Stuck in the Taper

This is what the taper feels like.

A little over a week until the big race and I’m stuck in taper limbo.  Ask any marathoner and they’ll tell you.  The taper is the worst.

The taper is the 1 to 2 week period prior to the race and the time when the runner backs off training so that the legs will be well-rested, fresh on race day.  It’s the time when the runner gets stir crazy.  You feel sluggish.  You feel fat.  Your body still wants to eat like you’re heavily training but you’re not so you have to fight the urge.  You can’t afford to gain weight during the taper – trust me,  nobody wants to lug around extra pounds for 26.2 miles.

Have you ever been to the zoo and seen a big cat stuck in a tiny cage?  Notice how they anxiously pace back and forth, seemingly desperate to return to the wild where they can freely run, unencumbered.  This is what the taper feels like.

I’m not sure how physically ready I am for the big race, but mentally, I so want to be standing on that starting line.  When the starting gun fires, it’s always such a huge relief to me.  Finally, we race.

The Shamrock marathon on Sunday is my playoffs.  I’ve gone through the regular season and now it’s do or die time.  Winning, for me, means finishing in less than 3 hours and 21 minutes.  That gets me into the marathoner’s Super Bowl, the Boston Marathon.  This is one of the beautiful things about running.  In what other sport does the small time competitor get to compete head-to-head with the world’s best? 

All I have to do between now and race day (besides a few easy runs) is wait, just make it through this time warp that is the taper. 

Tick.  Tock.

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2 Responses to “Stuck in the Taper”

  1. Richard Hefner Says:

    Good luck Allen… hope you end up with the big BQ!

  2. aaron Says:

    well put. Tapering blows! Rock it out man! The race is your reward for all the hard work. Enjoy it!!!

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