Friday, September 24, 2010

Taper Week 1: This is hardly a taper!

So this week begins my three-week taper before the Chicago Marathon. Tapering consists of an overall reduction in training mileage and intensity in the weeks preceding a big race, allowing the body to recover from the stresses induced by months of hard training, so that the body is fresh for race day. My FAST coaches, however, did not get the memo about this.

Lemme tell you what those slave-drivers made me do this week.

On Tuesday, they made me run this crazy modified version of "The FAST", where I had to run 2 miles hard, then go immediately up the Hill of Death, followed by 1 mile hard. And if that wasn't enough, on Thursday, they made me run 1-mile repeats in a dark and scary cemetery and there were bats flying around and owls hooting and zombies trying to attack me! ZOMBIES!!!

Okay, so I'm lying about the zombies. But the owls and bats were there, I swear! And the moon was full, so there were probably werewolves hiding in the trees. I think I did hear some howling...

But bats and zombies and werewolves aside... If this is a taper, why does it feel so untaperlike??? The coaches are trying to kill me!

And can we talk about my toenail?

*everyone shouts "NOOOOOOOO!" in unison*

Too bad - we're going to talk about it anyway. I made it through all of my marathon training without any weird toenail issues to speak of. But on an easy 5 mile run this week, I came home with a sore 2nd toe. Weird. And after last night's FAST workout, that toe is now clearly destined to lose its nail. Are you kidding me? How is it that I can run 22 miles straight with no problems, but as soon as I start my taper, all my toenails start falling off? Okay, so it's just the one toenail, but still!

Now, who here wants to see pictures of my wonky toenail?

*crickets chirping*

Fine, suit yourselves.

Tough workouts and damaged toenails aside, I must say I am very much looking forward to my relatively short long run this weekend. Twelve miles will seem like a veritable breeze compared with last Sunday's 22 hill-tacular miles. However, as my mileage continues to decrease these next two weeks, it is inevitable that I will once again enter a state of Taper Madness. My blog posts will probably start to make less sense, and will likely be punctuated with random outbursts of virtual cackling. I assure you it's all part of a normal taper.


Seriously. It's normal.


Peace. Love. Train.

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