Surviving the dreaded taper

Hello, hello!

So, I’m smack in the middle of my marathon taper and, up until last night, I thought I was handling it pretty well.

I’ve been very proactive about making a conscious effort to ease off appropriately, especially with weight amounts at CrossFit, because I wore myself out so much that I had to take some time off.

Generally, a runner doesn’t take time off 4 weeks before a marathon. :/

I went to CrossFit on Monday and had a really good workout.


I didn’t force the weights during the strength portion – mostly concentrated on form, which was apparently sucky because coach was nitpicking me to death about my knees tracking in on the squats – and I modified to 55# push-presses for the WOD.

I kept it steady and I  made it through 13 1/2 rounds.

Then, Tuesday was so beautiful that I had to get outside for a run. I only knocked out about 4 1/2 miles – my normal entrance to the park where I run was blocked so I had to improvise but I didn’t want to overdo it – and it was exactly what I needed.

My plans for the rest of the week looked like this: CrossFit on Wednesday (yesterday), running today, rest Friday, run Saturday.

But, I know me and I was tired yesterday so I decided to rest. I’ll go to CrossFit tonight, rest Friday, and then run on Saturday morning (mileage tbd).

Next week will probably look like this: CrossFit Monday, run Tuesday, CrossFit Wednesday, rest Thursday & Friday, travel Saturday, marathon on Sunday.

Anyway, last night. I had MAJOR ants in my pants. I couldn’t sit still! I totally felt like I should be working out.

It’s not like I’m a marathon newbie and have never tapered before. Totally been there done that but last night, it was like tapering was a whole new experience for me. I don’t even understand it!

I’m just going to take it as a sign that I’m better prepared than I’m giving myself credit for. Yeah. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


So, let’s talk about the taper.

It’s difficult for most runners, as the big day nears, to dial back on their training. I mean, seriously, it’s like taking candy from a baby!

You’ve been logging tons upon tons of miles, you’ve been waking up before the butt-crack of dawn to get started on long runs, you’ve missed out on date nights with your significant other or social events with friends because you’re “in training” and now you’re supposed to run LESS?!?!


Yep. Less running makes for a cranky runner.

But, the taper is important and even necessary.

Here’s why:

1. all the glycogen, hormones, etc that you’ve depleted from your muscles during training return as you ease off

2. you’re giving your body time to heal any muscle damage that has occurred

3. you’re giving your body the break it needs so you don’t get sick

4. your body will be raring and ready to go on race day rather than be tired and unresponsive.

So, the general rule of thumb is to decrease your mileage by 20% each week starting 3 weeks out.

That final week before the marathon will feel like it takes an ETERNITY because you suddenly have all this time on your hands but, fear not! You can reacquaint yourself with your family! Remember them? The ones that love you and have supported you during your training? The ones that picked you up from the floor because you were too stiff to get back up from stretching after a long run? Yeah, those people. 🙂

They’ll be happy to see you again. Even if you are cranky. (well, probably. if you’re super cranky, they may push you out the 2nd floor window.)

You also need to fuel up a little more than you normally would.

Yes, I know your brain just exploded.

Run less and eat MORE?!

mind blown

Yep. It’s all part about repairing and refueling those muscles to make sure you’re ready for race day. 26.2 miles isn’t a short, easy run, people. Your muscles are going to need fuel to help you cover them all.

I highly recommend avoiding the scale this week, too. Trust me. No sense in getting all stressed out and then forgetting that you’re going to go RUN A MARATHON and burn it all off anyway. 🙂

Lastly, make sure you hydrate well and DON’T TRY ANYTHING NEW!

No new sports drinks, no new foods, no new workouts because you’re dying of boredom from not running and you just have to do something.

Boring is the new cool. An upset tummy, food poisoning, or an injury just prior to a marathon is NOT cool.

Take this time to kick back on the couch and catch up on your favorite show(s), read a book, do crossword puzzles, color with your kids,  meditate, sleep or whatever.

I promise you will not literally bounce off the walls. It’ll be okay.

Yes, the taper is difficult. And kinda annoying. And sorta stressful.

But, it’s survivable. And you’ll be happy you did it. I promise. 🙂

Talk to me: What’s your favorite non-workout/running activity to do during the taper? How do you manage the stress of feeling like you should be working out but knowing rest is the right thing? Any tips or tricks you’d like to share?

– jennifer

Friday Favorites #2!

Hallelujah, it’s finally FRIDAY!

Friday elephant

Oh my goodness, has this been a LONG week.

I am so ready for this weekend. It’s supposed to be beautiful and I’m looking forward to getting outside and working in the planter boxes around my front patio. Time for some Spring beautification!

(Don’t be fooled for one second into thinking I have a green thumb. It’s all a crapshoot. Cross your fingers that the flowers I buy like me.)

So, in regards to my Who Am I? post a couple of days ago, I’ve been giving some serious thought to my fitness identity. I’m pretty sure I’ve made my decision on what I want to be when I grow up but, I’m still waiting until post-marathon to make my official decision. Let’s just say that I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I feel a little freer and pretty doggone happy. 🙂

Anywho, back to Friday!

I’ve got a few of my favorite things to share with you!

Mad Libs™


You’ve done these before, right? 🙂

We like to do them at dinner. We’re all at the table together, it challenges us to come up with different and interesting words to fill in the blanks (see my OUTSTANDING use of adjectives, there?) and we get a good laugh.


Here’s one we recently did. It’s all fun and games until you have to eat boxes of llama biscuits. 🙂

We’ve been doing them since the Things were small and I’m really going to be sad when Thing 2 leaves and it’s just the two of us left. It definitely won’t be the same. 😦  I can picture us at future family gatherings when we’re in our 80s still breaking out the Mad Libs books. Haha!


Yep. Rest.

rest day

I have rested this ENTIRE week.

Not one single workout.

And, I needed it! My body was definitely fighting off a cold or something because I’ve been super tired (like fall asleep at my desk in the middle of the day tired) and sneezy this whole week. Today is the first day I’ve felt like a normal human being. (Hey now, be nice!)

I need to not ignoring my body when it tells me to rest. Pretty sure MOST athletes are the same way. I’ve really had time to think about it this week and I’m making a promise to my body to pay more attention and actually LISTEN. I need to respect my body – it’s the only one I’ve got! 🙂

Brita® water bottle


Oh my goodness, this is the BEST. THING. EVER.

It’s a water bottle with a FILTER!

I work in a pretty old building and I’m not sure what’s going on with the pipes but I’m not taking any chances. I drink water all day long – I’ll fill this up 3-4 times each day – and this guarantees me clean, mostly pure (c’mon, be realistic, you know the filter doesn’t catch EVERYTHING) and delicious water. It’s love. ❤

I found mine at Wal-Mart but you can probably find it on Amazon if you don’t do Wal-Mart. 😉


I love this web site. LOVE. It’s designer shopping at bargain prices. Seriously.

I’ve been a member for a few years now and have scored some majorly awesome pieces. Pour La Victoire shoes, a Kate Spade bag, James Jeans, Chetta B. dresses, Calvin Klein dresses, pants AND suits, etc, etc, etc!

There’s no membership fee required which is awesome so you’re not locked into paying money and never buying anything.  You do need an invite to sign up though, so here’s one just for you! 🙂

Ideeli invitation

Trust me! I just got some new bath towels – super big, super soft, super awesome microcotton- 2 sets for $34.00. They’re regularly $100 a set. Yeah.




Seriously. I’m so glad spring has sprung and the sun has been shining. Winter was too long. And cold. And miserable. Blah.

Talk to me: What are you loving lately? Are you loving the sunshine as much as I am?

– jennifer