Monday, September 24, 2012

Mental taper

The Taper before a marathon.... supposedly it is an uncomfortable time.   You scale back your training, rest your body a bit more, all to be primed and ready to go at race time.  I have read that it drives people crazy - the fewer miles and storing up energy.  I for one am enjoying it a bit too much.  So then comes the mental questions... should I be running more than I am?  Am I losing some of my fitness base?  If I don't do a long run for 3 weeks, will that mess me up?  And all of the sudden I get it.  It's more a mental thing than a physical thing.  My body feels much better than normal.  Much less tired.  I've dropped 2 pounds the past week.  I have been training hard for 16 weeks.  That's a long time for me to stay focused on a goal.  The fear of the 26.2 distance is what kept me focused more than anything else.  I am really excited to see how my body performs.  Will those last 6.2 be the death of me?  Will it take me 2 hours to finish those last miles?  My goal is to finish under 5 hours.... can I do it?  I can't wait for all the feelings I will experience.  The excitement, the crowd's enthusiasm, the energy filled legs!, having to hold myself back when I want to surge, pushing through the fatigue and pain when I want to slow down, the mental challenge, then, should I get there by God's grace, the exhilerating finish!  I am excited.  And now I get it.  The taper is a mental game.  A game of trusting your training and your taper.  Nothing I do now will help me but I can hurt my chances of having a great race by doing something stupid.  Though the weather is cooler, and my pace feels faster, I am going to try to do all my runs easy.  I really want to push myself, but I know, I KNOW, I just need to trust my training, and enjoy the taper.  2 weeks, and it will all be over.

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