. Worrying about getting enough sleep.

My kids are excited about a visit to grandma's house though. I'm excited to see some old friends. I'm excited to run a new race and see a new course. Even if I don't have to drive it since I grew up on it.