FORTY-FOUR. Six Degrees of Taper

 

IT’S RACE WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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I’ve done my 12 miler, my 16 miler and my 20 miler…I’ve swam, strength trained, fartleked, ate like a horse, busted some fluid in my knee, fought with KT Tape, learned a new level of pain tolerance and even found a place inside full of grit I never knew I had.  With all that in the past, I entered the world of taper…in other words, the week(s) leading up to the race where you hurt like hell, question everything you’ve done thus far, feel guilty about eating and gaining weight, have worse mood swings than a pregnant woman, hate everything you own to race in, and then of course try to figure out who your friends are.  It’s a freakin’ riot!  Follow me….

Degree 1.  Aches and Pains

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OMG…so yeah, the run of the mill wear and tear on my knees is expected.  I felt them during my longer runs and expected to feel some during my taper weeks.  What I didn’t know was that I’d start feeling pains I haven’t had throughout my entire training process! I mean come on!! The bursitis in my knees wasn’t enough to keep my pain sensors preoccupied, no, of course not…let’s add some headaches, back pain, nausea, blisters that just popped up and hurt now, and of course the ever so popular big toe.  No, I haven’t lost it…yet.  The other thing is the random muscle twitches and flutters when I am just sitting here doing nothing.  It almost feels like a punishment to rest my body.  Last night, I felt like I had chills, a huge headache and my body felt like a heavy bag!  It’s 6 days away!!!  WHAT ARE YOU DOING BODY??? WHAT? 

Degree 2.  Did I Train Right?

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Ok, you know what?  It’s true.  I don’t know if I ran enough, trained hard enough or even long enough.  I have read a million training articles and I’ve concluded pretty much that since I am not going to place in the top 3, it’s a matter of whatever it takes to cross that finish line.  I’ve had to stall some shorter runs during these last 2 weeks to allow for some more muscle recovery, I felt like that would totally screw me up race day.  I slept in a little this morning instead of running my 3 miles, why? BECAUSE I WAS FREAKING TIRED!!  Then my brain is like…wimp, get your butt up and run those stupid miles, your race depends on it!  It’s the worst battle ever!  The best is when someone else who is tapering as well is feeling great and not complaining, and I’m sitting here with a foam roller on my back and a stress ball under my foot wondering why I didn’t run 3 miles this morning.

 

Degree 3.  Eat, EAt, and EAT!!

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I’ve been on this nutrition plan for weeks, making sure I’ve balanced carbs, protein and fiber.  I learned just when to carb load and when to back off.  I worked hard over the last 6 weeks to lose the few extra pounds to fat to make me more aerodynamic…really Gizmo?  You are 5’2, 114 lbs…don’t think aerodynamics even belongs in the same sentence.  Anyhow, I was so proud to get on the scale and see that I’ve dropped the 5 lbs!  Then I realize that I will be gaining the weight back this week, 2-3 lbs of it…yes, I know that’s mostly water from glycogen production.  But get this… a successful taper equals a 3-5lb weight gain…the exact opposite of what I’ve done!  LOL!  The irony is hilarious to me, but even I know that it’s not apples to apples…oh wait, not sure I can eat too many of those this week…TEAM BREAD!!!

 

Degree 4.  Human Mood Ring

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I am a freaking human mood ring.  I got excited to see my race day signs one moment and then I saw the finisher medal yesterday and got all teary eyed.  I start to think about the race itself, my stomach flutters from nervousness, but then I think about finishing and grin like the Cheshire Cat.  I feel regret when I wince in pain from my knee, but laugh when I think about how my Dad won’t know how to react when I cross that finish line because he will be so annoyed by the crowds.  I can picture him saying “There are so many people, why?  Is everyone crazy?”   I can’t wait to feel that runners high and make plans post finish line, but then I want to throw up when I think about standing in my corral for an hour.  I have never sighed so much in my life…I mean every other minute; I sigh…it’s amazing how much there is to sigh about…SIGH.

 

Degree 5.  I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!

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This is a woman problem.  We never have anything to wear.  I have a drawer full of workout clothes that I could easily run this race in.  Honestly.  Yet, I have nothing to wear.  I mean this is the outfit I will be running in, taking pics in, crossing the finish line in, showing off my medal in and then probably passing out in!!  This has to be perfect and the thing is that it’s not just about my pants/shorts…socks, underwear, sports bra, laces, deodorant, Band-Aids, hair clips….Of course I’m getting something new!  Many things new!!  DUH!  It was fun putting on a fashion show at Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Funny part is that I still don’t know for sure what I am wearing…not because I don’t have anything, because I now have too many options!  OOOPS!!!!!!!!!!! 😉  The other side of this is taking weather into consideration with keeping warm before the race, but with something that I want to donate to goodwill as I won’t be stashing my favorite hoodie in the 4th tree from the second bench, in the park, next to The Bean…hint, hint.

 

Degree 6.  Who Loves Me, Who Loves Me Not

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This has been a fun few weeks finding out who loves me and who doesn’t.  I mean if you are there to cheer me on, I know where I stand in your life and if you don’t…well…JUST KIDDING!!!!!  I’ve had a lot of fun putting together my cheer squad, getting swag together, mapping my cheerleaders and planning out how to celebrate after…I mean it’s exciting now that the race is close, but it’s really exciting to see my friends and family so excited too!  I know most of them have never experienced being at the marathon, as I have none running 26.2 miles, it’s comforting knowing that we are all doing this for the first time together.  It’s funny when I get questions about the race and my response is “How the heck do I know??”  No clue…which brings me to the other side of all this, comradery with the people that have done this before…which honestly starts when you cross paths on the Lakefront Trail knowing that person is running their 16-20 mile run with some sordid look on their face…the best is when you pass them on the way back and you look like Eeyore in a drought…but you muster up a smile and nod and somehow the one you get back revitalizes you like E.T. with a plant and you finish your run strong!  Taper week, you start to make plans with your team, your friends that are running as well, finding who is in your corral, how to post updates on social media, track your progress, meeting spots when you finish the race.  It’s the time where I get advice about pre-race meals, poops, coffee, stretches, gum, water, clothes, timing from those that have been there!  The running community is amazingly gracious and supportive and being a rookie to this race, I definitely feel welcomed by the elite. 🙂

 

Okay folks, this is it until after the race…and yes, I just teared up a bit.  I know that I’ve been writing nonstop about this race, but this is my blog…my experience…and I’ll never get the moments I’ve had throughout this being my first time ever again.  The second time is never quite the same.  I have one more run, a pre-run massage, packet pickup, fitness expo, Saturday wind down and then the race!  I am every emotion you can imagine!  Thank you all for following my journey so far, it’s been the most rewarding experience even without the race taking place.  With that, I hope to hear from you before, on or after race day and will leave you with a few options below!  GIZMODE IS FULL THROTTLE NOW!!!

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GIZMODE …… to donate to The Chicago Diabetes Project, every dollar counts!

GIZMODE 26.2  …… o send a message to me that I hope to see between miles 16-17 on race day!

Find out where and how I am doing by downloading The Chicago Marathon app, my bib number is 38825, Monica Sehgal…you can access apps, course maps and other info with the link below!

https://www.chicagomarathon.com/event-information/spectator-information/

 Love you guys!  Gizmo. 

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