Tapering Madness

The California International Marathon is only a few days away (Sunday, December 7th, y’all!). I’ve dramatically cut my mileage. I am resting. I am getting ready for the big day. And sadly, I am suffering from severe Taper Madness.

Just what is Taper Madness, you might ask?  I’m glad you asked. Really. I’ve been looking for someone with whom to lament, and you, lucky you, have become just the person. Listen. Please. Allow me to list my Top 5 Taper Complaints.

1. I feel FAT. Enormous. Bloated as a beach ball. I said I wasn’t going to overeat at Thanksgiving. I said I was going to be reasonable, but I believe there is saying about the road to gastrointestinal hell being paved with the best of dietary intentions. I spent Thanksgiving with my parents and their well-equipped pantry – that thing is chock full of nuts and rice crackers and kit-kat bars (oh, Kit Kat bars!! you make me so angry!). My brother took me to In-n-Out Burger for lunch (we don’t have In-n-Out in Oregon, folks). Then on T-Day there was the stuffing, and the turkey and the homemade cranberry sauce, and really, who can say no to a spread like that when you’ve been subsisting on canned sardines and salmon for weeks?  So I indulged and indugled some more. I regret my actions heartily as it’s taken over four days to feel like I’m not one of the floats from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. CIM, couldn’t you have been BEFORE Thanksgiving?

2. I feel SLOW. Slothful. Creaky. My running club’s track coach assured me tonight that I haven’t over-tapered, but I can’t help but worry that my legs are secretly filling themselves with cement and bricks while I sleep. Legs, let’s talk this over. I’m going to need you to be on your A-Game for the marathon. Tell me what I can do. Tell me how I can pamper you. Tell me how I can pump you up.  You are my firm, muscled Sequoias who will carry me 26.2 miles – help me help you.

3. I feel MOODY. Shrewish. Full of Grumble.  No, I checked. I am not on my period. No, I am not suffering from hormonal imbalances… I am just cranky and ill-tempered. Blah! I blame the reduced mileage and the lack of running-related endorphins. CIM, I have been crushing on you for months and Sunday will be like our second date. I am full of nervous, pent-up, moody feelings.

4. I feel EXCITED, but TIRED. I know, WTF? Excited and tired at the same time? Apparently I am a pre-marathon emotional train wreck.  It’s good to be excited, no?  I wish I could be totally cool and play it off. “Yeah, I can’t go out this weekend because I’ll be running a marathon. Nah, it’s no big deal… whatever…”  But, no. I am not cool, nor am I calm. I can’t wait for Sunday – and yet I wish that Sunday would postpone itself indefinitely.

5. I feel LONELY. This is so strange. I know I shouldn’t feel this way. I have great friends. I have many blogger/runners/friends who have been nothing but supporitive. But as the race draws near, I feel like I’m battling a lot of inner-demons. This is my biggest pre-marathon complaint. I am trying to relax. I am trying to bring down my anxiety before it takes over. I go to bed and try to push off the negative, worried feelings. This is my biggest challenge. I won’t let the anxiety take hold.

There you go. My top 5 Taper Complaints. I have battled my inner demons tonight through blogging and a small (small!) glass of red wine (totally allowed, I’m still 5 days away from the race).


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in California International Marathon, marathon, portland, running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Tapering Madness

  1. MJ says:

    This all sounds pretty healthy to me. It’s also how you know that you are challenging yourself. If you were 100% chilled out you’d probably need to look for a different challenge.

    Enjoy the taper – it’s making you faster.


  2. leslie says:

    You are so right on with everything you said! Add in PMS and you’ve got MY personal madness (and why won’t my period start — I REALLY don’t want to deal with that AND my first marathon!!!). TMI? Perhaps. But I “get” what you’re saying!

  3. aron says:

    i am feeling you on all those too… i am SO tired this week!!! i just can’t get enough sleep. personally i think the thanksgiving holiday threw me way off, i keep feeling like there should be another week before the race! 4 days to go now 🙂 it will be here before we know it!!!

  4. Frank says:

    Great post! I am running the Dallas White Rock marathon on 12/14 and am going through the same feelings. I hate tapering and can never seem to find the right balance of rest and running. Best of luck at CIM!

  5. Betsy says:

    Poor Heather. All I can say is that I’ve been there… and that I recommend combining that red wine with some Advil PM.

  6. You are totally prepared and are guaranteed to kick some a$$. Only 3 more days now, hang in there!

  7. chic runner says:

    You are going to do great, it’s almost here. I’ve been through the taper madness and even though it was only for a 1/2, I feel like EVERYONE goes through it! Ugh, it’s only a few more days away, hang in there!

  8. robertv says:

    Thanks, Heather.

    I don’t want to jinx it or anything, but with your great training, the great course and (fingers crossed) the great weather, I think you may just lift off the ground and start flying. Best of luck, we’re all rooting for you down here. Yes, it appears you have developed a fan base in Austin.

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