The number 3 question I get asked most often (right behind, “What’s a typical training week for you?” and “Do you worry that Hubz is going to murder you in your sleep?”) is “What is the best way to taper?”. Since I am in the midst of a taper in prep for my race next week, I thought now would be as good a time as any to answer that question.
20 Things To Do During Your Taper
1. Taste every flavor of gel to see which one doesn’t invoke hurling. Caution: don’t do this until AFTER you get home.
2. Practice “Gliding” nether regions while on the move. It is very important to be efficient in this act while simultaneously not flashing your naughty bits to other racers.
3. Record yourself singing out loud while listening to your iPod to gauge the level of torture for the people around you. Assess odds of another racer assassinating you.
4. Make a pot of beans and practice the “discreet running fart”.
5. Google symptoms of overtraining and undertraining syndromes and become convinced you have both.
6. Watch Chasing Nashville marathon and contemplate quitting running to become a country singer. Review recording you made earlier (#3) and decide to go back to running.
7. Go to Winchell’s and buy a dozen sprinkly doughnuts.
8. Go to REI and buy a shirt that camouflages your jiggly belly. Express confusion as to why you have a jiggly belly.
9. Practice “Good job!” sign language to be employed as other racers pass you when you are too tired to speak. Verify that chosen sign is not derogatory in any language after the unfortunate Rocky Road 100 incident.
10. Google the causes of “tight hamstrings” and an hour later conclude you are dying of Hamstring Cancer.
11. Google the causes of “taper paranoia” and another hour later conclude that you need to be committed to a mental institution.
12. Consider getting a pedicure but decide it isn’t worth the money when you only have 5 toenails left and they won’t give you a “half-price” discount.
13. Go on Ancestry.com just to see if you might be related to someone famous and can brag to your in-laws about it at the next holiday.
14. Google “famous actors and actresses” who live within 10 miles of you and then create a map so that you can efficiently drive by their houses.
15. Google definition of “Stalker”.
16. Go buy beet juice smoothie to increase your oxygen uptake for the race. Pee bright red. Add “Kidney Cancer” to your self-diagnoses. Call best friend who is a physician. After she quits laughing, feel relieved that you are not dying, just stupid.
17. Contemplate whether taking double vitamins will help your performance. Decide to take double Vitamin D and go out in the sun just to be safe. Fall asleep reading People magazine. End up with 3rd degree sunburn.
18. Practice all possible race day headgear options. Go back to same visor you’ve been wearing for last 10 years because you are “stable”.
19. Try to cut coffee consumption in half to be more sensitive to it on race day. End up knocking over old lady in Starbuck’s line when she wants a full description of every coffee drink on the menu.
20. Go to bed early to be well rested for race. End up waking up at three in the morning. Google “insomnia”. Become convinced you are dying of “Overstimulation Syndrome”. Wake up 4 hours later with your iPad stuck to your face. Google “iPad radiation poisoning”.
What kind of crazy stuff do you do when you are tapering?
Happy Running (and Tapering)!