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!



Brian Burk (@Cledawgs) December 4, 2012 at 9:37 am

great blog and I thought I was the only one to eat dry cereal in bed at night…my puppy loves it (extra treat for her)!

Carilyn December 4, 2012 at 9:46 am

Thanks for stopping by, Brian! And I’m eating cereal in bed right now!

Kirstin C (@ultrarunnergirl) December 4, 2012 at 11:21 am

Ha! You are hilarious, Carilyn.
One more reason not to have a tv in the bedroom – crumbs! I am like the Princess and the Pea girl — I could not sleep until every last one was OUT of my sheets.

Char December 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm

This comment has been typed in a very calm way so as not to provoke any negative reaction. I can hear that you’re basically a nuclear weapon ready to explode. There, there. It’s okay. Step away from the coffee pot. Put those knitting needles down or we may have to shoot.

Funny post!

pensive pumpkin December 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Funny, I have a toast fixation (I just ate two pieces with Bar Room Brawl Jam, thanks) and get in trouble for eating toast in bed. When we went to Edinburgh, there was this work-release type guy who worked the breakfast room at our hotel, and he’d walk up and ask “toast?” Chevalier mimics him when he finds crumbs in the bed, and I feel shame.

Also, I discussed pink hair with my hairdresser and we decided that since I currently have an ombre, I can dye the ends pink just before I’m ready to cut them off. So there. Challenge accepted.

Enjoy your taper!

Carilyn December 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Sweet! on the pink hair! Post some pics! And no shame on the crumbing – it’s our right as women, sista’! 🙂

Carilyn December 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Thanks, Char! And yes, all knitting needles have been confiscated.

Carilyn December 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm

It’s amazing how easily I can ignore the crumbs, Kirstin! Actually, now that I think about it, kind of scary 🙂

Kent December 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm

You are awesome Carilyn! I would sure like to meet you some day if you ever run back east. Just what the doctor ordered after a tiresome day at work – one of your posts!

Beth Ann Blackwood December 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I used to hate the taper, but my mental attitude has now totally changed. I now know I’ve made it to the promised land – the taper, that moment when the dream is still alive. I’m still a contender.

Once I line up on the starting line, everything changes. I’ve prepared for 4 to 6 months or longer for this race. I’ve dedicated hours to running, begged off social obligations that conflicted with my training schedule, nursed my plantar fasciitis through the increasing mileage, glugged/gagged down the new miracle drink – beet juice – and worn out the patience of my husband with my rigid workout schedule. I’ve made it to the taper with my body and relationships intact. Now all that’s left is the outcome.

I could qualify for Boston. I could have one of those out of body experiences where I float through the miles convinced there’s nowhere else I’d rather be and nothing else I’d rather be doing. On the other hand, I could have a run that feels like a mini Bataan death march. I could even, gulp, DNF.

But for this brief moment in time, everything is good. Everything is still possible. I wish I could stay here forever.

Good luck with your taper and your race!

Carilyn December 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Love it, Beth Ann! Thanks for stopping by!

Carilyn December 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Awww….that just made my day, Kent! Thank you so much! And I would love to meet you, too – we could have a good run and a good laugh!

Patrick December 4, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Wait a minute…You were eating cereal in bed at 9:46am? What’s up with that? Did your husband have you committed to a “facility”?

Carilyn December 4, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Yes, I was eating in bed while I was blogging 🙂 And he’s already left for work!

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