18 April 2010

Taper. Is that like Let Down?

It's a curious thing. This week had less than half the running miles as last, and an awfully nice bike ride in it. After the long ramp-up to my 18- and 21-mile runs - after the 52.4 miles last week - it was a curious let-down. Tonight I reviewed what I need to do in the next few days, preparatory to Sunday's Big Sur Marathon. 3 miles, followed by 4 miles, followed by 2. Three days of running, lots of rest.

And I find myself strangely out of sorts. I get that these weeks are recovery weeks. They are days to keep the legs going, but lightly; and to let the body build reserves. A respite to prepare physically and psychologically for an all-out effort. And since I've been saying all along "I am not a runner," I should be glad for this turn to the end of marathon prep.

But I miss it, and can feel that I shall miss it this week. I am thankful to have learned over these weeks, that I am really psychologically a cyclist and not a runner. I look forward to some light, but purposeful, bike rides this week. Next week, after spending a couple of extra days in California, I anticipate putting up the running shoes and keeping my bike always ready to roll. But I am already starting to miss running.

I think I've read enough to get the psychology of this. And having done just a little bit of distance cycling, I can anticipate (to some degree anyway) the ups-and-downs I'll go through on Sunday (no pun intended), and the vows to never do something this stupid again. So, I've stopped saying this is the only marathon I'll ever run. And tonight as I look at my lightest running week since before I began my official training, I am beginning to see that these weeks have shaped me in a way I did not expect.

So my goal this week is to keep with the program, eat wisely, pack early, sleep well, and finish the course. Then see what role running plays as I return to the beloved bike.

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