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Too Much Coffee and Crazy, Not Enough Running

by Carilyn on December 4, 2012

The taper has begun, and while I enjoy getting to sleep until 6:00, you know what that means. The crazies have begun.

Tapering is the special hell of a runner: you feel like a kid let out of school for the summer – stoked to have so much more free time on your hands, but slightly worried you might use it to drink too much Mountain Dew and dye your hair pink just for fun. Tapering is both exciting and dangerous (it takes a long time for that pink dye to grow out).

Since I’m 45 now, and not 16, I don’t really drink (much) Mountain Dew or feel compelled to “Rainbow Bright” my noggin, but I do have some other dangerous proclivities that can get me into trouble while I’m tapering.

1. Too much coffee. When I’m running 20 miles a day, multiple cups of coffee don’t even put a dent in my endocrine system. I can have 2 full cups and immediately take a 2 hour nap. When I’m tapering, 2 cups of coffee make me feel like I’m about to have heart attack and a nervous breakdown simultaneously. Shoppers who insist on trying to hide 13 items in the “10 Items or Fewer” checkout lane at the grocery store beware: I am caffeinated and undertrained.

2. Not enough movement. I’m not just talking about running here. This over-sleeping, “relaxing”, and general resting are driving me crazy. With all this extra pent-up energy, I’m tempted to try to build or fix something, but I promised my father I would never touch an electric tool again after almost slicing off my hand AND the end of the bed post once when I thought it would be a good idea to re-do my headboard during a break in law school. I need a productive activity that is NOT life or limb threatening – and yes, knitting could be life threatening.

3. Too much television. Since I’m not exhausted, I’m finding myself awake at 9:00 at night, and lo’ and behold, there are all kinds of shows on at that late hour that I’ve never seen. Who knew? I feel like I’ve stepped into an alternate universe where Everybody Loves Raymond ISN’T on every half hour. And guess what? The shows that are on after 9 PM use “cuss” words. He he!

4. Too many crumbs in my bed. Because I’m now watching “late night” television, I feel it is necessary to eat “late night” snacks in bed – brownies, Cap’n Crunch, Fritos – and those things “shed”. I wake up in the morning surrounded by little bits of evidence from my culinary escapades. Ick. You know how hard it is to get dried Cap’n Crunch out of your hair?

5. Not enough social interaction. Talking to yourself is only fun for a few hours. Then you just start to get annoying. With no early morning running group to join during my taper, I’m not enjoying the benefit of engaging with other people first thing. And my brain, and mouth, want to engage. This morning, I caught myself mid-sentence saying, “Let’s go to Target”. Out loud. To myself.

Oh well. This taper will only last 2 weeks. Let’s just hope I (and everyone around me) can survive it.

Happy Running!


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