Saturday, June 18, 2011

Taper Madness

To say I've been a little wound up this week is an understatement. I have had patience for almost nothing, which probably explains why it's been such a bad week for both research and tennis.

After yet another few hours of tennis aggravation this morning- come afternoon I find myself alone in the research lab running the statistics on my most recently completed study. Not my typical way to spend a Saturday, but right after Seattle I get to enjoy more than a week visiting family in Arizona and finally meeting my newborn niece. So I'm prepping for the long time off by getting my research ahead of schedule. But now I'm nearly ready to take my tennis racquet to this computer (about the only thing it might be useful for this week apparently), so to take a breather I decided to look back at some past blog posts.

I found this one, 14 days before I ran my first marathon, to be particularly relevant:

Sunday, January 4, 2009 Race Countdown- 14 days- Building Insanity

I'm reading a great book, Marathoning for Mortals (John Bingham), and particularly had to laugh at the start of chapter 14...

"This is where the real fun begins. Those last few days and hours before the big event are filled with excitement, terror, joy, frustration, calm, and panic. It's the best time of all. At least it can be if you're open to the mood of the moment and the sometimes wild swings of emotion from well-placed confidence to abject terror. If this is your first marathon, the last few days before the big event will be unlike anything you've ever experienced. The emotions feel like a cross between a surprise birthday party and jumping from the 100th floor of a building. Don't worry if your friends and family don't understand you. Don't worry if by the Thursday before race day no one is even willing to be in the same room with you, let alone try to have a conversation with you. These last few days are the closest to being possessed that you will ever experience."

So, I apologize in advance to anyone who's still brave enough to associate with me for the next 2 weeks. :)

[Cut back to present day....]
And I laugh because despite the fact that I've run 3 marathons now and expected to be much more comfortable with the thought of 26.2 miles, I have again found myself in this same taper madness mentality.

Now the nice thing about associating with so many distance runners is that all you have to do is mention you're tapering for a marathon and they understand!! They know the physical and mental torment you're going through, and consequently tend to be very forgiving of any blowups which may occur during this time.
However, I'm not sure there's an equivalant to taper madness in tennis, which I've been playing even more of since I've been cutting back on running miles recently. So I'm fairly sure all of my tennis acquaintences are plainly wondering if I've just completely lost it lately. Well...yes! lol.

For future marathon tapers, I'm considering getting a t-shirt printed up which plainly says... "Marathon Taper in Progress: BEWARE!!!!!"
But until then, please pardon my insanity! lol.

It seems the only thing that has helped to ease the madness this week is the many great people who have stepped up to donate and sponsor miles. THANK YOU!!!!! And an additional thank you to all of you who have taken the time to offer up your words of support and encouragement during what has been a difficult week. Your kind words mean more than you could possibly know.

6 days.... :)

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