Average Jane Runs

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SEVEN DAYS…Taper Madness!

So we’re down to the proverbial wire. One week from today I will be embarking upon my second 26.2-mile journey. I’ve been going from zen to freaked out and back to zen again for the last week. Mostly, though, I just feel like this…

…which is absolutely nothing new. Honestly I think the Zombie Tiredâ„¢ is keeping me well distracted from this crazy little thing called tapering. Ah, those last few weeks of winding down the mileage to prepare the body for the Big Day. A relaxing time to recuperate from all those draining workouts and a chance to reflect on all the hard work you’ve put into your months of training. A time to take bubble baths with epsom salts. A time to eat lots of delicious carbs with no regrets. Two weeks of serene, starchy, contemplative bliss…

Well, maybe I’m doing it wrong but I am far from relaxed. My muscles are twitching and my appetite is through the roof and my energy can’t decide if it’s nutso or dragging and all I can think about is how my longest run was only 18 miles and 18 miles means I still have 8.2 miles after that and I’m gonna be so slow and HOLY CRAP I’M RUNNING A MARATHON IN SEVEN DAYS!!!

I keep trying to tell myself what I always stress to others – TRUST YOUR TRAINING. The only time I really missed any significant runs was when I was injured. Granted, that was over a month of lost mileage buildup keeping me from hitting the one or two 20-milers I had on the books but it was definitely a necessary hiatus. I successfully returned to training and completed my adjusted plan. Aside from my usual exhaustion, I feel strong, able, and for the most part, ready. There is no reason why I should worry.And yet, I do. And I will. But I know that as soon as I get to the start line and see the runners, walkers, volunteers, supporters, friends, families, and survivors – all out there for the kids of St. Jude – the worry will melt away. Because in the end it’s not about finish times or mileage or even running. It’s about thousands of people coming together for an amazing cause. For one day, we’re all family. That thought always seems to bring me back to zen.

What are your favorite methods of de-stressing and decompressing? (Leave a comment with your answer for THREE extra entries into the St. Jude Marathon AJHeroes Giveaway drawing!)


25 Responses to “SEVEN DAYS…Taper Madness!”

  • Aimee says:

    My real favorite method is sleep, but that is hard to come by. So I would say a long shower or a stiff drink.

  • Mel says:

    Meditation. I sit in the dark, with a few candles, and just think. I haven’t done that in a while, so now I know why I’m so stressed. Think I’ll go do that right now.

  • JuliaP says:

    Bubble bath. :)

  • Sandra says:

    reading a good book and being transported into a totally different world, far away from whatever is stressing me out

  • Vickivol says:

    Relaxing: Bubble Baths (when I can’t get to a Jacuzzi), candles, long deep breaths and cool jazz…
    Decompression: That’s a whole other monster…probably better leave it at this. :)

  • Alisa says:

    I couldn’t handle the taper, and I knew that I shouldn’t be running, so I walked. A lot. I knew that it was less stressful on my knees, but still gave my body an outlet for the restlessness that it was feeling.

    You’ll do great on race day!

  • jeannette cowgill says:

    There was a time when a bubble bath or long drive with good music was a non-stop flight to zenland for me. Today it is a tickle fight with my two year old boy. His honest unadulterated laugh melts away the world! His laugh reminds me that life is wonderful, amazing and truly simple. Another sure fire cure for anxiety (especially the late night clinching kind) is to stand by his bed to watch and hear him breathe. I am guaranteed to, within a few short minutes, to find that I have synchronized my breathing to his calm sleepy pattern/tempo and all is relaxed.

  • Emily says:

    You’re gonna rock it! I can’t wait for the recap. I’ve got my first longer-than-5k this upcoming weekend too. It’s going to be a great weekend for both of us. I can just feel it :)

  • DuffyR says:

    Quiet time, however I can get it: long shower or bath, curling up with a good book when the house is empty (or asleep), a walk in the park with some great tunes in my ears…

  • Crystal says:

    My favorite way of destressing is cranking up the music and singing (maybe dancing too!!) really loud. Also, yoga.

  • Laurie says:

    What is this thing called relaxation? If I could afford it, it’d be an hour long deep tissue massage weekly. But, since I can’t, deep breathing exercises it is.

  • I haven’t quite found a good way to get de-stressed during a taper. I find that I have waaaay too much energy and can’t sleep and get even more anxious. Tapering is a true mental challenge.

  • Suzanne says:

    I love reading and watching movies especially while curled up on the couch. If you’re looking for something more active then I say deep clean the house. There’s nothing better than a really clean house to put my mind at ease.

  • Julia says:

    I’ve never really been good at destressing from anything. I try to do relaxing things like bubble baths, but I get all antsy and my brain goes crazy. About the only way to get it to shut off for a little while is sleep.

  • Emily says:

    I destress by sleeping. Retail therapy normally works too :)

  • Chris says:

    I alternate between finding semi-active things to do and trying to find things like books or video games to try to keep my mind off the fact that I am starting to feel like I am crazy.

  • Rob Savarese says:

    Hot Baths are the way to go, and plenty of naps! If you NEED to do something then break out the foam roller.

  • Rich says:

    Favorite way to destress, watch a good, funny movie. Nothing that makes you think too much, more along the lines of “Blazing Saddles”, “Animal House”, and “Old School”. If you can do it while taking the hot, bubble bath, that’s icing on the cake!

  • Paul says:

    Long, hot shower…followed by several cups of coffee on the couch watching TV.

  • Adam says:

    Trusting in my training and good music….music that gets me in the mood run run far. However, I think a little bit of stress & worry are good; in that the slight stress helps to push me during the race. If I was totally stress free (which I am most of the time) I wouldn’t run well at all.

  • I am terrible at tapering but yoga has done wonders for me and of course, this is anti-taper, but I usually do some strength training the week before but dial it back a bit. Another way is to watch a bunch of movies that make me laugh – especially the uncut version of “The Sweetest Thing.”

  • MO_sisu says:

    Salt bath, good tea, and plenty of sleep does the trick for me!

  • Kim says:

    Long hot showers and hot yoga. Nothing is better than stretching out your muscles in a hot room, with not a care in the world. Whenever I’m stressed, I know I have to practice yoga. I destress so much more in hot yoga verus regular temp yoga.

  • karen says:

    I think zoning out in front of the TV is the best way for me to decompress. I hardly have time to watch anything, but the hour a day I’m a home and awake, I’ve got on reruns of NCIS or Law and Order, which are strangely calming for me. It distracts my mind from thinking about my life, and all the things I need to do!

    Good luck at your race!

  • Gary says:

    Beer and scotch usually does the trick but if that’s out due to dehydration and proximity to a race, only a normal routine of good food, standard eating times and normal sleep works for me. The night before a big race, forget it all, sleep is alway restless but I’m ready to go in the morning! I’m usually anxious that morning too but once the gun fires, it’s all business.

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