So here we are. Race week.
Unfortunately, this is my least favorite part of this whole thing… I hate the taper. I am the type of person that enjoys training for a race far over race day itself, so when the taper shows up between the part I like and the part I don’t, I am not myself. I am hungry, achy, lazy, grumpy, restless and impatient. My mind wanders. I can’t focus long. I can’t sleep. I definitely prefer training over this any day. I enjoy long runs with my friends. I like big meals and hot showers. I revel in getting dirty and then clean. Eating whatever I want. Logging the miles and feeling tired but stronger by the week.
Race day doesn’t even come close to being as fun either. There’s the early alarm. I barely sleep. Mad rush to eat, pack the car and get to the start. Race bibs. Pins. Watches. Drop bags. Other, super fit, runners running around looking ‘ready’ and fast. A lot of hurry up and wait. Gu and gear and gun… boom, it starts.
Honestly, it isn’t fun for me (not entirely) until I finish. I like it better in the rear view mirror. The memories that come flooding back of the countless training runs, how difficult it was to climb that last hill and how exciting it was to see people you love cheer you on through something so challenging. BUT since this isn’t really a ‘race’ for me, it’s a test of endurance, I have decided to embrace the taper. To eat when I am hungry. To rest when I can. To enjoy being showered and fresh for a few days. I am going to rely on my training, plan early so I am not rushed, stretch it out and enjoy staying off of these tired feet. I’m going to focus on building up the efforts ahead instead of tearing myself down with fear.
And then, with every last thing I have in me, I am going to run 50 miles around Mt Hood.