I’m 10 days away from my fall marathon, Chicago, so I’m about mid-way into the “taper period”. This period generally includes a reduction in mileage and intensity and a closer attention paid to nutrition, sleep, and stretching. Usually this time is marked by restlessness and random pains as the body heals itself after sixteen weeks of consistent work.
Alas, this time, I am sick. Sick. ICK. I have been forced into rest by my body’s inability to rise from bed before 6 and inability to sleep through the night because of a righteous cough. I have chosen to work through the illness to keep the momentum up in my classroom but that makes me feel worse. Yes, it exacerbates the laryngitis, but more than that…I feel like I am letting my kids down. I hate letting my kids down. Not being able to model good singing for them is a horrid feeling. They are lovely and respectful and wish me well a lot, but it is just so frustrating. I’ve been told to put in movies and let it go, but I’m just not that girl.
But back to the running thing…10 days. It is an emotional and physical whirlwind that is the essence of self-discipline. And, this time round (time #8) I am so ready to be done. I can’t wait to sleep in on Monday, October 13th and get up just in time to catch my return plane. I have never been more excited about sleeping than I am this particular time.
Tapering is a leap of faith. It is having confidence in the work that you have put in over the course of your training. It is trusting the science, philosophies, and advice of the learned. This particular time, it is a forced rest which makes me feel even more anxiety, but at the same time, it is not new anymore. Therefore, while I’m stressed about having now not run for FIVE days, I trust the training, and pray for healing.
Are you in taper dear reader? If so, trust the training. Treat your aches and pains gingerly and know that you are ready. Whether you are a 3 hour half marathoner or a sub-three marathoner or like me, somewhere in the middle trying to get closer to the front, you can do it. I believe in you!