Monday Morning Fitness Blogging: Taper-tastic

I was on the telephone to my niece, aged 4, and I told her I was going to be running in a very long distance race.

“Is it a race for adults?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Are you going to win?”

The elite women athletes will make the ten miles in around 51-52 minutes.  In contrast, I will be ecstatic with any time under 1 hour 40 mins, and especially happy if I can walk down a set of stairs on Monday without wearing a grimace.  I can but imagine while trailing the route of the long-dissolved wake of their energy what a superhuman feat it is to run ten miles in 51 minutes.

No, I’m not going to win.  I probably won’t come last, and at the end I’ll be happy just to be alive.

I’m into the taper period before the event, which is my favourite part: a gradual gearing down of the distances to ensure that I’m not exhausted and that I have enough reserves from which to summon during the big day.  For the past two weeks I have run two midweek 3-milers and a weekend 7.5ish-miler.  Yesterday, I ran four miles and it was easy.   This week I’ll get away with one 3-miler, a 2-miler, and a 20 minute blast on Saturday.

Since the race is quite far away from home, I’ll need to stay overnight nearer the venue.  This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’m nervous:  the advice is not to eat anything new or unexpected the day before the race (or for breakfast on race day).  I’m going to be eating whatever the local restaurant throws at me, and hoping for the best.  For breakfast I won’t be having my usual K-man magical energy-producing pancakes with bacon and banana and rivers of maple syrup (it’s not in any training manual, but it should be).   I’ll have what’s available in the unknown locality.

During the race I’ll burn around 1100 calories.  I’ll need to eat again fairly quickly after I’ve finished.  The one upside to this race and training enterprise is that  I need to eat like a pig, or I risk some kind of blood sugar collapse event.

The race is, alarmingly, televised.  Don’t worry though: there is no danger that I’ll feature on a TV near you, since I won’t even start running until the elites, which is all TV-people are interested in, have nearly completed their race.  In other news, if I were three years older I would qualify for the special veteran category.

It’s not the winning that counts, it’s the taking part!  And in my case, it’s the never taking part ever again that counts most of all.

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7 Responses to “Monday Morning Fitness Blogging: Taper-tastic”


  1. 1 unmitigated me (m.a.w.) October 18, 2010 at 11:49 am

    AH, but what if you do really well? And feel great about yourself? You wouldn’t try it again next year?

    • 2 nic October 18, 2010 at 5:26 pm

      Good question! I’ve been giving it some thought. I quite enjoy training towards a goal, and maybe an annual half-marathon isn’t a bad idea. The problem is that training for that kind of distance really does take up a huge chunk of time. Huge. This is my second long-distance run in seven months and maybe that’s just too much, which is why I’m OVER IT at this point. I might reconsider my ‘never’ thing if I come in with a decent time (by which I mean under an hour and a half).

  2. 3 Suzanne October 19, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Knock ’em dead and have a blast! Good on you for doing it!

  3. 4 Jen on the Edge October 19, 2010 at 1:40 am

    It’s going to be great! Good luck!

  4. 5 Jenn @ Juggling Life October 19, 2010 at 3:15 am

    I don’t know about the running, but I’d be all over that breakfast!

  5. 6 Rima October 20, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Good luck! I am very, very, impressed.

  6. 7 Jonathan October 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Good luck for the race (and I know all about the stairs thing – I used to go running before work, and have two flights of stairs to my office at work…)


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