Saturday, October 25, 2014

Long Run 10 Miles

Last week I introduced you to what tapering was. In the mid-week post, I defined post-race blues. Now, without further introduction, I introduce you to tapering madness. 

A runner in the taper phase of training has cut back on the number of miles/hours they spend running. This is to give the body a chance to rest and heal from all the wear and tear the training runs have taken on their body. If tapering has gone according to plan, the runner will come back stronger because the muscles will rebuild to withstand the new level of activity.

This rest time is a good thing.

Taper madness: the extra energy a runner is suddenly given because they aren't expending it running and they don't know what to do with it since they aren't allowed to go run it off. Probably the best way to describe it is being stir-crazy. I suddenly can clean out a cabinet and a closet and rearrange the furniture and cook and bake. Cooking and baking is a sure sign I'm tapering. But I can't go for a run. And I really want to go for a run!

Except for this time around.

The days leading up to my fourteen mile long run looked exactly the same as the weeks before. After that run, the next days of running had slightly less total mileage than before but not by much. The difference was that I only ran fourteen miles. Yes, my coach warned me to not overlook the fourteen while I was doing them but it still was only fourteen and my body was used to way more than that. By Monday of last week my body was catching the signal that something was up. 

I would love to report that I have spent the last two weeks blasting out house projects and so on. That fact is, I spent much of that time being tired, emotional and lacking much energy. All symptoms of either over-training or post-race blues. It wasn't until I ran with a friend who has done all manner of training and racing, mostly for triathlons, that I learned from her that this was also tapering madness. I was so relieved to hear this!

I ran my ten mile long run on a slightly warm but still overcast and definitely windy Friday morning. All the layers I threw on last minute came off within the first half mile. I threw caution to the wind and didn't plan my route. I didn't think about my race. I made some notes about what was hurting but that was about it. I just ran.

On Sunday morning, I went down to Des Moines to cheer the runners in the Des Moines marathon and half-marathon. I had several friends running both of the races. I stood downtown around mile two and watched everyone come through. I saw my friends come through and cheered and high-fived and outright bear-hugged one! This racer, though, caught my attention. I don't know his story but it doesn't matter. At one point, he decided that he could and so he did. 

After I stopped in at Scooter's, which is the new name of the coffee shop my family stopped in last year, I headed to mile 25/12 for the full marathon and half marathon, respectively. I love to cheer and spectate at races! Watching all kinds of runners out there invigorates me. However, what I witnessed this time was a new kind of inspiring. Here were these runners, just a mile from the finish line. What I saw was determination, down-hearted, focused, weary, thankful, worn-out and grit. I saw a lot of grit. People making the impossible happen, the dream alive. They would walk weary but if I said they could do it, they believed and started running. It wasn't me. It was in them and they drew from something deep within that they didn't know they had and did it! 

Tapering this time has not been like anything I've experienced before. The past two weeks have been pretty despondent for me. I came down with a cold the day after the Des Moines marathon and spent the entire day in bed sleeping. I really think it was a blessing since I really, really needed the sleep. But slowly I have started feeling refreshed, which is a good thing since the race is this Sunday. (I still have a cough that concerns me a little in as far as taking down sticky gels and such.)

My friends have poured loved and good wishes on me and I believe them. Thanks for reading along with all these posts. I'll make certain I re-cap this one much sooner than the Superior race. 

See ya in 50k! (31 miles)



Post a Comment

Thanks for reading. Kind comments are always welcomed!