05 September 2013

insane in the membrane

it's a little over a week until the erie marathon, which is my next race and another (hopefully successful this time!) attempt at attaining a boston qualification time.  while i was bummed that the boston athletic association decided to open up it's registration for the 2014 boston marathon a full week before my race day in erie, i'm hopeful that given the fact that they also upped the number of total possible entrants to 36000 that perhaps i might still have a shot at registering.

but let's not put the cart before the horse.

(i guess that that makes me the horse)

so with boston still in my sights, i'm going to do everything within my power to nab that qualifying time - which for my age group is 3:15:00 or better.  \

and that means that it's taper time.

if you've tried following a training program in preparation for a race, you know about taper madness.  whether you've just heard about it or experienced it yourself, it's more than running lore.  it's a pseudo-scientific affliction that can cause genuine anxiety, irritability and even irrational behaviour.

i've pointed to this article before, but it's worth flagging again as providing a great description of just what constitutes taper madness: http://blog.runnerslounge.com/2008/09/symptoms-and-tr.html

i don't quite become a germaphobe, but i'll tell you what does happen to me:  i become obsessed with performance deterioration.  

i worry that i'm not running enough times during the weeks leading up to the race.

i become convinced that on the days that i do run i'm not putting in enough kilometres.

i dwell on the fact that i should be running faster and faster each time out.

i fixate on the expanding bulge on my waistline because i'm eating the same but not exercising as much.

and all of this makes me believe that i'm setting myself up to run slower than i ever have before ... when i simply know that that's not the case.  all of these things which i believe to be detrimental during the taper time are in fact critical to optimal performance on race day.

running less means that my body is restoring itself from the preceding weeks of hard workouts, and adapting/supercompensating to a new level of fitness.
maintaining my speed now is key to muscle memory and avoiding injury.

the inevitable weight gained will become the fuel that i will need to burn over 42.195 kilometres.

since we're rounding the corner into the fall racing season, i must not be the only one who's having to endure the tapering process.  what about you?  what bugs you about tapering, if anything?

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