I’ve been pretty excited to start tapering ever since long runs exceeded 15 miles. On long runs when I hit thirteen miles I think to myself, “I feel great, I could do this every week!”. Without fail, once I hit fifteen miles I’m miserable and it is a numbers game. I have to talk myself into finishing each hot and miserable mile (by this time on a Saturday in Fresno it is pretty hot!). I thought this race and this year would be different. I thought I would really enjoy tapering and cutting back the long arduous miles since Ironman training is really taxing and cut back would be welcomed. I’ll just run the happy 12 miles and not get into the last 8 I dread. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This has by far been my hardest taper since my first triathlon in 2012.
After my first taper run was over I made my way to my car… at first feeling fresh and not drained like a “long run” leaves me feeling…but I miss that feeling. I LIKE that feeling. Was only 10 miles even worth getting out of bed before the sun came up? I was utterly disappointed. I knew it didn’t make any sense, especially because it was a great run. I kept a decent pace but made sure to keep it just under marathon pace. As the day went on for some reason I started getting upset. I was looking forward to having 10-12 miles for this week’s long run and to NOT be going over 15 miles. But 10 just didn’t seem…well….like anything. You don’t realize you will miss something until it’s gone. Now I miss having a long run that leaves my body tired and aching. Endurance sports are definitive addicting!
During taper before every workout I ask “Is this workout going to make me more fatigued or will it allow me to stay loose, mentally sane, and continue to recover?” Normally if there is any doubt, I shorten the session, make it easier, or skip it altogether. But this taper will be a struggle to ONLY do what is scheduled. Just 10 days until Vineman Ironman. It’s mostly a mental challenge from here. I have been just focusing on one workout and one week at a time because the idea of actually doing an IRONMAN is still a bit overwhelming to me. I know the training is there…just have to put it all together now.
How do you battle the taper crazies? Share your tips in a comment!