I always forget how much the taper sucks. I always look forward to it, thinking it’ll be nice to have some more free time and enjoy the fruits of my labor. I imagine my long runs feeling so easy and short after so many weeks of high mileage. Sadly, that is never the case as I usually feel like trash for the first couple of weeks of the taper and those “short” long runs feel longer than some of my 20 milers. Sometimes I never really get run that feels good before the race. I always wonder if I’m doing something wrong and worry I’ve mixed up the formula and will have a terrible race, prompting me to google something along the lines of “why do I feel so bad during the taper” and the internet always confirms I am definitely not alone. The reality is, the taper just sucks (I enjoyed this blog post in particular).
This taper was extra sucky with a pretty bad cold thrown in the mix which started at the beginning of week 13. Above all, I felt lethargic and run down but I was also incredibly stuffy and am still blowing my nose several times a day nearly two weeks later. Getting a cold during the taper is actually very common as your immune system has been working in overdrive during peak training and as soon as you let off the gas a little, your body is ripe for picking up something terrible.
Well let’s get to the recap. It’s not pretty. The Hal Higdon plan which I am incredibly loosely following called for a pretty aggressive cut back in mileage as it was, and throwing in the cold led to by far the lowest mileage I’ve ever run leading up to the race. I’m calling a “Super Taper,” a term my friend Brooke coined. I’m secretly hoping I’ll feel better than I ever have for a marathon thanks to all this extra rest, but the crazy taper demon is telling me I should just be happy to finish the race (which I know isn’t true).
Week 13 – October 17-23
Monday – Rest. A planned rest day after running 50 miles and 6 days the previous week.
Tuesday – 8.4 mile run. I was able to get out for one of my favorite runs from Moonlight Beach to Fletcher Cove while my mother in law watched Siena. It was a beautiful day but I felt pretty run down. I figured it was a combination of the fact that Siena was up in the middle of the night for the third night in a row (yay teething!) and that I was still recovering from the previous week but I think this was the beginning of the cold!
Wednesday – 4 mile run with Allison before sunrise. Again, I felt terrible but hoped it was related to the sleep interruptions.
Thursday – Rest. I skipped my planned tempo run in favor of a nap. Officially sick now.
Friday – 5 mile run with the stroller. I was feeling decent enough mid-day to work through it (as long as the cold isn’t in your chest, you can run).
Saturday – Rest day. Not feeling it.
Sunday – Rest day. I hoped to maybe have the energy to do my long run (which was only supposed to be 12 miles) but I just really did not feel like it. I figured that missing one 12 mile run wasn’t going to kill me so didn’t beat myself up too much about it. The most exercise I got was a nice 3 mile walk during sunset with Mike and Siena.
- 17.4 miles run
Week 13 – October 24-30
I started to come back to life this week and got in a good amount of strength training and running.
Monday – 3 miles with the stroller. These felt decent but didn’t want to push it much harder than this and I was running low on time. After Mike was off work that night I did the sneak peek of the new Beachbody MMA style workout called Core De Force on Beachbody on Demand. It was really awesome! I used to be addicted to Turbo Kick Boxing at 24 Hour Fitness back in the day – this reminded me of that mixed with Insanity. It wasn’t as dancy as TKB but was VERY high energy! This program actually launched TODAY so you can buy it now!
Tuesday – Yoga Fix Extreme. I love this yoga workout! It’s much harder than 21 Day Fix yoga – it’s a lot of strength and balance postures which I really love (and I was sore the next day).
Wednesday – Pi-Yo Core in the morning. This workout was way harder this time – I guess I’ve lost some of that core strength. I was shaking by the end and it’s only 30 minutes! So many planks.
Wednesday evening I got in my first group speed workout with the Seaside Striders who I will be training for Mountains2Beach with starting in January. I really wanted one final speed workout before the race and I wasn’t feeling motivated to try to figure out a workout on my own. My friend Kelley and I went together and really pushed each other. It felt so good to get out there and push myself hard. It’s so hard to get the same motivation to push hard on your own. Ultimately we ran 7 miles including a few timed portions at half marathon pace and several 400s at 5k pace. I really think that joining this team is going to make a huge difference in my running fitness! I can’t wait to see how next year goes.
Thursday – Yoga Fix. Felt good to stretch!
Saturday – 8.3 miles. This was rough. It was one of those taper runs where you question everything. Has my body forgotten how to run? How will I ever run 26.2 miles? Luckily Mike joined me with Siena in the stroller for about 3.5 of the miles so I didn’t have to do the whole thing alone. This felt longer than a 20 miler in some ways and I was very happy when it was over.
Sunday – Rest. What a week!
- 23.3 miles run
- 2 hours strength
I won’t be doing an recap for the current week since it’s pretty lame (two 3 mile runs, one 4 mile run and an easy yoga is all I have planned!) but do plan to get in a post about my race plan and goals for the New York Marathon, which happens in FIVE FREAKING DAYS. I can’t believe it.
Do you go mad during the taper too?