Thursday, September 22, 2005

Caution, taper ahead

With 10 days to go until
TCM I can see the taper on the horizon. No endurance athlete cares much for tapers, I hate them in mid season in particular. I've figured out that my muscles are the most fatigued about 6 days after a long run, so I am aiming for one last speed workout and one final long run this week. Then rest and wait. I will probably run 2-3 miles on Tues and a short bike on Thurs and then that's it. I tried the speed workout yesterday in the afternoon heat (92 degrees) and humidity. We even had tornados last night, unheard of in September. Since it was the last day of summer, and it was hot, we stopped for the obligatory after school ice cream. The speed workout started well with a 3:53 loop (that I've calculated to be 800 yards or .45 miles) for a warm up. Loop 2 on 45 sec rest was 3:35, at the end of which it occured to me that a McDonalds strawberry shake, no matter how appealing on a hot day, is not a good pre speed workout snack. Loop 3 on 2:10 rest (Soapinator had to take a cycle on her bike and I had to time her) took 3:21. Ironically I thought I was slowing down and barked in my own ear for the final 300. "Don't you dare quit! I don't care if strawberry comes blowing out your nose you are not quitting on this loop. We don't quit in the middle of a loop! Move your a-s-s!

Mommy you sound like you are dying.

gasp, gasp. Just catching my breath. Buuurrrrpppp.

Oh, nice one mom (what am I teaching these kids?

So, now decision time. The shake I should never have consumed is bubbling in the back of my throat waiting to spray chunky pepto bismal across the landscape. Its hot and my runs are feeling progressively less productive right now. Will one more lap add to my marathon experience or just leave pink acid burning the inside of my noise all night?

Then I glance at "the hill" 100 yards of sheer childhood thrill when covered with snow. It occured to me that it might be better to change this one into a hill workout. I have no idea why I thought running hills would be easier on the stomach than sprints, but the burp seemed to have helped and I ran to the top of the hill. As I toed up the last several yards I felt a tightening in my achilles that didn't feel so good. No, that didn't feel right at all. Decision time again. I could run several more hills and get in a good stressing working out, but I could also snap that tendon and be done.

Some days you just need to quit when you are ahead, or at least quit when that little voice is saying, hey moron, you're ahead right now but don't tempt fate, it's not worth it. I have no idea if running would have brought injury, and with only 10 days to go it just wasn't worth finding out the hard way.


nancytoby said...

Um... thanks for sharing. Strawberry belches. Yum.

I love tapering. I guess I'm too lazy to ever be a "real" endurance athlete.

Wil said...

Phew - good call on that hill, no sense in risking it. Am I remembering right that this is your first marathon? Sorry if I'm off, it's been a long dang week.

MAN I'm so excited for you! You're going to be awesome! And I'm going to need a ton of mental floss to get that strawberry mess out of my head! :)

Chris said...

Sounds like a good plan! The only thing that you can really do during your taper is hurt yourself. When in doubt, leave it out! :)

Flatman said...

Oh man, I would probably puke one of those without sprints or hills!

Have a good taper!

Tri-Geek Kahuna said...

stopping is a sign of maturity (at least that's what i've read). congratulations, and good luck on your marathon.