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Monday, May 21, 2012

Ready Already

Can we just run the race now, please?

The taper weeks are maddening for several reasons. First of all, you're not running as much as normal, so there is an extra level of energy bubbling below the surface. Depending on the mood that you're already in, you may be extra happy or extra quick to anger during these weeks. The body gets used to physical stress, and when that stress is relaxed, the body is still ready to go.

Second, I'm finding that I'm pretty much always hungry now, which is a little disturbing. Normally, I'm hungry a lot because I'm putting in a lot of miles. I have to fuel that exercise somehow, so I eat an abnormal amount of food for someone my size. What is interesting (or uncomfortable, as I discovered last night) is that the runner's appetite does not dissipate when the miles are cut back. At least, not right away. I find myself constantly hungry and wanting to eat more, but my body is not processing all of that food in the "save yourself" manner it needs to maintain during hard training.

Finally, there's the simple fact that I am impatient. I haven't done a marathon in nearly 7 months, and I've been training regularly for five of those. Sure, I had a 10K in there, but that's not really the same thing. If  10K goes wrong, I might have to walk for 30 minutes or so to get to the finish. If a marathon goes wrong, I won't be walking much at all.

Within two weeks, you get into a No Man's Land of anxiety. It's close enough that you can't run very much and, of my own choosing, I can't have a beer or a Coke. However, I'm far enough away that the date of the race does not yet appear in the 10-day forecast, which doesn't stop me from checking it pretty much every day. I constantly review my mileage for the year and double-check the pace bracelet that it hanging above my desk. I'm creating mental lists of everything that I have to pack and creating hour-by-hour schedules on my Google calendar.

And I'm getting in my last few miles. Today, I had to run an errand early and did not check the hours of the store at which said errand had to occur. Fortunately, I had my running stuff with me, so I did a quick five miles in the area before returning to the store to get everything done. Other than the cashier's confusion at my sweat, it worked out nicely.

My miles will fit into neat little pockets over the next couple weeks, which will make it harder to keep myself disciplined. I have to get lots of sleep and drink lots of water, and I must reduce my stress level as much as I can. All of this is constantly going through my head, reminding me that Operation Qualify is T-minus 12 days from now, when I would give almost anything for it to be tomorrow. I want to get it done. I want to celebrate. I want to start figuring out where I'm going to stay in Boston.

And I really want some dinner.

Monday's workout:
78 degrees, sunny
5.57 miles

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