taper madness

Itchy Legs

I’m 6 days out from my 3rd marathon so, if you’re a runner, you know what that means!  Let Taper Madness – or, as I call them, the Taper Crazies –  begin!

1.  Sunday has finally shown up on Environment Canada’s website.  I’m not sure if I’m happy or if I’m scared.

Let me explain why.  I am slow.  I run a 5+ hour marathon.  I will be finishing my run probably right when the day is getting to be its hottest.  Last year was roughly 15 (or more) degrees C, sunny, and it was pretty uncomfortable by the end.  While I love the no rain aspect I’d really like a little more cloud, although I can hope for wind off the water during the second half.  To be honest I’d be happy if it was even a little bit drizzly.  Downpour or steady rain no.  But if there was a bit of precipitation it would be okay.

2.  I have itchy legs.  I really wanted to run today.  However, I have my runs for this week planned out since I kind of over did it Friday with the 16km Vibram run.  Add onto that the 11 hours I spent at work yesterday and I knew my body needed the rest.  It just seemed like I was doing nothing today (aside from the mound of laundry…).  I’m running tomorrow while Spud’s at playschool.  It’ll probably only be for about an hour, but it will be my first outside run in a very long time.  Should be interesting.

3.  I am losing my mind and doing exceptionally stupid things.  I know that hydrating isn’t stupid.  But it is when you try to do it on auto-pilot.  Here’s the story; feel free to laugh.  Or be disgusted.  We have two Halo 3 Slurpee cups that we use fairly regularly.  Not sure why we kept them other than they’re big.  Whenever I drink water, which admittedly isn’t as often as it should be, I’ll use one of the cups.  They’re 22oz and since they’re blue plastic I convince myself that I’m somehow not drinking water.  Anyways, they weren’t in the cupboard so I pulled one out of the dishwasher, popped in a Kona Cola Nuun, poured the water, and carried it to the bedroom to drink while I attacked the aforementioned laundry.  Since the drink is brown I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.  Unfortunately I noticed a kind of sludge on the inside of the cup when I was about 3/4 of the way through.  I thought, “that’s weird, Nuun doesn’t usually leave much residue.”  And then it hit me.  The dishwasher had not been run.  What I was drinking was Kona Cola Nuun with the reconstituted remains of Colin’s banana-pineapple smoothie from the night before.  I gagged a little, wondered if I was going to poison myself since it had dairy in it, and then thought, “meh, at least I had about 2 cups of water.”  No, I did not finish the Nuun once I realized my mistake.  That would be gross.

4.  I am starting to get paranoid about getting sick.  My allergies (along with a glass of wine) made me think that I was coming down with the plague on Saturday.  Thankfully I felt much better on Sunday.  It’s going to be a long week since I take Spud to his drop in playschool program every day…

5.  Nightmares: haven’t had any yet, but they’ve made an appearance every training cycle so far so I’m not expecting anything different this time around.

Any “Taper Crazies” I’m missing?  

Can anyone top the drink story?  Colin’s comes close: he poured a glass of milk and couldn’t figure out why it kept getting sweeter the more he drank.  Turns out he used the cup he’d already made powdered iced tea in.  Ugh.

Monday Musings

→  Congratulations to all my friends (in real life and online) who completed the Boston Marathon today!  I hope all of you had an amazing experience whether it was the race of your dreams or not.  I can’t wait to hear all about it!

→  I ran my last long-ish run on Sunday (23km/14mi).  Thankfully the weather was great – sun, cloud, and a little bit of wind.  I didn’t have any fueling issues so I’m pretty confident for race day.  I felt a little sluggish, but I’m thinking that it was due to running on pea gravel for quite a bit of the run and my legs weren’t used to it.

→  It’s TAPER TIME!!!  Less than 2 weeks to go to race day.  I’m thankful that I’ve been through this before and understand that Taper Madness is a real affliction.  I’ve already started to have crazy dreams.  The one last night had me running the first half of my marathon on a treadmill (I’ve never run on one at all…).  Then the next day I had to run the remainder of the race, but there was something to do with trains, a shopping centre downtown, and multiple running friends.  I kind of wish I could remember it accurately.  I’m sure that the paranoia of becoming sick will kick in soon as well.

→  I missed my blogging anniversary (blogiversary?) a couple of days ago.  As of 15 April it’s been a year since I started rambling on here.  Thanks to everyone who stops by (more than once!) and takes the time to read and comment on things that I’m not sure have much value.  I know how much other people’s blogs have helped me out and inspired me and if I’ve done that for even one of you that’s awesome!  I’d love to promise some sort of giveaway to celebrate, but you shouldn’t hold your breath…  Eventually I’ll save enough pennies to do something HUGE.  You’ll just have to stop by once in a while to see if it ever happens. ☺

Six Days and a Crazy Dream

Yup. I have six (6) days left until my marathon. Well, it’s on the 6th day. Sunday. THIS Sunday.

I am trying to not think about it. I figure if I’m neutral about it I won’t freak out. So I’m working very hard to be neither excited nor anxious. Ask me again in a couple of days how I feel and I’ll probably be both, but there’s no point in getting worked up about it yet. I’m sure it will hit me Saturday morning when I get on the ferry and discover there’s no way out of what I’m planning to do…
The only thing I’m a little excited about is that I have my bib number – #120. I won’t be the 120th person across the finish line, but that’s okay. As long as I’m not DFL I’ll be happy!
I’ve heard of taper madness, but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it until 2 nights ago. What I know is that I’ve never had a running related dream before and since I am in the run-up to my marathon I feel all right attributing it to the taper. That, or it was catching up on running blogs while eating a warm bowl of apple crisp at 11pm.
Here’s my dream (at least what I can remember):

I arrived at the race site – pretty sure it wasn’t Victoria – and found a place to wait for the start. After a while we were told to go wait in a McDonald’s, but eventually we were fairly certain that no one was coming to get us. I wandered around until I found a race official and was blamed for listening to the first person as we were not supposed to leave the original location. Not only were we in the wrong spot, but the race had started already – like an HOUR ago!

Even though I had been waiting around I was not prepared for the race. I didn’t have my heart-rate monitor or my backpack on. I didn’t even have my socks! When I asked for help finding my socks I was handed a mismatched pair (one running sock, one regular). I complained that I was looking for my Injinji socks at which time the person helping me yelled that I could do it myself. Helpful! Eventually I found a matching black pair. I don’t wear black socks, but in my dreams I apparently do.

Once I was kitted out I had to get my timing chip. You’d think it would go on my shoe, but it was actually a little puffy sticker of a crab that stuck to my leg and went under a sleeve on my ankle. I had no idea how to attach it so some random stranger guy helped me out. Since I was glad to have had the help I insisted that I get his email so I could thank him again after the race and let him know how I did. Finally I was ready to race.

So I thought. Because I was starting an hour late I had to start with the relay support vehicles. The vans pulled out of the way so that I could cross the timing mats. I went to run across, but was told I was doing it wrong and there was a specific way to do it. I was supposed to run slowly across it, but not bounce. Kind of like a Baywatch run – in slow-mo.

Once on the course I found that it was very dark with almost no street lights. There were also no bathrooms. The route wasn’t clearly marked, but I did find a cafe in the middle to stop at for muffins. Eventually I crossed the finish line to find out my time was at least an hour and a half more than my goal time… not including the late start.
So that’s what my subconscious thinks about my marathon training. I have no idea what it means. I am either going to have a rotten race or an awesome race. If you have any interpretations please let me know!