Monday, September 12, 2011

Taper Tics

This morning I was sleepy when my alarm went off at 6 a.m. I'd had another 3 a.m. Will wake-up. This time he needed me to find Mr. Wawa, encourage him to use the bathroom...and to answer this question (and this is a spooky one from a preschooler when it's the wee hours and you're talking to him in the nightlight's bleary glow): "Mommy, are there real bottomless pits in this world?"

Since it's Taper Week, though, this wasn't a problem. At 6 a.m. I rolled over and went back to sleep for another hour. I had only a 30-minute run scheduled and I knew there would be plenty of time to do that on my break at work. And there was. It was hot but it felt good, like all runs do when you're tapering.

Here are some things I'm doing (other than ignoring my alarm) to make the taper feel special:

1) I'm ditching the Garmin until D-Day on Saturday. My old Timex died a couple of weeks back, so I'd been using the Garmin even on easy runs. Not this week. I borrowed Dan's Swiss Army watch and will do all my easy ones with it. No tracking miles. No tracking pace, even on the little shake-out track workout my McMillan plan is allowing me tomorrow. I'm going purely by feel.

2) I'm also ditching the tunes until the last eight-point-two miles of Saturday's race. Even on said track workout. The iPod is getting a rest. And when I do put on the phones this weekend, I'm going back to my old-school ones. I can't imagine trying to squish the Yurbuds into my sensitive ears when I'm 18 miles into what will hopefully be a fast-for-me marathon.

3) I've read a lot about really fast, awesome runners having stomach trouble in their recent races. I still don't have the magic bullet for this. But I've gotta try. So starting Wednesday it's good-bye to dairy (even my beloved Greek yogurt), nuts and nut butters, any and all things with artificial sweeteners (yep, I mean you Nuun, as good as you do taste and hydrate), anything spicy (salsa....sigh....) and anything with too much fiber (broccoli, whole wheat pasta, beans). I may even avoid my husband's tasty bread because he uses whole-wheat flour.

What will I eat and drink? Very bland things....grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, toast, white pasta with garlic and olive oil, tortillas, big pretzels with lots of salt, fruit (though probably not the night before, except for bananas), V8 juice and cranberry juice (I do NOT want another UTI or kidney infection).

4) I'm trying to read stuff that has nothing to do with running. Yesterday I picked up The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Anyone out there read that? I also have 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.

But I can't help dipping into some running things. Blogs, of course! And Running the Edge. And I pore over my now dog-eared McMillan spreadsheet, as if just reading it again will reveal some secret that could unlock Saturday for me.

5) I'm playing lots of two-handed bridge with Dan. Yes, bridge is a game for four people. But Will and Ruthie aren't quite ready to play with us yet (Ruth's getting pretty good at playing war, though) so we make do, each of us playing two of the four hands. It's hard to get better without playing, and we've found most of the bridge groups around here meet when one or both of us are at work.

6) I'm thinking about my playlist for those last 8.2 miles. Post on that to come!

Here's another video, this one courtesy of Christine, who told me about this on our hike last week. Since I'm sharing a hotel room this weekend with the awesome Erin of See Mom Run Far and her friend, Alana, I don't think the alarm issue will be a problem for me. And I don't plan to accept any hot tea from spectators....


  1. I really need to have a Zen run. No time limit, no distance limits.. Just running. I think that would be a lot of fun.

    I love Sinfield!

  2. I loved last week's recovery runs -- I still did 5 and 6 miles during the week but didn't tempo or interval. Just ran -- lovely. But back to the grind this week. I'm already looking forward to my December running -- that will be where I do miles but no speed work.

    Why the no music until the last 8.2 miles? Just curious.

  3. I always wonder what race it is I am going to over-sleep. I'm such a paranoid skizoid freak and am up half the night worrying about over-sleeping that one day it IS going to happen. Haha.

    I like the no tunes thing, not sure I could make it to 18.2 miles but I like to turn the thing off and listen to those around me. Around mile 10, when I start to notice a change - whatever that may be - I turn the iPod on then. I hope you find some great songs!! I have one on my last blog post ;).

    I didn't know you were sharing a room, that is soooo cool! I did that when I went to Boston - never met the woman, just knew through blogland and it worked out fantastic. I'm sure between you all, someone will remember to set the volume button on high!!

    Salty big pretzel?? Now that's an idea :). Baked Potato is another good one. On Saturday night, then you can eat whatever you want to celebrate!! CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU!!!!! So wish I could be there!!

  4. Great plan ... you've got it covered! I'm so excited for you! Can't wait to hear what you think about Logan ... I know you're gonna be awesome!!!

  5. I there for YOU, not me running it. Love to run it but not this year - ha.

  6. Sounds like a solid plan! You know what you need to do and you will kick some butt! Enjoy taper!

    The video cracked me up. I've seen it before but it's been some time.

  7. Oh my gosh, I am SO excited for you! It sounds like you are doing this taper thing right and I will be taking some tips from you before MCM next month. Especially in the nutrition department. I think that I was really only thinking about the day or two before my latest race and I definitely didn't make the right choices leading up to it. It's a shame to work THIS HARD for a marathon PR and then blow it all to poo with bad dietary choices.
    Anyway, also I will say that for my marathon yesterday I had a playlist and wore my ipod but did not even attempt to turn it on until mile 20. then, when i turned it on it actually irritated me so i shut it right off! didn't even listen to a single song! but i was glad that i had it with me, just in case.
    cannot wait to read more about your preparations and of course i am sooooo excited for you and will be sending you happy race day and speedy vibes come saturday!!!

  8. You sound very zen, girl :).

    As far as stomach problems, one girl suggested using pepto / immodium while racing, but maybe that would be under the "trying something new" category!