The Taper Crazies
We’re three days out from the big day and while most of my fellow students are preoccupied with basketball and brackets and guys who are seven feet tall, I’ve been dealing with a different kind of March Madness.
Sorry basketball, I just don’t really care that much. I’ve got other stuff on my mind.
I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster all week. On Monday, I had a tiny bit of a grown up temper tantrum after I spilled tea all over my Economics homework. On Tuesday, I did cartwheels on the front lawn because I was so excited. Today, during my second to last run before the BIG ONE, I teared up a little bit as I thought about the fact that in three days I’ll be racing through these streets as a marathoner.
I’m still dealing with this weird achey knee thing that won’t really go away, but after some heavy duty icing and ibuprofen-ing it’s not nearly as bad as it was a week ago. My run today gave me confidence that I’ll be able to run 26.2 miles on it, even though it’ll probably be more painful than it could be otherwise. But I figure marathons are eventually painful anyway, so its good to start mentally preparing myself.
Instead of dwelling on that, I’m working on visualizing the parts of the race that I’m confident about. I’m so excited to be running six miles of the race on the National Mall, where I’ve done so many of my training runs. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom and I know it’s going to be just beautiful. I’m thinking about the roar of the crowds when I come out of the tunnel at Dupont Circle, which was so exciting and invigorating when I did the half marathon last year. I’m thinking about the final downhill coming off the Anacostia Bridge and rounding towards RFK stadium, with point two miles left to go. It’s going to be fantastic. An amazing adventure and privilege. I’ll probably cry, and not just from the pain.
So, with three days to go, seven meals left to carbo-load, and one 20-minute shake out run between now and 26.2, I am ready for it to hurt, I am ready to push my body to its max (I’ve already spent time, dedication, and willpower, and I’ve said no to I don’t know how many late night parties in favor of a 7 a.m. Saturday long run). AND I’M READY FOR IT TO BE WORTH IT!
What do you worry about before the race? How do you deal with the taper crazies?