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Taper week for a half marathon

Today is the day before a trail half marathon that I am going to run alone.  I am going to run with 700 other people but I will not be accompanying anyone as a pacer.  It is the first time in more than a year, if ever, that I plan on going as fast as I can.  I am usually concerned about other people, an injury or a bigger event (marathon) when I do a half marathon.

It is a strange feeling when you plan on giving it your best for the day.  I wonder if I can deal with the pain for a whole two hours.  Did I eat too much meat this week?  Am I drinking enough water today?  Did I drink enough all week?  All of my little injuries seem to hurt.  I wonder if one of them will cause me to stop.  Will I make my planned time?  Is my planned time feasible?  Did I rest enough?  Did I rest too much?

Everyone has the same questions when they plan on doing a hard event.  It does not matter if it is your first event or you are just planning on picking up the pace like I am.  We get nervous and wonder what we should do.  I have a good base fitness level so my taper is a little different from someone with a lower base.  I will call day one the Saturday before the race.

  • Day one – Saturday – easy 15 mile jog
    Pancakes, ON 2:1:1 recovery drink, electrolyte, anything for dinner.  4 liters of water
  • Day two – Sunday – rest
    Cereal, clam chowder, pizza, chocolate bar.  4 liters of water
  • Day three – Monday – moderate 25 mile bike ride
    Cereal, Hammer bar, recovery drink, cheese burgers.  4 liters of water
  • Day four – Tuesday – hard 5.5 mile run at race pace
    Cereal, Cytomax, chicken sandwich, lean steak. 4 liters of water
  • Day five – Wednesday – rest
    Cereal, peanut butter & jelly, chicken, 4 liters of water
  • Day six – Thursday – easy 4 mile jog
    Cereal, Cytomax, chicken sandwich, lean roast beef, 4 liters of water
  • Day seven – Friday – rest
    Cereal, PB&J, pasta, 4 liters of water
  • Day eight – race day
    Pancakes, 1 cup of coffee, water, and then race…..

Most lunches come with fruit and jello.  All dinners come with vegetables.  I would have planned a lighter dinner last night but the roast beef was good and I don’t want to be too demanding on the family for my hobbies. I do demand pasta on Friday nights because I always doing a long or hard event on Saturday morning.  I make my own pancakes on Saturday mornings.

None of my sedentary friends know the difference between a 1:45 and a 2:30 half marathon.  I am doing this run for me alone, not my friends and family.  As long as I have fun, it is a successful taper week.

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