Unplanned Taper Madness (Day 25 – TGIF)

11 Jun

OMFG.  I have been such a crank lately – just ask poor Coachy.  He sends me an article to read on pre-race fueling ideas and I flipped, telling him I don’t need fueling advice (and that’s the nice short version). Then I tell him I want to run faster like everyone else, and that I don’t think he’s pushing me hard enough, and that I shouldn’t listen to him because he does one thing and tells me to do another (hmm well lets see – more than a year of experience in running on me, plus 5 completed marathons to date…and I’m not taking advice suddenly, why? Yes, I am a meanie, and a stubborn ass).

What a jerk right? And that’s the toned down nice version. It took me all day today to figure out what has gotten into me.  I’ve been cranky, lazy, and just downright BLAH for the past week. But not blah as in I don’t feel good because my allergies are kicking my ass.  Blah as in, ugh, whatever, no drive, no motivation, no niceness. If you know me, you know this is not me.

So, what’s the deal? The past two days have been the worst – all day today I tried to figure it out.  Then I was reading a blog I frequent, Shut Up and Run, and she had written a post about high training volume and being burnt out  and/or bitchy. 

AND JUST LIKE THAT

DING DING DING

By George, I’ve got it. I am suffering from:

UNPLANNED TAPER MADNESS
So taper madness is bad enough, right? Right.  I really only experienced it bad once, right before I ran the Charlottesville Half-Marathon.  I was well into what was going to be my second ever 100+ mile month and I was tapering for my second ever half marathon.  I got nutty, WICKED FREAKIN HYPER, and then I went for a run (a really good run – 4.49 miles in 42:14, a 9:24mm average pace) and I felt better, no psychobitchfromhell bad attitude, lazy, I hate the worldness.  Then I raced, then the training started back again for my third half.  No big deal – being hyper/crazy/silly/wild is something I am, so if tapering makes me that way but just intensifies it, along with the sudden twinge in the calf (or maybe it was the shin, oh no, are my shin splints back?), and painful toe because I may have cut the toenail too short (Or did I not cut it short enough and now it’s bruised, and maybe it’s going to fall off during the race?), well then so be it. 
There’s a huge difference in unplanned taper madness and planned taper madness you see. At least when it’s planned, you can throw on your shoes, head out the door for a quick little easy jaunt, and you’re feeling back to normal without compromising your training, or your race. When it’s unplanned – you have to consider why it’s unplanned, and try your best to deal with it, without turning psycho.  For me it’s that I was burnt out from a wicked weekend after my first 18 miler – then this ridiculous allergy thing that really needs.to.stop.  like…now. I didn’t think my head was capable of producing this much snot, gross right? 
And now I’m not just talking running taper either.  I’m talking full blown all workouts taper – which means I’ve even been missing my beloved yoga sweat fests.
Lets have a look, shall we? 
My first 2 weeks of May (my biggest training month to date) looked like this (I know it’s kinda small, just click on it if you really care):
First two weeks of June (should be my biggest training month after May since it’s the pre-marathon month):
Pretty sad right? I honestly had no idea how much of an effect all of this training was going to have on my life. I am one unhappy little camper when I can’t train.  
I’m back after it tomorrow with a 5k race with friends (slower than my PR – more just for fun, it’s for a local charity that a coworker of mine belongs to).  Then Sunday is my first 20 miler – aka the marathon simulator (well, almost – I’m going to run it at 30 seconds slower than my marathon pace, but minus that pesky extra 6.2 miles tacked onto the end.)
Here’s to hoping this weekend is the cure for all that ails me and I can seriously get back on track.  Three full weeks before race week! 
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