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April 20 2012 / Emily

Blue Ridge Marathon taper talk

Just a few more thoughts from taper time:

  • As recently as last night, it had looked like storms during the race, but the rain seems to have moved into early afternoon Saturday.  A 5 hour race would have me finishing around 12:30pm so I’m hopeful in regard to the weather.
  • Temps are forecast to rise from 60° to 69° during the race – slightly higher than ideal but still quite acceptable.
  • During my last “shake out” run yesterday I got those familiar phantom pains.  As I mentioned in my dailymile post about the run, phantom taper pain brings about that awesome moment where I’m sure I’m going to have to amputate my left ankle and just run on a bloody stump.
  • I’ve had a few moody moments this week, which tend to come about when I’m running less than normal.  My body misses the adrenaline so I just launch into self-destruction because I feel so off.
  • Still freaking about the massive ups and downs in this race, though I’m also having pipe dream moments of thinking “perhaps it won’t be as bad as it all looks, and I’ll just rock it.”  Not holding my breath on that part though.
  • Been considering the effects of taper madness on a race where I have set realistically low expectations… I’m trying to stay relaxed, because it’s amazing how much easier it becomes when it’s not turned into a big deal.  So I wouldn’t really call it taper madness this time.
    • Last November before the Richmond Marathon, I was so relaxed because I knew I was going to take the race super easy, since I was running the Outer Banks Marathon the following day (I should blog about that double marathon weekend sometime).  I slept easily and well the night before Richmond, little in the way of race jitters, and was able to calmly set my pace and slow when I felt like it.  Needed to wait in a 5 minute portajon line around mile 14?  No problem.  Stop and walk?  Why not!  Handful of gummy bears calling my name?  Sure!  Have a cup of beer at mile 22 from the Hash House Harriers?  Okay!  And you know what?  My time was pretty average for me.  Not slow, but just average among my marathon times.
    • On that point it has been a while since I’ve run a marathon I thought I could really ROCK.  I’m hoping to work toward that this fall, on a couple PR-possible races I have in mind.  Today’s taper madness is already concerned about the extent of that future taper madness on races where I actually really have a lot (mentally) riding on my performance.  Now is that silly or what?  Concerned about a potential race 6 months from now?  Absurd.
    • Lessons: stay relaxed, don’t worry too much about tomorrow and definitely don’t worry about October!
  • I still need to pack.  Made myself a little list.  Scooting out of work a bit early today to [go home and pack then] hit the road toward Roanoke.  A little over 2 hours away, so not too bad.
  • For the past few days I’ve been writing a little song in my head, or to be more accurate, re-writing the lyrics to a song.  It starts “She runs these hills/with a long brown tail” and I have some more lines mushing around in my brain, but I want to be sure to do Johnny Cash justice with my version of his song.  Perhaps I’ll polish it during the race tomorrow…
    • Well, you learn something new every day… Johnny Cash didn’t write the song and it has been recorded by oodles of artists.  I think of it as his song.  Hmm.  wiki link for more info.
    • I’m definitely no poet or lyricist, so I doubt I’ll be able to do the song justice.  You might never hear of this again.


Leave a Comment
  1. nerdthatruns / Apr 20 2012 10:32 AM

    Great post! I know exactly how you feel. I’m in my last stages before my race on Sunday and I’m just jittery….wanting to run and so used to the high mileage, but cutting back gets me to jump off walls and such. Good luck on your upcoming marathon!

    • Emily / Apr 22 2012 5:29 PM

      thanks for the comment! taper really is a weird time for runners.

  2. hinsone / Apr 20 2012 4:49 PM

    Hey, still can’t wait to hear how it goes tomorrow! GOOD LUCK! And when you get back, be sure to talk to me about the fall races, I have a couple I’m bouncing around in October and November and I wonder if maybe we are thinking about the same ones, but don’t worry about that now! (Of course I’m also looking at the half).

    • Emily / Apr 22 2012 5:32 PM

      getting ready to start my marathon recap post now! My fall schedule is really up in the air right now, what are you considering?

      • hinsone / Apr 22 2012 5:50 PM

        Two I’m trying to decide between (since they are two weeks apart) is Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Oct 21st or the Raleigh City of Oaks half on Nov 4th. Between travel and just running experience I can’t do both, so I have to decide. I’m also planning two next Spring, one in Feb and one in April

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