I am in full bore marathon taper mode right now. If taper was a drug, I’d be in a black painted room sitting on a urine stained mattress with a rubber tube wrapped around my arm and clenched between my teeth getting ready to inject a warm, recently cooked concoction of taper into my vein. I’m in such a taper haze that I’m swatting at little Hal Higdon’s and Dick Beardsley’s poking me with pitchforks atop miniature smoke snorting dragons. I’m not going to tell you what I would do for more taper but if you understand that I sit on this mattress picking at abscesses through the trapezoidal openings of my fishnet stockings, I think you get the picture.
Street value of taper not influenced by recession!
Eventually taper comes to an end and it is time to race. Taper is marathoning’s cruel joke. You spend weeks – months – building yourself up, mentally prepping, and then, rest….wait…struggle to stay focused. Completing the build during the training plan feels like such an accomplishment that I have to remind myself that peak training WASN’T the event I was striving to reach. Then, I sit around (or, what feels like sitting around comparatively) for a few weeks injecting taper and getting slow and fat (or, what eating too many fudge stripe cookies and watching Lost is doing to my body). I think I’d prefer to take one week off from my peak training week as a cut back week and then dive right into the marathon the following week. Depending on how this marathon feels, I may eschew decades of studies and “experts” advice and do this the next time. I feel like all this taper injecting is causing me to lose the edge I had after my last 21 miler. This bulge in my side: is it fat or a rib? A few weeks ago, I’m pretty sure it was a rib but now…
For those of you whom have been with me for awhile at F.M.S, first I’m sorry. Second, you may recall that I’ve always been a proponent of the multi-pronged race goal plan. I even provided an example – not for the squeamish – in which I met my 5k race goals (numeric, malicious, transcendental, farcical) by ultimately shooting chocolate covered cherries from my anus at the end (my farcical goal, duh). I’m not going to get that elaborate here. Who has the energy? Instead, like the Mr. Pragmatic I am, I’m going to set my race goals perfectly in tune to how I have been training.
Official Bayshore Marathon Race Goals (in ascending level of difficulty):
1. Beat 3:21:00 (re-qualify for Boston 2011 – I get 5 more minutes to lollygag this year!)
2. Beat 3:12:19 (set new PR!)
3. Beat 3:11:00 (always wanted to run a non age-graded BQ time)
4. Beat 3:09:00
Those that have been with me for awhile – again, I’m sorry – know that calve cramping has been my constant nemesis (other than Beardsley). And this is invariably brought on by warmer temperatures. Ten days out, it unfortunately looks like Bayshore may be a little warm for my tastes – possibly in the 60+ degree range at start. I’m keeping my fingers crossed because this training season has gone as well as any of the previous seven marathons. I feel like I should knock off the top three goals – if weather cooperates – with a 50/50 shot at #4.
This is the Year of the Ass Kicker, as you may recall (and again, again, I’m sorry), and this is the first race to, well, kick ass.
Just a few more days of biding my time… Taper? I can quit any time I want. Honest. It’s not a problem. Well Hello, who did you say you are? Candy Finnigan?