Tuesday, April 20, 2010


File this under, "How To Wreck Your Race Confidence in 3 Easy Steps".

When you begin to taper...

1) Run less and less mileage in between key workouts. Eventually, you'll begin to wonder if you're even in shape any more.

2) Place extra, extra importance on the few "key workouts" that are left. Make sure to approach each key workout with the mindset that IF you run it well, THEN and only THEN will you be afforded the " proof" of fitness. Because nothing says FAIL like pressure.

3) Sit back and notice how each progressive workout leaves you more and more stressed and less and less confident. Make sure to congratulate yourself on a job well done.

OK, so I have not done a bang-up job of peaking. Again. It seems that peaking at the right time for a marathon is my personal cross to bear. (Ooooh...nice tie in with the Polar Bears. Did you notice that? Totally accidental).

Looking back on the last month, I really came into my own with MP Intervals on the week of April 5th. I followed up a great mid-week Interval workout with a really great 18-mile Progression Run that turned into a Last-5-Miles-As-Fast-As-You-Can-Run run.

Every week after that week has brought nothing but feelings of being stale, and a growing doubt about being able to sustain goal race pace. This is where I began having anxiety about my key workouts. I've had no good key workouts since that 18 miler on 4/10. It's a toal mystery to me as to the reason for this. Perhaps it's mental. After that great week, I felt as if I couldn't run any better than I was running. Then I made it come true. And THIS is what has sapped my confidence.

Heading into Sunday's race, I know "rationally" that I'm in shape for a good effor. What's missing is the confidence those last key workouts should provide, but haven't.

Yet, you never know.

Perhaps this mindset will serve me well. It might just keep me from making the same pacing errors (over-confident pace) I've made in the past. So, basically, I don't know what to think.

I guess I'll just show up and run.

Perhaps this should be filed under, "I Am In A Weird, Weird Place"?


Reading Adam's post about his boring dreams made me remember this:

I dreamt last night that I was in the Olympic 100 Meters final. (Like I had to preface THAT with, "I dreamt")! I was nervous. My nervous tick of tying and re-tying my shoes to get them to feel "just riiight" was kicking in bigtime, and I was holding up the entire race. Finally, some coach came over and asked me what the HELL I was doing- just line up already, he says. So I line up in some goofy way (come to think of it, I didn't see any blocks...). The coach comes over and physically adjusts how I'm standing, looks at me like I'm a moron, gives me final instructions on what to do, and the gun goes off. I run the race of my life and WIN.



  1. There's nothing more boring than another person's dreams. I use it as the test of whether or not a woman's really into me.

    My most boring dream? I did laundry. That's all!

  2. I have no idea about the dream or the peaking thing. I've yet to run fast enough for a marathon to worry about if I've peaked. I just want to finish, preferably a bit faster than last time.

    I like your "show up and run" idea. I think that might work for you. ;o)

  3. The taper is truly the worst part for me.
    At this point I try to focus on mental training - like researching on the internet being mentally strong, etc. or reading positive running quotes, etc. Anything to get your mind in a better place because you are correct - YOU ARE READY to RUN! Hope it's a great one for you. Good Luck!

  4. Taper hell is well...hell!! There's nothing good about it; it's the period where our mind start to question every. single. thing from our training. It can drive you mad! Focus the next few days on getting as much rest as possible, eating only good for you things (and carb loading) and visualizing yourself running a stong race. You can do it, I know you can....and I'm going to be screaming my lungs out from the sidelines in Denver for you!!!

  5. Oh yeah, the taper is getting to you! Don't let it. I think everyone feels they are not trained to perfection, but it all works out in the end.

  6. Blah, taper sucks. I read something somewhere (hows that for an official referencing citing?) that said that the reason for a taper is to keep you lose. You're not going to lose a bit of acutal 'fitness'.

    Too funny about your dream. I'm with you though - the only time that I'd ever even CONTEST winning a race is when I had both eyes shut and my scooby doo blanket wrapped around me

  7. That's exactly the reason I avoid the taper all together. Well, sometimes anyway.

    At least we get to run in wind and rain on Sunday. That's something to look forward to.

  8. You are ready!!! You will do great :)

  9. I think the main reason that people taper is to drive themselves crazy with worry - myself included. By the time the race rolls around your mind is in such a state of mush, the 'show up and run' plan has to work! No extra thought required.

    Good luck!!

  10. I'm sure you'll still do fine. You put the work in, and maybe things didn't go quite as planned, but still, you logged the miles. You can show up and run, and be proud of that.

    I had a crazy dream last night, too. Must be something in the air...

  11. I hate the taper. You feel like you want those last "key" runs, but you know you should be limiting miles and resting. It is difficult.

  12. Yeah...taper...apparently even I don't do that right. I did 18 miles this week going into my race with 7 miles at marathon pace. So I'm right there with you. Good luck. Tear it up!