Friday, August 30, 2013

Taper Time


I'm in this completely awesome (not awesome) space that the athletic world, and particularly the running world, refers to as the taper.  I've written about the taper before- the two weeks before go time race time where the running stops and rest allows your body to heal from the punishment of miles and miles and miles of training.  Its the best (and worst) time in marathon training.  Note that I am trying to stay very, very positive about the taper.  If you'd like a peek inside my brain (enter at your own risk), the running transcript inside my head looks a little something like this...

"WHAT?  My knee hurts.  I'm injured.  FML I'm injured.  Oh shit, it's not my knee.  Its my calf.  SHIT.  It feels tight and weird.  Oh no.  And now my throat hurts.  I'm getting sick.  How is this possible that I'm getting sick now, of all times.  Shit.  Hydration, I need to hydrate.  I'm dehydrated.  I need to drink way more, WAY MORE water.  And less beer.  Oh no.  Too much beer.  Probably 5 lbs worth in the last week.  This is not going to feel awesome on the course on race day.  Did I taper too soon, did I taper too late?  Should I have ran 40 in my last long run or just 38?  I'm not recovering.  What if it's hot on race day?  What if its cold?  What if aliens descend upon the marathon course right in the middle of the race when I'm on track for a PB?"

Would have.  Should have.  Could have.  Living in the past.  This does not serve me.

What if, what if, what if.  Living in the future.  This does not serve me.

Trusting that my training was what it was...not perfect, but it never will be...and it is ENOUGH.  Shutting the brain down and just BEING.  Being present in the moment.  This will serve me.  No action.  Just BE, as my beautiful friend, yoga teacher and life coach Tina Hnatiuk of Anala Yoga says.

The challenge for me in this taper (and every taper for that matter) is to stay right here, in the now.  To be present to how my body feels, but not attach to it.  To be kind to myself every single moment of every single hour of every single day and remember that I train hard and do all I can to be ready.  And to remember the reasons why I find myself running my 11th marathon, which are often lost as the mind takes over.

I'm in it for the 11th time because I love running.  Simple.  I love the mental challenge of getting through a hard mile and knowing that I did it.

Most of all, though,  I want every single person in the world to know, that if I can do this, you can do this.  It is a choice I make every single day- to get my feet into shoes and my shoes onto pavement and go running.  It doesn't have to be running, but it has to be something, the thing you find that allows you to get out of your head and into your heart.  That thing that supports you in letting go of doubt, fear and worry.  Everyone, EVERY SINGLE ONE deserves to feel this free.

And so, in T-8 days, I will be in one of the spaces I cherish the most.  On the marathon course.  Peace in my mind, happiness in my heart.  Running.  With thousands of others who have made the commitment to themselves.  Just so amazing.

And until then, I'm going to own this taper like a boss.  I'm going to sleep.  I going to yoga- and lots of it.  I'm going to spend time with so many people that I'd love to see more often that I sometimes don't because I'm running. 

Queen City Marathon.  I'm ready.

1 comment:

Alison August said...

Have an amazing run, Andrea! Looking forward to reading your post-run assessment.