Tapering has been really strange for me so far. I'm a big fat hypochondriac. On Friday I woke up with what I thought was the start of posterior tibial tendonitis and was in tears because it hurt so bad to walk. In an hour I was completely fine. It's hard not to feel completely ridiculous when relaying that story. I've shared a lot of the details and then edited/deleted them because the whole thing makes me feel dumb and unfortunately my boss got to see me all teary eyed and making a doctors appointment. To say I'm a little embarrassed is an understatement. But at the time I swear I felt like I could not walk, let alone RUN 26 MILES. Oh well, I am learning.
Phantom aches and pains are actually really common in the taper cycle. I did feel a bit validated reading articles about this strange issue and also seeing other taper crazy friends post about their decisions to run on the treadmill this last week because they *might* trip outside. That fear though is rooted in something real. My best friend Erin twisted her ankle in a bad way two days before the Toronto marathon two weeks ago. I can't imagine the disappointment she felt. Training for a marathon is a huge undertaking. It takes up your life. It's kind of your baby for 4+ months and you want to see it come the freak out, grow up and take shape. You want to fawn over how exciting the whole thing was and forget how your inner thighs were always rubbed raw before you discovered bodyglide and running capri's, and that you may or may not have peed yourself a little during your 22 miler. (I didn't but know those who have, no judgments here!) Those things just don't matter cause you just
had a darn baby ran a marathon! Dramatic, right? I'm pretty certain that I sound like I'm speaking Greek to non-runners. My one runner friend told me that the last 6 miles of her first marathon felt like childbirth all over again. All I can say is lord, I sure hope I don't experience that because childbirth scares me shitless.
Onto something a little more serious that I just kind of want to get out. I've noticed that I am harboring a bit of negativity towards certain people who lack support and I'm working on letting it go. It's not running my life by any means but it's disappointing because I've been truly excited when something awesome comes to fruition in others lives if I am privy to the information. I guess for me it's tough because I've struggled with a lot of self image and weight issues and this is the very first time I have stuck with an exercise type routine on a consistent basis. And liked it. That is huge for me and has been a major source of self confidence. It's just kind of a bummer that certain people who I felt close to don't seem to know how big of a deal this is for me. Of course I'm not going to spell it out for anyone. Most people don't read this blog but hey if you're reading and you've been my friend for awhile and not said anything I'm likely talking about you. I still retain my east coast forwardness and I'm also happy to talk to anyone (and you know I will be honest) but some battles are just not meant to be fought.
This year it's been a big reason why I've been so happy to make running friends. I enjoy that we can all get together and get along so well for having such different lives/backgrounds. The common denominator is pretty awesome. The fact that it's a healthy common denominator and not that we all can take 10 shots of vodka and not pass out is way cooler. It was nice that they said they wished they knew about my race sooner (ha ha, I didn't know for sure either!) so they could drive out and cheer me on/run with me! (I wouldn't expect that anyway as it's 90 min away). These kind of bonds and support from other friends like Aundria, Erin and Trish have really made me re-evaluate the kinds of relationships I need in my life to thrive. So I'm working on letting others go slowly. Or at the very least I'm working on keeping the energy shifted to the positive people in my life. Most of my social time is spent during rock climbing or running and I kind of like it that way. I get an occasionally breakfast or cup of coffee with another friend for catch-up here and there, but it always feels nice to get outside and enjoy life with the people you like spending time with too! I can only do so much though and I don't have to be active to hang out with someone - it's just more likely to happen sooner if we plan something out and about.
So back to my rambles about the marathon! My race plan is even effort and I'm actually going to work more on keeping my heart rate in a certain range on the climbs and the downhills. The flats I'll try to keep at a very conservative pace near 11's for the first 15 miles and if I feel like I can give it more after mile 15, I certainly will but I'm also fine with slowing it down if that's how it goes. Throwing in a big elevation change variable and being a newbie runner is big. But it's exciting big :) I kinda love a challenge! (Ask me though on Sunday if I still feel the same way...)
I'm certainly nervous about the course; who wouldn't be? It's hard for me to know exactly how I'm going to be feeling or how the race will go so the best I can do is be prepared and trust my training. Which I do. I feel (mostly) ready. I'm tackling a big challenge but it feels really exciting to look forward to gutting it out and just basking in the experience. I haven't looked at the weather since a few days ago and don't plan on looking until later this week. The last I checked though it looked like it was going to be mid-50's, partially cloudy and a super low chance of rain. I like rain. It's the wind that scares me! I'm running with my camera though and will definitely be posting pictures as the area is just *gorge*ous!
Since my mind is kind of tunnel visioned this week you may hear from me again before the week is up. I'm debating on how many miles to run this week as well. Most plans say I should be running 10 - 12 but my coach had everyone run 4 and the rest of the week was rest and cross-training. At this point I am embracing the extra rest and thinking two shorter easy (3 mile) runs with a few strides thrown in for good measure sounds like a good plan. On Saturday I'll go out for a walk and maybe skip a little to let out some energy. Ahhhh, okay, I need to get my butt into bed. I've not been sleeping enough!
This post is deserving of my "word vomit" tag.