How not to taper for a marathon

Weekly total: 8 mi

What a mess. The last week before your marathon is supposed to be filled with quiet anticipation and excitement. Low mileage, high energy, daydreaming of PRs and cheering crowds.


For my real job, I am a trainer. I teach educators about technology. As such, I make presentations at conferences… LOTS of conferences. The only unfortunate thing about the timing of this marathon is that it falls less than a week after my last conference. For the record, I love teaching, don’t mind conferences, I’m not a huge fan of the travel and I HATE, (repeat for emphasis) HATE conference food and eating out for days on end.

So why the long face about my last week of taper?

  1. No sleep. Combination of factors here. Stress, excitement, new bed, etc.
  2. Too many parties we are required to “make an appearance” at. Most of which have only beer and junk food to eat.
  3. Food poisoning. Yep… Six months of being healthy as an ox only to be brought back down to earth at the WORST possible time by a bad salad at one of the afore mentioned restaurants I don’t like eating at. Nothing like showing up at the starting line of a marathon with diarrhea and dehydration. My stomach still sounds like a thunderstorm.
  4. The resort we were at is on a lake in VERY hilly territory so I decided to use their dreadmill which promptly ate my favorite shirt about 2 miles into the run. The shirt fell off the rail and got sucked into the back side of the belt, seizing the treadmill immediately and sending me running face first into the display panel at an 8 minute pace.
  5. I decided to go for one last run with the group this morning. You know, just a mile or two as they took off. We had some rough weather come through last night and there was crap all over the trail, which I promptly stepped on and twisted my OTHER ankle. Not bad… I don’t think… But I guess I’ll find out…

Note to self: Next time you run a marathon (yes, he said “next time”), you are hereby banned from going out in public the week prior to the race (if you make it that long). You will stay in bed with pillows strapped to yourself, crawl everywhere you need to go and eat plain pasta with water for the entire week.

But you know what? It’s too late now. I’m committed mentally, physically, emotionally and financially to this effort. So here is how I look at it.

  1. I’ll sleep better knowing I finished a marathon.
  2. Parties build character and legends 🙂
  3. The extra five pounds I lost with the food poisoning will just make me that much faster.
  4. That shirt was too big anyway.
  5. Wounds heal, chicks dig scars and besides… since it was the other ankle I twisted this time, now I don’t limp… It’s all about balance…

I leave tomorrow morning, rumbly tummy, crappy ankles and all, to go achieve a goal I set over a year ago. I will toe the starting line 54 pounds lighter, wiser (questionably) and happier (definitely) than I have ever been. Nothing short of a comet strike or the return of Elvis (the real one) will keep me from hearing that gun go off. The rest is just 26, 1 mile victory laps.

…but, for at least the next 24 hours, I’m gonna go strap pillows to myself and crawl around the house (and ice my ankle…).

I will do the obligatory race report on Monday.


5 Responses to How not to taper for a marathon

  1. Greg says:

    All you’re doing right now is adding to the post-race stories about what you had to overcome the week before the race. It’s not fun (believe me, I know how you feel), but you’re going to be great!

  2. Life is what all these stories are about. You’re too funny. Don’t get too anal over it all… go have fun.
    You ROCK!
    Coach Dean

  3. Pokey says:

    When you cross the finish line, you will forget any of this ever happened….

  4. Hang in there. All these “speed bumps” will just make the prize that much more sweeter. Good luck in the race.

  5. […] nothing else on the menu looked appetizing (so far, so good… If you are confused, read this for […]


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