About the taper.
The taper is killing me. I’m used to running 30 or 35 miles a week. That’s what it took to get into the shape I’m in. That is what it took to be able to face this half marathon head-on. That’s what it took to mentally prepare myself, to realize that I could run for two hours without stopping and without dying. And though I’ll admit the strange comfort I felt after completing a long run may have been a bit obsessive, I’m used to my stopwatch ending at around 102 minutes, until this stupid taper, which is what I’m dealing with now. Experts advise that the two weeks prior to racing a half marathon, every runner should practice the taper. Basically, it means forgetting everything you learned about long runs and going the distance and running for speed. For two weeks, you’re supposed to rest often and run little. No more 11-mile long runs, no more 8-mile long runs — none of that. Just short, three or four mile runs and lots of walking and, if you’re me, worrying. I’m not very good at the taper, it’s making me feel bloated and unhealthy and unprepared. It’s making me forget that I am ready to run and that I will be fine. In my silly brain, it is unraveling everything I know that is true and is, instead, replacing truths with half-truths and confidence with unhealthy levels of angst. I may not be good at the taper, but I am a master of this little thing I call anxiety.