I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just Tapering. (or: Why Google Should Ban Tapering Runners)

by Carilyn on December 5, 2013

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)!


Juan December 5, 2013 at 9:11 am

After last year, would add checking multiple weather web sites several times a day to see the forecast for race day. I speak from personal experience as I have checked 5 different sites for weather in Sacramento this weekend. All say same thing, cold! Maybe a 6 the web site would be different… Keep trying. Happy tapering.

SteveQ December 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

Apparently, I’ve been tapering since 2008.
SteveQ recently posted…Steve’s Evil Kitchen: Catching FireMy Profile

Jeff Dinkin December 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm

You are hilarious!!! I don’t run enough to ever Taper, although I plan to up my mileage in 2014.

Marcia December 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Oh my! Gliding on the move should be an art form. Is the race this weekend I hope??

Char December 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm

How is is that Googling symptoms always ends up with a diagnosis of cancer. I too have had multiple forms of cancer but I’m either in remission or have managed to cure myself with the power of my mind. If you’d like I’ll send some healing vibes your way to help you get over your hamstring cancer.
Char recently posted…Naughty or Nice?My Profile

Kim December 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm

This is the best thing I’ve read all day!! I love it!
I’m pretty sure that you don’t have any of the above mentioned forms of cancer – google is so great!!!
Kim recently posted…Trying to Keep it ClassyMy Profile

Kate December 5, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I love this post so very much.

My male teammates would tell you a story about my nether-gliding shenanigans at a race. I actually was quite discreet, but not particularly ladylike, and I still laugh at the memory of the looks on their faces.

All these are hilarious, but I think #5 was one of the funniest.

As for me, since I don’t actually “train”, I don’t really taper either. I do like to obsess over the weather, checking weather.com several times a day (and having this OCD justified because it is CONSTANTLY changing!!). I really prefer stressing over things I can’t control to things like, hmmmm maybe I should have done some running before this race…
Kate recently posted…Thanksgiving BreakMy Profile

Beth McCurdy December 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm

This is sooooo awesome! I love it. I never used to be like this but in the last year, I’ve been so unlucky with weather. It’s rained hard for like 3 or 4 of my 24 hour races so now I’m obsessed with weather! I feel like a crazy person constantly checking the weather forecasts. And yes, I bought ANOTHER waterproof rain jacket. Gotta have the right rain gear because I know it’s the desert but I also know it rained the last 2 years at DS. It’s raining all week here in Georgia so at least I’m getting practice. lol.

Carilyn December 6, 2013 at 8:08 am

Absolutely, Juan! I start checking the weather a few days out. But I have yet to go to a race where it wasn’t SUPER hot or raining 🙂 I just expect it now.

Carilyn December 6, 2013 at 8:09 am

I hear you, Steve!

Carilyn December 6, 2013 at 8:12 am

Thanks, Jeff! Sometimes I feel like I’m in a 4 month taper! 🙂

Carilyn December 6, 2013 at 8:12 am

Unfortunately, Marcia, the race isn’t until next weekend. I have an extra week to be a lunatic! 🙂

Carilyn December 6, 2013 at 8:16 am

Char, I’m always convinced I am dying right before a race (and sometimes just for the fun of it)! It is one of the worst parts of racing for me. My stress comes out as a mental illness 🙂

Carilyn December 6, 2013 at 8:21 am

Thanks, Kim! By race day I will have invented multiple new forms of cancer 🙂

Carilyn December 6, 2013 at 8:31 am

Thanks, Kate! I have had to do some very embarrassing “gliding” in my career. Yikes! I still get embarrassed just thinking about it 🙂

Carilyn December 6, 2013 at 8:33 am

You’re right, Beth, the weather has been an issue both years. Hopefully, we’ll get a break this year. I hate racing in the rain for long periods of time, but as long as it doesn’t get too cold I think we will be fine.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: