This is the fifth race I've done a taper for (confessions: I didn't taper for either the Stillwater Log Run 10 mile or Loony Challenge last year) and this is the one I'm feeling the most anxious during. I'm really feeling the taper blues this time around and it's strange. Here's how I'm feeling currently (11 days into a 21 day taper):
- more tired even though I've had no changes to my sleep or caffeine levels
- more little aches and pains (especially in my calves and back)
- anxiety about if I'll be able to reach my goals
I don't remember feeling like this mentally or physically while tapering for my other half marathons. Maybe it's because of the different training schedule. With Hal Higdon's plans (which I used for my other races), it's just the week leading up to the race you cut back on mileage. With this heart rate training plan, it's three weeks of cutting-back including the last week being a drastic cut-back. I'll only run for a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes next week (but I'm still keeping two days of speedwork at least). It makes me anxious that I haven't had as high of mileage as past training cycles, even though I've done tons more dedicated speedwork.
It might also be the fact that on top of training for a half, I've got a wedding coming up six days after my half. There's a lot of little last-minute details to take care of at this point and a lot of being busy. We've been doing something every weekend for the last month and it won't stop until the weekend after our wedding. While it's been nice to have something else to concentrate on besides wedding planning, I'm dealing with little anxieties from both of these big events coming up so quickly.
With all that being said, here are some ways I'm trying to combat these taper blues:
- speeding more time on active recovery: I've been increasing my foam rolling time and with the warmer weather my walks with Vinnie have gotten slightly longer. I'm also planning on getting in some time on the elliptical next week to keep moving without putting extra stress on my body.
- making time for fun activities: I've been making sure I spend time on something fun (and not race or wedding related) everyday, which mainly is knitting and watching some comedy shows with Mike.
- making sure I'm prepared for the race: I've already started looking at the 10 day forecast so I can be prepared for the weather. I've been studying the course map and elevation and will probably read race reviews from people who have run it recently. I'm also checking out where to have brunch right after the race because I will be needing my post-race mimosa.
I'm hoping these will help just a little with the taper blues, there will be an update in my pre-race post and taper week reviews about how the taper blues are going for me.