It is upon us.
Tapering is a time before a race that you ease up in training so that your body can recover from the push... Fitness has been gained by the last several weeks of ridiculously long runs, now is the time to recover and rest.
You would think runners would look forward to the taper. And maybe even enjoy it.
The problem is that your mind freaks out. About all kinds of silly things. It convinces you that you will lose all your fitness (even though tapering is part of the plan!). Any little thing becomes inflated to seemingly pose a threat.
For instance, three nights ago I awoke knowing that a head cold was descending upon me. Even though I had almost two weeks for this cold to cycle through and be gone, I panicked that I might not be able to run the race. I had to summon another calmer part of myself to realize that I did have time for the cold to cycle... and that the two SHORT runs I had to miss will NOT erase all of my fitness. I think I'm convinced.
My friend Holly, who is doing her first full marathon, threw her back out a few days ago. Her text informed me that she did not know if she'd be able to do the race. Again, chances are that her back will recover in time.
In both of our cases, better this week than next. However, it is a reality that there are many things out of our control that could happen. I was unable to run the Way Too Cool 50k due to the memorial of a family member. But the reality of things out of our control is totally different than the Taper-Mind-Monster that scares us into believing that the change of wind direction will stop us from attaining our goal that we have worked so hard for...