MarathonMaiden's Blog

November 30, 2010

I’m Pretty Sure That Taper Madness Is Likely Setting In

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 13:08

When I think of taper madness I think of someone needing to strap me down on a gurney so I don’t go out there and run a billion miles between now and race day

I’m not bouncing off the walls or worrying constantly. Or even obsessing over the weather.  I just don’t want to stop running (but I did not run on Monday.  Must have been the love from here.  Or the funny texts from my friend hahah).  Or stop training hard.  I’m still a bit calm and collected.  Even keeled so to speak. Except when it comes to figuring out what to do between the time my plane lands and when my dinner plans start on Friday.  But no real freaking out over the race itself.

But I guess that taper madness is it’s own little beast.  And, as it is with most neurosis, the sufferer can’t see what the problem is.  So when I suggested earlier this week that my plan for RACE WEEK was to do two GMP speed workouts, The Running Laminator told me

Just looking at your scheduled runs on race week, I can already tell that the taper madness has indeed set in. Two speed workouts, at half marathon pace is a bit like taking tequila shots back to back on an empty stomach because you’re so anxious to get the party going. Haha! One speed workout, with a few miles at GMP, is probably all that is needed.

Of course, as soon as I read that, I sighed.  Because that was exactly what I needed to read.  Yes I still really want to do two GMP workouts but as The Peanut Gallery told me “Whisper to your tequila-laden self “less is more, less is more…”” (and girl you KNOW that I love you so TPG is a term of endearment ❤ )

That said, I still wanted to get ONE MORE GMP workout in.  Or at least a semblance of it.

Taper madness? Maybe.

Given that the last time I did a quality workout was on Sunday, I’d have ideally done this workout on Wednesday.  But Wednesday is a non-clinic day (aka if I want to run I have to get up before the sun) and Tuesday is a wake-up-naturally day.  So today it must be because Thursday sure as heck is out.  Although I will say that for all the extra sleep I’m getting I still feel tired and groggy in the mornings.  I hope that I start to perk up by Sunday!

The Workout (results of)

  • Warm up
  • 4.4 miles @ 7:28 pace
  • Warm down

thanks google

While the break down of the 4.4 miles (7:38, 7:19) is a little cringe worthy, as it definitely was not even pacing or GMP if you just look at the splits individually, I am so happy that the average of this workout was for all intents and purposes (although can I PLEASE say intensive purposes?!) spot on.

I did start to beat myself up over the workout on the warm down (and semi did it too after seeing 16:48 for the first half when I knew that GMP should have been 16:30) but then I realized that I’m a progression runner. Even on my easy days I ALWAYS end up finishing a run about a minute or so per mile faster than I started.  That’s just how I roll.  I’d have to go back in my (hard copied) log books to see if that’s how it’s always been but I do know that the vast majority of my runs are: start slow(ish), finish hard(er).

I think it’s a good that, while the run clearly got faster and faster as the distance went on, the average pace was GMP. I’m not quite sure what that means but I’m choosing to think that it means my body knew how to get the end result and hit the goal.

I also am pleased because the effort felt the same throughout the run.  Normally I’d be kicking myself because I’d think “well if the effort on the first part felt the same as the second then the first part should have been faster”or something to that effect.

Today my thoughts were that I was able to go faster and harder with an easier effort. Amazing as the last real workout before WR.


Oh and before I forget: On Monday I was also going to repeat Week 3 of my two strength challenges given that it’s race week.  But I re-looked at W3D1 of the plans and thought “gee whiz that doesn’t look hard” and then looked at Week 4 and thought “I can do that”. Well I wish I had stuck to my guns because this was hard.  I did them on Monday actually.  Mostly because it forced me to respect the rest day I had planned but gave me something to do but also partly because I figured, with the race on Sunday and travel and whatnot, that a M/W/F challenge schedule would be prudent. I may switch back to Week 3 for the next two days of the challenge this week.  We’ll see.

Pushups: 21, 25, 21, 21, 33

Situps: 32, 48, 32, 32, 50

And check out the giveaway that Matt’s having.And Miss Zippy.


  1. Good luck with your race. I haven’t experienced taper madness like you and others have posted about. Hmmmm. Probably because I am a lot slower and just trying to finish. LOL.

    Comment by Kirstie — November 30, 2010 @ 13:17

  2. This made me laugh! The comment was right though … the less you do know, the happier your body and legs will be on race day! Take care of them and they will reward you soon! 🙂

    Comment by Jaime — November 30, 2010 @ 13:28

  3. we’re so close! amen to the running laminator. that’s pretty much exactly what I am doing tomorrow, 7-8 with 4 at goal pace (and I would have done it today if not for the alternating days thing for my foot). and lend me some of that progression loving for the marathon- we are opposites there and that’s what gets me into trouble for long races!

    Comment by kristinschleicher — November 30, 2010 @ 13:47

    • then let’s merge into one runner. bummer that we can’t train together! I bet the fact that we’re opposites would be amazing for us racing.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — December 1, 2010 @ 07:54

  4. I hate reducing my mileage too, although I love a good excuse not to do speedwork.

    Comment by Jess — November 30, 2010 @ 13:57

    • I’ve gotten WAY into speedwork this fall. It’s weird. I think if my body let me I’d do speedwork everyday. Yep I’m weird 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — December 1, 2010 @ 07:55

  5. The best thing about tapering is MORE sleep!

    Comment by Matt — November 30, 2010 @ 14:03

  6. I think we could all use more sleep no matter what! I guess part of racing is having to cut back on workouts and mileage but after the race you will be right back to workouts to get ready for Boston! You are so ready for this race!! Enjoy the extra sleep!

    Comment by J — November 30, 2010 @ 14:09

  7. You definitely have taper madness!! I love the pictures that you put up on your posts…they are always awesome. Faster and harder with less effort= the best feeling in the world. So excited for you!

    Comment by janae — November 30, 2010 @ 14:11

  8. Lol! The Peanut Gallery is infinitely better than That Bitch Who Keeps Riding My Ass, so I’ll take it! Yay you, you did nail it and now all you have to do is have a fantastic race this weekend – which you most certainly will. Let those legs fill up with taper goodness now, the overly used hay is in the barn. 🙂

    Comment by Flo — November 30, 2010 @ 14:22

    • OMG I wish I had thought of *that* title for you. It made me spray water all over the keyboard. Alas you will be TPG 😉

      Comment by marathonmaiden — December 1, 2010 @ 07:56

  9. If Stephen Colbert approves, then it’s all good! Keep yourself in check, though–save what you can for marathon day. You’ll rock it!

    Comment by MissZippy1 — November 30, 2010 @ 14:34

  10. I’m a progression runner as well. I would say it’s because of two things. One being it’s partially natural. The other because I demand negative splits!

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — November 30, 2010 @ 14:45

  11. Fantastic! You are ready.

    You got so much money in the baaaaaaank that it’s burning a hole in your pocket right now (which is why you probably want to spend it and keep runnin’ hard during taper week). Now all you have to do is scrape together the self control to hang on to all those bills and then cash in on marathon weekend.

    And then after that, you can… buy you a draannk! Ooowee!

    Comment by sweatykid — November 30, 2010 @ 15:35

    • Best comment ever. I’m printing it out to take with me on my flight. You took this metaphor to a whole new level 😀

      Comment by marathonmaiden — December 1, 2010 @ 07:58

  12. You are a speed demon!!! I am so jealous! 🙂 Oh, and tapering is going to KILL me… you don’t have to taper for a half, but a marathon is a different animal, isn’t it? I feel your pain!

    Comment by Terri — November 30, 2010 @ 20:27

  13. This is the first I’ve heard about taper madness…crazy concept to someone lazy like me. 🙂

    Comment by Ameena — November 30, 2010 @ 22:26

  14. um. 10-20 sec fluctuation is totally normal in my book. hello, hills, turns, etc. yeah, that’s my excuse. unless you were running around a track, and then i guess you don’t have those excuses 🙂

    you need to chill out. i’m usually dying for an excuse to be lazy haha.

    Comment by lindsay — November 30, 2010 @ 22:27

  15. Haha! I’m glad you enjoyed the analogy and got the message 🙂
    Oh, if there’s a second rule for race week workouts…no analyzing splits and worrying about pace…there’s no need.
    Save the stress for the race. Just get a few miles under your feet to loosen up the muscles and prevent onset of craziness!
    YOU ARE READY! Enjoy yourself and have a great race 🙂

    Comment by The Laminator — November 30, 2010 @ 23:35

  16. Nice pushups and situps. I wish I was better at ab work.

    Comment by Megan — November 30, 2010 @ 23:50

  17. I am giggling about “nailed it” because I am an adolescent. Nice workout! Take it easy.

    Nailed it. Hehehehe.

    Comment by sarah — December 1, 2010 @ 07:41

    • I was giggling too. Yay for being stereotypical 14 year old boys 😉

      Comment by marathonmaiden — December 1, 2010 @ 07:59

  18. Hooray! Now you deserve some easy days before you kill the race this weekend. At least it’s already wednesday and you have only a few days of madness before the race!! 🙂

    Comment by mealsformiles — December 1, 2010 @ 07:53

  19. Wooo 33 push-ups! Good job girl!

    Comment by laura @ box run eat — December 1, 2010 @ 13:43

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