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!