Thursday, April 16, 2009

Seven Days of Taper Trauma: Panic Attacks (Day Four)

Golden Rule of Taper: Thou shalt breathe deeply and slowly upon sudden realization you did not run enough hills/tempo workouts/speed sessions/long runs/[insert workout here].

In the final month of training I developed a terrible habit of comparing splits from similar workouts run at about the same time last fall, before the NYC Marathon. Cra-zy. Now that there's nothing left to do (but rest and keep the rust off), my NYC inferiority complex has escalated to panic. Those Newton Hills are going get me! I ran on the treadmill too much! I only did two 20-milers! My tempo runs weren't fast enough! I never ran 10 Yasso 800s, I always stopped at eight! Ahhh!
And so it goes.

Once again, the RW Taper Traps article assures me this doomsday outlook is completely normal. And here's how they suggest dealing: "Collect all the information you can about the racecourse from your registration materials, the race's Web site, and even personal insight from those who have run it in previous years. If possible, run parts of the course or ride the whole thing....Knowing everything you can about that hill at mile nine will help you
conquer it. You can also come up with solutions to problems that might arise during the marathon, such as how you'll handle a blister or a side stitch, so that you know you'll be prepared to overcome any obstacle."

So that's how I'm handling today's taper trauma: I'm poring over the race material, grilling Kate for advice since she ran this sucker in '07 and '08, and I'm taking slow, deep breathes every time my heart flutters in that panicky, dreadful way. I'm also going to listen to my running guru, Kara Goucher, who told Fit-Ink that she doesn't have a mantra helping her through Boston, she has a word: courage: "To be courageous to hang in for the long haul, to be courageous to run my own race, to be courageous to believe in myself." Courage is something we could all use more of during training, during taper and while we race. I'm making it my word, too. Photo grabbed from Posted by Liz

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