Taper Thoughts


Most big race training cycles end with a period know as "taper time," lovingly regarded and profusely welcomed by athletes everywhere. Depending on the race distance, taper time constitutes the last 2-3 weeks before race day, when the peak of training has come to an end and the focus of the remaining weeks is rest for the body. This rest comes in the form of decreased mileage, intensity, and time for all remaining workouts. It's during this time that we endurance athletes use the word "only" to describe workouts that should not be qualified with "only", e.g. "Only a 12-miler this weekend!"

It's also during this time that, if we haven't done so already, we start to lose our damn minds.

So let me tell you how Beach2Battleship tapering is going for me.

You may have noticed and/or heard, but the east coast has been in a giant shit storm of rain and generally yucky weather for the last week and a half. The sun came out for 10 minutes (and only 10 minutes) yesterday, for the first time in at least 10 days (at least that's when I stopped counting), and I was legitimately perplexed why there was light coming from the sky. It's been bad. Not only has it been raining, cloudy, and windy 24/7, but it's been cold. Not frigid, mind you - it's still early October after all - but colder than what we've been used to the last few months.

Now, this whole time, I've been assuming that October 17 in Wilmington, NC will be quite pleasant, if not warm (I would actually prefer gross weather to this possibility). But after a week of this nonstop cold and rain, I started to panic. I have plans for what to do if it's chilly on race day, but not if the weather is the way it's been lately. I learned my lesson the hard way last week, after I got completely soaked to the bone from spending 4 hours out in the rain in the jacket I *thought* was waterproof, that I have no suitable jacket for those conditions and that I should probably get one. So I spent part of my birthday evening at a local bike shop and at Dicks Sporting Goods searching for any waterproof jacket I could find, with no luck. And that's how I ended up coming home, frantically searching the Internet for waterproof running jackets, and ordering 4 different ones...just in case.

And also because of this nasty weather, I let my taper brain convince me to reach a new level of insanity of Saturday by completing by 3-hour bike ride on my indoor trainer. If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that the trainer and I are not friends. I hate that thing. I hate it so much that I was supposed to ride on it for an hour last Tuesday, and I made it 5 whole minutes before I just had to jump off from general feelings of ughhhh....no. I checked Saturday's forecast all week, and I knew, even I I didn't want to admit it....I knew my choices for my long ride would either be to do it on the trainer, or not at all. I think I've only ever spent an hour and a half at most (maybe? That might be generous) on it, but amazingly, I made it through 3 entire hours on that freaking thing on Saturday. I would like to thank How to Get Away With Murder, Real Hiuseiwves of Orange County, Hulu, Hokie football (not going to lie, being able to hear Enter Sandman coming from the stadium even over the noise of the trainer was pretty awesome), and Gmail for making this possible. Shout out if you got an email from me between 10am-1pm on Saturday.

Don't try this at home.
And finally, as if that wasn't enough, the phantom injuries have set in. I have *knockonwood* had no issues with injuries or pains at all during this training cycle. But of course when I was on the bike on Saturday, the bottoms of my feet inexplicably starting hurting when I was only 5 miles in. And then of course my Achilles starting twinging during my run afterward. And it makes total sense that the opposite Achilles was twinging on my run the next day right? And let's not even talk about all the catastrophes I'm sure will happen to me at any moment. Like getting doored by a parked car while I'm riding my bike to the gym. Or slipping on wet asphalt. Or that guy coming up behind me on his bike, obviously slowing down because he wants to murder me (turns out he just wanted to ask about my Newtons...sure he did). 

Fourteen more days of this craziness. I just looked at my remaining workouts and freaked out when I realized I have less running to do over the next TWO weeks than I did THIS week. Now I'm positive I wasted a ton of money paying for this training plan and that I'm not going to finish the race. Pray for me.

12 comments :

  1. Taper brings out the crazay in me too! Good for you to get your time in on the bike... Tv or podcasts are the only way I make it through treadmill time.

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  2. my husband dreads the trainer and will only go on it as last resort. since he bought his fat bike, he's hardly used the trainer and will bike on the trails in the snow instead and he loves it!

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  3. Wow, three hours on the trainer?!? Thats so impressive! You did an awesome job training for this triathlon, now you just have to try and enjoy the taper time and not get hurt. I can't wait to hear how it goes and I'll be crossing my fingers for good weather for you!

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  4. Awww... and here I thought people must enjoy the taper. Lol! You'll make it - hang in there! I like watching TV while I stationary bike, but even with entertainment, it's hard to go much longer than an hour. My workout sessions are usually about half an hour and that's good enough for me. What you're doing is a whole 'nother level!

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  5. I think part of the worst part about tapering is knowing how close it means you are to the race. Tapering reminds me that I'm essentially out of time before having to finally step up to the plate. Ugh.

    Just don't do like me. While I'm not training for anything, I had my heart set on truly dedicating the next week or so to GOOD runs because the sun is finally out for us. And then I had to go and let Oswin give me the worst leash burn on my foot ever, and now my week of running is over before it started. So lame.

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  6. Oh, taper madness! After dealing with my left leg/shin/calf/soleus injury all summer, I'm now starting to develop a little hip bursitis on my right side. AREYOUFREAKINGKIDDINGME? Dear body, I've just about had it with you.

    So, my next 2 weeks will be filled with lots of lovely hip opener yoga and stretching.

    Also, 3 hours on the trainer? You are a beast!

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  7. Go you for making it the full 3 hours!! Thats pretty impressive!

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  8. I'll have to share my taper thoughts when taper comes because I think they will be similar to yours!! After my long run this weekend I started panicking that I haven't been doing enough strength training so I'm vowing to do at least 30 minutes every sunday…1 sunday down…we'll see how the others go :)
    One time Kelly and I ran 5 miles around the track at McComas - it sounded miserable but turned out not being so bad! Luckily you'll have lots of scenery to look at during your race :)

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  9. I don't want to laugh because I know the nightmare, but I have to laugh a little bit because you bought four rain jackets. At least you know yourself well enough to know it's just taper madness setting in... keep reminding yourself of that! It's just the taper! And thanks for giving me a window into my own insanity that will likely begin promptly in one week from today as I begin my own taper. Lord help us all.

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  10. 3 hours on a trainer?! 4 jackets?! that guy was definitely trying to murder you. but you will definitely rock this half ironman, i have zero doubts in my mind. i know that is zero percent helpful, but still.

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  11. Excellent post! Certain not to skip viewpoints that you might probably handle to disclose to be able to rationalize your last aspect a small quantity further? Bless you! runnium

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