I have taper brain. I’m scattered, anxious, nervous, tired, hungry and unable to make too many decisions.
It would be wonderful to be able to write something substantial describing the past few days, but it’s too much of a challenge.
All I want to do is run. I dreamed of the race last night.
It was sunny with a sideways drizzle and I realized I needed the long running pants I tried at Lululemon on Thursday. I didn’t buy them, because of taper brain; the making decisions part. I’m going back today to complete the arsenal of race day gear.
It’s early now, but I think it best to dress and go.
Eight miles are on the agenda for this Saturday before the Expo.
The kids will be with Peach today. The husband and I have a date.
I hope we don’t kill each other. The last time we tried to enjoy each other’s company ended in a yelling match. He thinks I love the marathon more than him. I tried to explain taper brain, but it’s hard for people to understand who haven’t experienced it. It’s hard for me to explain and I’m going through it.
Nine days to go.
I can’t think in a straight line, but one thing is clear. I haven’t been this excited for anything in a long long time!
Wonderful Wednesday began with a glass of lemon water while listening to Pete’s Sumatra brewing in the machine. I’d forgotten that I’d planned to drink a smoothie for breakfast, so I measured out exactly one cup of Special K and another cup of milk (skim, of course).
After a disastrous attempt to get my girls to match their skirts to their shirts to their socks, I gave up and they got in the car looking like red-eyed rag-a–muffins. I dropped them off and headed home for a fairly quick three-mile run.
Much like my girls and their pre-school fashion drama, I’ve been kvetching a little about my own race day outfit. The CW-X pants are out, my beloved Dash tights have gotten a little too roomy in the legs and I must resist the urge to wear shorts with my “how I love thee” compression socks. The socks would be wonderful, but shorts would leave me with the seriously chafed thighs; a horrendous and rashy mess. I tried my Lululemon Inspire crops today, but they slide down too much. I may prefer a low waisted jean, but when it comes to my running pants the higher the better!
This weekend I have scheduled a call with my first marathoning hero and second Scibelli sister, Sandra. We are going to go over the list of things I need to take on race day and I’ve written out my array of questions, for which I need some help to answer.
For example, there are different theories about how one should pace their race. Some people feel you start slowly no matter what and speed up when the mileage gets higher. I tried this in training, but found that I was so tired later my overall speed was really terrible.
I also attempted a long run where I did a form of speed work; would run comfortably for a bit and then speed up for a certain distance before slowing down again. This seemed to leave me feeling pretty good and I was happy with my time, but it may not be the best strategy.
With twelve days to go I don’t have much more to do.
It’s a nice feeling to just have to focus on the day-to-day tasks, relax a bit, sleep more, and stay committed to eating clean.
Now I know why so many people told me to enjoy the taper. It’s really quite nice.
The past few weeks of running, including my nineteen miler, were done without audio books. I finished the last chapter of Dead Until Dark a few weeks back, while sitting in my car at Whole Foods, eating kale salad before going to pick up the kids. I knew how it was going to end, since I’d watched it play out on t.v., but even so I was sad to say, “Goodbye,” to the book version of Sookie.
Yesterday I downloaded the second book in the Hunger Games series; Catching Fire. It started little ahead of where the last book finished, but I was pulled right back in and excited to see where we would go. I feel a sort of kinship with Katniss, Girl on Fire. It isn’t logical, but she did get me through some of my very first long runs, while at the same time running for her own life in the games. As I’ve mentioned, I’ll be channeling her with flaming fingernails on March 18th, so it was appropriate that she would be my choice for heroine du jour during these final weeks of training.
Those few weeks without stories made me realize that I’ve got to have one (or two) going at all times. I had checked out When Margaret was Young, by my favorite author Jane Hamilton, but could never figure out how to get it to import to my phone. In a way I was glad, though, because what if I didn’t like it? Could Jane Hamilton be my favorite author anymore if I couldn’t connect with her book? I returned it without listening, but will try to go back to it later, when I have less on my plate. I would hate to be disappointed by my book of choice at this juncture.
After my lunch date with Sookie, which turned out to be a surprisingly calm and enjoyable addition to my schedule, I decided that I needed a car read. While at the library, waiting for the girls to fill their “library purses,” I hunted down the audio book for Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.
I’ve often wondered what it was about that book that kept me so entranced as a young girl in the sixth grade, reading it for the very first time. I figured that it would be good research as I ponder the kind of books I myself want to write, and at the same time, be my companion as I eat my lunch. It probably sounds like a pretty nerdy and isolationist thing to do, but it is very hard to get quiet these days, and it’s less sad than eating alone absolute silence.
As a side note, I have returned to the land of exhaustion. After writing about Sweet Sleep, where I felt recovered from the overwhelming tiredness that had been plaguing me, it took one night of a past eight p.m. bedtime to fall back into the realm of six p.m. crashing and burning.
I wonder if it’s this point of marathon training and part of recovery? Maybe I’m coming down with something?
With only twenty-nine days until the race, my most important goal is to stay healthy. Peach called me yesterday with another cold and cough, my girls have been blowing their own little noses, and I watched a coughing boy at pre-school wipe his hand down the entire banister as he descended the stairs, surely on his way to the doctor. Germs are everywhere!
It is my biggest fear that I’ll get sick within days of the race and be unable to compete. That scenario has occurred two other times in my racing history. There’s nothing worse than being ill with a deep lung cough and cold at the same time that hundreds of people are running your race.
Fear aside, books in place, continued rest, one more big run, and quiet car lunches are on the menu until tapering begins.
Tapering. The final stage of this journey. I can barely believe it’s almost here.