Taper Panic

Tuesday: Tempo – 5 min warm-up; 3 mi @ race pace (8:29/mi); 5 min cool-down
Wednesday: Easy 3-4 mi
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Brooklyn Half

It’s taper week, otherwise know as the-week-I-have-a-valid-excuse-for-being-cranky-and-irritable.  Like a lot of runners, I have a love-hate relationship with the taper.  Through the final high-intensity training weeks, I find myself counting down the hard workouts remaining until the glorious relief of the taper.  When it finally comes and I am suddenly without the structure and discipline of track repeats, though, I’m immediately uncertain of everything:  “Am I running too fast?  Too long?  Not long enough?  Should I even be running at all today? 12×400’s sound like a good idea…”   

Ultimately, this race is fairly low stress for me, and my goal is to run well and have a smile on my face throughout.  The course for the Brooklyn Half is fast, I know the Prospect Park loop like the back of my hand, and the last five miles are a straight shot to the finish line at a gentle downhill slope.  I’m trying not to think too much about a PR, though, since my pace and strategy will largely depend on the weather on Saturday.  New York has warmed up very quickly this spring, which means that I haven’t had much chance to acclimate yet.  I’m expecting it to be about 20-25 degrees warmer at the start than at the NYC Half in March.  Doing my interval and tempo runs at the gym all winter has definitely helped the transition, but adjusting to the humidity is a further challenge.  Still, I feel like I am as prepared as I can be and I’m looking forward to a fun race on Saturday.
Given that I am chronically under-rested and that I did my runs this weekend a little faster than I meant to, I’ve decided to take a pretty aggressive taper this week and focus on resting and re-energizing for Saturday.  That means not much running, early bed times, and trying to find new and exciting recipes for beets, which inevitably ends in me googling “beet cocktails” in desperation.  Let the tapering begin!
-ModC
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