Friday, September 26, 2014

Marathon Madness

In just 9 short days, I will have already completed the Wineglass Marathon.  It will be my 5th full marathon.  I'm running it with my dear friend Holly.  It will be her first marathon!  There is something special about your first marathon.  I'm so excited to get to run beside it and experience it with her.

So much goes into training for a marathon.   People look at you like you've lost your mind when you tell them you are going to run 26.2 miles.  Yeah, like that is the hard part. Training is hard.  Running up to 4 hours every Saturday morning for 16 weeks is hard.  Explaining to your friends and family that you can't do something because you have a long run the next morning is hard.  Balancing your diet, hydrating, cross training, work, life and running is hard.  Sure, even the marathon is hard.  But the hardest part of all for me?  The two weeks before the marathon.  AKA - the taper.

A taper is when you reduce your mileage before the race.  You spend your time resting, foam rolling, hydrating, running easy, etc.  It's not the reduced mileage that gets to me.  Let's face it, I'm totally fine slacking there.  Tapering is a mental game.  It's when those ugly emotions of doubt and anxiety creep in.   I question everything I've done for the last 16 weeks.  Will it be enough?  I should have run more.  I should have run faster.  Why did I eat those 57 cookies (not at once, but it's at least that many in 16 weeks, right)? Can I do this?  What is this nagging pain?  I wonder if I have a stress fracture.  Also, I'm an emotional basket case.  I'm already an easy crier.  But for the days leading up to the marathon, I have to hydrate extra for the random tears.  Seriously.


How do you combat the taper madness?  I have no idea.  But a little extra motivation seems to help.  Here are two of my favorite running motivators.

I know when race day gets here there will be plenty of nerves, but deep down I know I'm ready.  I love distance running.  It's a chance to show yourself what you're made of.  It's a test of wills.  As someone once told me, after you finish a marathon you feel like you could conquer the world.  That is a very accurate description.   But if you see me before the marathon, give me a hug and be prepared for me to randomly burst in to tears!  Ahhh, you've got to love the taper.

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