The Big Day is officially two weeks away. As I taper down my training, I have lots of extra time to think about my goals and plans.
That also means that I have lots of extra time to panic that I won’t be able to finish.
I have heard that tapering is the hardest part of training, because your body is used to doing a lot of work and doesn’t know what to do when you suddenly decrease your mileage. More importantly, your mind doesn’t really know what to do with this change either, hence the “taper crazies.” I generally consider myself pretty crazy on a normal day, so I don’t exactly need any extra help to push me over the edge to full on wacko.
It’s also marathon weekend here in New York. The whole city fills up with runners and spectators, and the support and passion around the event is really wonderful. But it does not make it any easier to calm your crazy nerves.
Yesterday I had planned to do 12 miles for my long run. One perk of not spending 3+ hours running is the extra flexibility I had in my schedule. I decided to sleep in a bit more than usual (and by that I mean I woke up at 7am instead of 5:30 or 6, so it really can’t be considered sleeping in) before I headed out.
I ended up making it to the Park right when the Dash to the Finish Line was happening, which is a 5K run that ended at the Marathon finish. I decided to stop and watch for a little while.
I didn’t know anyone running, and this was a very causal race that was really meant for fun. But do you want to know what I did? I teared up. Yep, crazy. I told you.
I was thinking about the finish line in Philadelphia and what a big accomplishment it will be, and I guess the taper crazies got to me.
Once I managed to pull myself together, I was able to finish the rest of my run. And holy crap, the Park is beautiful.
Like usual on my long runs, I wasn’t thinking about pace at all. I actually tried to not look at my Garmin, and I ended up being pretty consistently around a 9:30 pace.
My legs felt a little heavy, but I was able to shake that out eventually. I also stopped once or twice or twelve times, but how can you not stop to take a picture of this?
Today I watched the actual marathon for a bit with my friend Jackie, and I finally let myself feel excitement. I was feeling a lot of nerves also, but mainly excitement. Running is painful and challenging, but it’s also fun. And I have never run a marathon, but I am willing to bet that it’s pretty efffing exciting.
Fear and nerves should be expected, because it means that I have put in a lot toward this whole thing and that I care about it. Plus, I think fear can be a good thing, because it’s only really a problem if it stops you. You can choose to take it as energy and use it as an advantage.
Or at least, hopefully I can 🙂
So for the next two weeks, I am going to be dealing with a lot of taper crazies and LOTS of nerves, but I hope I remember to get excited sometimes too. And I’d like to go ahead and apologize in advance to all my friends and family for dealing with me. Like I said, I’m usually pretty crazy, so everyone should be used to it, but I’m still glad that I have some people who put up with me.
Also, I am going to really enjoy running on lots of crunchy leaves.