Tapering is Terrifying

Less than a week to go to the Yeti Snakebite 50/50. There is nothing left to do but rest up, keep the legs moving a little, and prep the gear. Oh, and worry.

The main worry, of course, is that you haven’t done enough. Your long run wasn’t long enough. You didn’t do enough long runs. You didn’t do enough work over all. And now that it’s time to taper, it’s too late. You can’t panic train. You can’t cram base miles now. No, you’re hosed, and you’re going to pay for it with hours of miserable trudging in a forest a thousand miles from home.

I do love a miserable trudge though.

Tapering is nice in the sense that less stuff hurts. I’m less tired than I’ve been. I can have that second cup of coffee and finish the crossword. I’m generating less laundry. Tapering is seductively chill.

At the same time, I can’t shake the image of the air slowly leaking from a balloon. Every day of less than peak effort lets more of the air out of my fitness. Rest is weakness. Rest is death. I am a sad, partially deflated balloon.

That’s melodramatic. But still.

There’s also a sense of floating in space, aimlessly. Yes, the race is coming. And then I have to form a new set of habits and make a new schedule, because the not-enough training I’ve done for this race has given me a hellacious case of Achilles tendonitis.

I gotta get back on the bike. Get off these feet. Quit the constant pounding. Find a massage therapist who can wring me out. This will all require a new bunch of laundry and a different mindset. I have to press forward with it though, because the other option is to let the balloon go entirely, watching it float slowly away, like a sad child after a too-good party.