STOP! Taper time!

STOP - Taper time

9 Days to go…

So this is it. Long runs are DONE!

My last run was 20 miles. I ran 18 and walked 2 towards the end.  Unfortunately I have developed an issue with my knee.  GRRRR! I can feel it on baby runs but it becomes really bloody excruciating at mile 18.. I guess on the day, I’m just going to have to suck it up! Last Sunday, I decided to swim rather than attend the 10 mile Salisbury race that I had signed up for.  Let’s be blunt… I am RUBBISH at swimming.  I lowered myself into the ‘slow lane’ and kept getting caught up by a 70 year old gentleman who thought this was highly amusing.  He must have felt great (You’re welcome Sir).  A couple of times I had to hang onto the edge of the pool and cough out half of the pool that I had swallowed. Cue – loud giggling from the elderly gent.

Well tapering is er interesting…. I’ve never been here before (I’ve not even completed a half marathon before).  For those that haven’t tapered before, it’s all about taking your mileage down so you are fresh as a daisy for the race.  Running these smallish miles has given me major paranoia that I am going to lose my fitness. (I won’t)- and I guess these feelings of doubt are natural.

This marathon journey has been such an experience, and I have learnt a lot from it. Here are my thoughts on tapering and the journey so far…

The Journey….

  • Positivity – Surround yourself with the doers and positive people.    I am nervous yes, but really don’t need to read or hear about more doubts that others are having.    At the end of the day, we can only do our best.  My time is going to be important and will mean a lot to ME.

    the doers

    Amen

  • Speed – regardless of how I have tried, it has been virtually impossible to retain my usual pace… When friends told me that my pace would drop, I thought they were joking…they weren’t.  I have learnt to accept it.  I can’t run long distance at the same pace as my Parkruns! That’s life. I can’t remember the last time I won a strava segment, but just watch me run for miles…and miles…
  • Loneliness – There I said it.  I have found the journey incredibly lonely. Especially as a first timer.  What may seem like stupid worries and anxieties for the more seasoned marathoner, the anxiety has been very real for me. Race day will be different, I have the ability to speak to anyone and everyone – Hello new friends from Eastleigh 10k – I hope you enjoyed me singing to you around the course!
  • Tiredness – I have been so so so so tired.  To the point of waking up and just crying.  This has eased off.  Now I am tapering, I have so much unspent energy  – I literally do not know what to do with myself – I have been painting my garden fence, and my house is immaculate. Win!
  • The body is AMAZING. I have been fascinated with the fact that I have been able to run further and further each week..
  • It never did get easier… nuff said….

Tapering…

  • MARANOIA! I feel like I am hanging in the balance of being undercooked and also worrying about making my knee even worse! maranoia
  • Rest Days – These are really important.  It’s also important to remember that tapering  also means you are still training… So it doesn’t mean you can sit on your behind for 2/3 weeks. Its a good move to use these days wisely – I’ve been stretching, cross training and doing some yoga.  Feeling niggly? Get you bike out or go for a swim! Rest days is when the magic happens.  I have always had muscly legs but have developed new muscles and my calves are just ridiculous at the moment..
IMG_8472

Working on getting to a headstand!

  • You won’t lose your fitness in 2 weeks.  You just won’t! Relax. Tapering is essential for prep.
  • Do nothing new – Now is not the time to try new vitamin pills Kezza, it may end up in a disastrous run if you catch my drift… portaloo
  • Eating Habits- People who know me personally will know that I have a liking for Cadbury Crème Eggs.  Okay, a real PASSION for crème eggs – I have eaten 10 in 5 days. I have been told by a very reliable source (Facebook) that it takes 15 minutes to run one Crème Egg off. This means that I should be okay – although I may not have any teeth…no teeth
  • Energy – I have so much now I am tapering… I am feeling twitchy and restless.

My runs this weekend consist of a nice little Bluebell Run (5 miles) with the club and a 7 miler on Sunday. Next week I have three 3 milers in…before the big day! eeeeeek!

How is your tapering going?! How are you feeling in the run up to your marathon?

May your runs be long and your injuries afew

Kezza x

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