So here we are, ten days into the speed-taper for the Blue Nose International Marathon (BNIM). What a fuck-up. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not speed-tapering because I'm being an arrogant bastard, oh this is marathon #18, I'm too good to taper like a newbie. I'm speed-tapering because I was a fuckwit unable to use a calendar.
The exchange went something like this
(la belle) "So, a 100 km week? You know it's Bluenose in two weeks?"
(me) "Don't be daft lass, it's only May 5th. BNIM is at the end of May, always has been. I've got three weeks"
"It's on the 20th this year numbnuts, that's two weeks tomorrow"
"No it's not"
"Yes it is"
"Calice de ciboire d'hostie de tabernak"
"You missed the accent in 'câlice'"
So I've been on an enforced diet of not running for ten days and does it ever feel wierd. I'm constantly tired; I slept for 12 hours and was nearly late for work the other day, and I start at 10 in the morning, now that's tired. My body aches all over and my ITB is niggling again. Also, despite not burning the equivilent of an extra three days worth of food on the road every week, it seems like I still have an appetite like I am.
Some of this is catastrophizing; every little twinge is a stress-fracture. This is quite normal before a big event and I believe it has even been scientifically documented.
Some of this may be due to what Stacy Juckett-Chesnutt calls under-use injuries. I think that when we're training hard our mind doesn't let our body think too hard about what it's doing, it just does. Even if you don't want to go out, your body still makes you. It's a machine, albiet one with no imagination and a disturbingly single-minded focus. When we taper our mind gives our body permission to relax, and when it does, all the aches and pains and niggles come out in a rush with a vengence.
Also, I got what I thought would be my BNIM shoes, the Mizuni Elixir. Mildly posted, I've run in these before. But their mild lateral post, usually OK for my gait, has made my ITB flare up again. That's the third time this year, all three times correlate to correctional footwear. Lesson learned I think.
At least this is making me rest up even more than I would. You see, at the end of the day, a marathon is not a distance to be run with alacrity. When you do, and when you allow your hubris to get the better of you, funny things happen. Not funny-ha-ha either, but funny-peculiar. Ask la belle. So even though I'm "only" bunnying and I'm "only" running to a 15 minutes personal worst, I'm taking this seriously. You see, those quotes around 'only'; these are sarcastic air-quotes, there's nothing "only" about running a marathon, at any speed. You must respect the distance, whether it's marathon#1 or marathon#101. if you don't, the marathon will turn around and bite you in the arse. Or the ITB. Or maybe your hamstring.
So any first-timers out there, don't worry if you're feeling simultaneously nervous, keyed up, on edge and excited. I'm feeling just as nervous, just as keyed up and on-edge and simultaneously excited as you are yet I should know better. I'd be worried if I wasn't!