Well.  The time has come.

Tapering is one of those things that really should be easy as pie.  Reduce mileage?  And intensity?  Well, twist my arm, will ya?

Of course the physical part of tapering is pretty simple.  You just do…less.  And then a little less, and a little less.  It starts to feel like you have all of this free time.  Because, suddenly, you’re not fighting to find time to run a bajillion miles every week.

But you’re fighting a different battle.

It’s hard to accustom yourself to running less, when you’re used to running more.  It messes with your head.  For every ounce of relief at: “Hey, I don’t need to run as much!” there’s a pound of paranoia for: “OMG, I’m going to get out of shape!”

And that is why I don’t really enjoy tapers.

For the next three weeks, I’ll be in a constant state of mild worry over whether I’m running enough.  Or too much.  Or eating too much.  Or too little.  Or drinking too much.  (Well, I’ll probably still be drinking too much.  But I can deal with that one.)

But go ahead, Taperworm.  Attach yourself to me.  Feed on my doubt.  I’ve been through the marathon song-and-dance a few times now, and I’ve come to expect it.  I know that, contrary to common sense, these last three weeks will not necessarily be the easiest part of training.

Hey.  At least I don’t have to go it alone.

He tries to get all warm and fuzzy, that Taperworm. We’ll see how we fare together over the next three weeks.

Today’s EAT: There are couple of foods that consistently come to my rescue on days that I don’t have time to cook.  Thin-crust frozen pizzas are one of those foods.

Normally I try to make something more exciting of it – a gussied-up frozen pizza, with added meat, or veggies, or other exciting fixins.  Sometimes, though, I leave well enough alone.  This Fresh Market pizza was loaded dried basil and tomatoes and that was good enough tonight.

I know they’re not the healthiest thing out there (hello, lack of fresh food; hola, sodium) but thin-crust frozen pizzas like this one fill me up without packing a ton of empty calories.  This entire pizza had 750 calories.  (Although, no, I didn’t quite eat the whole thing.  The Taperworm talked some sense in to me and I stopped at two-thirds.)

Today’s DRINK: I am always intrigued by wine blends, and this one was a doozy:

Ironberry Cab-Shiraz-Merlot blend.  I was intrigued, but also a little suspicious.  Are they using the crap grapes from each harvest?  With that many different pieces and parts…is it the Spam of wines?

If it was, it didn’t taste it.  I thought the wine tasted fine.  I tasted mostly Shiraz.  But take that for what it’s worth, because clearly I have a Spammish palate.

Today’s RUN: I did 5 easy miles today.  It was kind of hard to only do 5.  (Once again, though, the Taperworm talked some sense in to me.)

I ended last week with almost 55 miles.  It should have been my peak week, mileage-wise, and it was a little below that, but still very respectable.  I’ll take it.

The plan for this week is 40 miles, then going down to 25-30 next week. My 40 miles will include a longish run (two hours?) this weekend, and possibly also a 5K race.  I don’t want to do too much, but there are a couple of local races this weekend that are very tempting.  I’d love to have the confidence boost of a decent 5K going in to this marathon.  Especially since I haven’t had a good speed session in a while.

On the 5K, Taperworm says go for it!  I think I just might.  What would you do?

Today’s QUESTION: What’s your go-to frozen or quickie meal? I know everyone has one.  My number-one is definitely pizza, but I will also bust out a box of Annie’s Mac and Cheese or some frozen Asian dumplings!


18 responses to “Taperworm

  1. Taperworm. Heh. I can totally see that bugging the crap out of me. Especially because you TELL yourself you will use the extra time for something useful, and then you just…don’t. Or hell, maybe you do, but I shit away my extra time like I’m chugging Ex-Lax.

    So! Quickie meal? Pita pizzas. Alternately, I steam greens in the microwave, dump some cheese and beans on them, and call it a light dinner. Then I eat Nutella from the jar.

  2. hahahah oooooooooooh taperworm. so funny. EMBRACE IT 😀

    i’d say do the 5k but, then again, i never taper. or at least not very well. so take my advice with a grain of salt

  3. Do the 5K! I’d do one too if I could.
    Quickie meals are always pasta w/ turkey meat sauce, tacos or we order pizza!

  4. I love the illustrations today; that’s talent! Good luck with taper. Our go to frozen meal is also pizza – usually dressed up with chopped olives, extra pepperoni or maybe sausage, fresh mushrooms, possibly chicken… Ok, there is no usual, but we almost always add something to frozen pizza. Our other quick meal is mexican. Brown some ground beef, add whatever beans, veggies or cheese are lurking around and wrap in tortillas.

  5. Ohh that pizza looks yummy! Frozen pizzas are usually my go-to, along with Amy’s burritos. Mmmm

  6. Love the taperworm. I mean, hate him, but love your drawings. He’s kind of adorable in that last one. My quick go-to is oatmeal, tricked out with a bunch of add ins. Yes, for dinner… a little pitiful… a lot delicious.

  7. I have a hard time with tapers too. But I KNOW it’s important to do so I suck it up. I also stop counting my calories for a few days leading up to the race. It helps keep me sane.

  8. Sorry to leave a random comment – but I noticed I’m having trouble getting my wordpress comments to link to my actual blog. Hopefully this one works 🙂

  9. hahaha, I love your little tapeworm. Not gonna lie, I’m kind of looking forward to taper right now! Even though I know I’ll feel differently when the time actually comes.

    A go to quickie meal usually is some sort of salad thrown together from random fridge contents, followed by Greek yogurt and peanut butter 🙂

  10. Hahahaha, I love this post. So much. Although I did actually think you had a tape worm after reading your post on twitter…

    My quick and easy weeknight meal is whole wheat pasta + sauteed veggies + peanut sauce! I make it at least once a week 🙂

  11. Ohh taper tantrums. Good luck with the taper worm!

  12. Taperworm is the devil..
    Oh, and I hate Mustard 🙂
    Why did you have to move? I’m going to be in NYC this weekend!

  13. that taperworm is funny as hell. until I think about it too much (I actually have a semi-serious phobia of worms. One time I, hyperventilating and near tears, asked a stranger to pick one off of my sock on a wet and wormy run.) I eat way too much frozen food, but some of my faves are Amy’s low-sodium veggie lasagna and Lean Cuisine tortilla-crusted fish.

  14. hahaha this post is great. oh the taper. it’s so good yet so bad. like you i’ve done the song and dance so i know the evilness of the bug. however, i also learned you can only do too much…

  15. You’re experienced so that should help mitigate some of the mind games. Can’t imagine how taper will be for me. Never done it for a mara. Imagine it will be odd for all the reasons you describe.

  16. Pingback: Saturday PSA | eat, drink, run

  17. Pingback: dirty deeds… « Cheaper Than Therapy

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