Week fourteen: The taper

New Legs

“Wake me up when September ends”
-Green Day

I don’t recognize my own legs.

Looking down at them, there seems to be some extra bulges near my knee. I’m pretty sure I haven’t always had these muscles. All I can think when I examine my newly toned areas is, have I done enough?

Now is the time I’ve been looking forward to the most throughout my marathon training. The mileage is going down and my focus is solely on how to make sure I am well enough for this marathon. I thought I would be feeling relief during this taper. Unfortunately, I only feel moody & even more anxious than before.

The week started with a groan as I realized my schedule would be off because of a marketing conference I was attending. Instead of taking a much needed rest day the day after my 20-mile training run, I had to do my 4 mile easy run. It was definitely slow going the first 3-miles as my legs were fairly sore and stiff. I didn’t want to push it too much and risk any injury, so I kept it below my normal pace. But then, when I got to the last mile back home, my legs seemed to have a mind of their own and started getting faster and faster. It was like all the power I had been building with my training needed to come out. My pace improved  a full minute per mile. It felt amazing.

Track at Night

Later that week I did my final track workout with my training partner. Ten 800’s with a workout that equaled 9 miles on the track. This workout felt even better – hopefully a sign of good things to come. The sun was setting and seemed to change colors with every loop around the track. I couldn’t help but feel like this was real dedication, getting that speed work done as the sun was disappearing. Track at Night

This is it, I’ve done all the work I can do. I just need get my brain to where my legs are so I can go into autopilot and get this marathon done. I wish it was easier to get there. Right now, I just feel tired.

What about you – how do you usually feel during your taper? Is it a relief or a panic?

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