Friday, April 9, 2010

The Taper Madness Protocol

Hail my running brothers and sisters!  As I sit here and massage my calves, I personally blame Psyche for my current state of being.  If you’re reading this blog, you know that in 2 weeks I’m running the Country Music Marathon here in my hometown of Nashville (Yeehaw!).  As I have 2 weeks left, I am in the throes of taper madness!  Since I’ve started racing, I have been aware of the anxiety that I haven’t trained enough, the anticipation of busting out an awesome new PR, the fear of falling short of goal, and the exultation of visualizing racing among throngs of cheering crowds that comes with those last couple of weeks prior to your big race.  For the uninitiated, we call those last few weeks of reduced workouts to save your legs for the big race tapering.  The wild mood swings of dread and excitement, we would call the “jitters” down here.  However, Psyche gave my jitters a name that I had not heard before, Taper Madness.  And in naming, she gave those feelings bubbling through my head power.  Power over me.  Power that I cannot escape.  Power that forces me to acknowledge it at every waking moment.  Power, that if left unhindered, would surely TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!!

At these times of vulnerability and weakness, I do what any obsessed runner does, I hit books!  Or in this case, the internet.  I review my online training log and feverishly copy down my past training times before my last races, so that I can statistically analyze the correlation of my training paces to game day performances.  I scour other running blogs and websites to gleam the secrets of speed and nuggets of knowledge to raise my endurance.  I ponder my diet and curse the 10-second-costing pound I gained from that harmless looking slider at lunch (hmmm…sliders…*slobber*).  I seek out new gadgets, gear, tools, and accessories on every Chinese website that delivers overnight for the Holy Grail of racing that I can ingest, strap on, or doff that will create a magic bubble around me reducing wind resistance and pushing competitors unceremoniously out of my way.  Then I pester anyone with any running experience with reviews of my training to draw out cheap praise for my hard work and assurances that I will, indeed, catch that damn BQ tiger by the tail this time and make him my beyotch.  I bribe my children to pray to the Good Lord to bless me with speed as I’m not allowed to do so (I’m pretty sure that I sold my soul when I signed my admission papers to law school.  If not, I’m sure I traded most of it for my last PR.).  I even invoke the name of Chuck Norris to amuse and distract myself as I blog mindlessly about how I love to race.  What would make an otherwise rational (don’t listen to my wife…if she truly thought I was crazy, she wouldn’t have procreated with me) man adult mature person to act in such a way?  Taper Madness.  CURSES!!!

Now for the hard numbers:  The track was closed so that the track team could get their practice in.  Inconsiderate bastiches.  Can’t they see that I am a man in need?  Anyway, I went to the park and my main workout was 10x.5 mi intervals with .25 mi recovery runs.  They broke down:  03:25.5, 03:26.8, 03:35.4, 03:46.2, 03:32.1, 03:28.6, 03:33.8, 03:27.2, 03:23.7, and 03:30.3.  This was an average pace of 3:31.0/mi.  This was 12 seconds better than I did last week.  A definite improvement, but still not quite where I was hoping to be.  I definitely felt stronger/better today, but I was reasonably rested and the heat was not nearly as bad as last week. Okay time for me to organize my training log by training type.  :P Later kids!


Julie said...

Hi Joel,
Dude, snap out of it:) I promise you that your are going to do great!! You have trained, researched, analyzed and pondered enough!!! Just grab that BQ tiger by the tail and make him your beyotch!! LOL! Take the power back!! You can do it, I have faith in you:) I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend Joel!

Psyche said...

Oh, my little lawmonkey. You are suffering so bad. I almost feel bad for enjoying it so!

Here's what I think: 1)You ran your fake Yasso's at 3:31, indicating 3:31 marathon fitness. Most people say to add 5 minutes- that's a 3:36. 2)I plugged your 1:42 into McMillan's calculator and, presto!, it's says, "Joel will run pretty damn close to 3:36". 3)Your 1:42 1/2 was a very similar course to your Country Music.

I totally believe you're capable of a major PR. Work on getting your head behind it so it happens. You're good to go!

I have to be a little mean, so I'm going to send you off to research Training Peaks' WKO software. It's the Holy Grail of running geekdom. You'll wish you were back in law school so you could do some easy studying. Seriously. Great. Stuff.

No go chillax:)

lawmonkey13 said...

Thank you both for your faith. But let's face it, if I weren't delusional, I wouldn't be a man. Of course, I'm 9' tall and bulletproof. My male ego wouldn't allow otherwise. In reality, I BELIEVE that I will accomplish a decent PR. I do not think that I will reach my BQ. Will I go for it? Absolutely. Will I go for it and screw up my PR? Possibly. I hear what y'all are saying. I'm even re-thinking my fall/winter races to accommodate an another shot at Boston. I figure that I'm 39 and with a somewhat dubious medical history, I need to chase that BQ like a pair of horny co-eds looking for a condom. But please don't think that I'm dismissing what y'all think. If anything, it's great to know that I'm not a solitary voice in the darkness. Y'all's support has really helped pick me up and kept me going! Thanks so much!

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Have a great taper Joel. I love the taper, even though it drives me crazy. What do I love? you ask. Well, I love that it is at this time that my body catches up to me and amazes me with a new level of fitness that I have been working hard to achieve. It is at this time I start to believe I can do it.

I also am after the elusive BQ, and have committed to making it by 2011. I am 43, so must get 3:20. According to my 800's I should be there, but the reality is that I need the rest of the year to realize it.

Here is to our success this year. I hope yours is soon.

Psyche said...

Aaawwww! You know we love you! I can't wait to hear about your race!!!!

Now go on over to my blog and replace your name with Chuck Norris'.

THAT'S how much you ROCK!

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