Yes, ladies and gents, we have reached that point in the season once again: taper.
There is a marked contrast to the first time I experienced taper and this time around. That first time–last summer–I was climbing the walls, wondering what to do with myself and having a difficult time dealing with the sudden and drastic drop in activity. In the Winter season, taper came as a blessed respite, allowing me to heal from an ankle injury. And this season, I am once again looking forward to it–seeing it as a chance to rejuvenate, heal, and get mentally prepared for the big race.
It’s been a tough season. I had underestimated the toll it would take on my body and spirit to do three consecutive seasons of training. Many of my teammates roll from Summer season into Winter and back into Summer again with little problems; it is simply the routine for them and their bodies are used to the drill. For me, however, the physical and mental demands of the training build up over time, and I realized that I truly do need that break over Winter season.
So I look forward to the next 4 weeks ahead as I get ready for 26.2. The big 20 mile run–at the dreaded Lake Merced–was as tough as could be and took a lot out of me, physically and emotionally (running around Lake Merced not once, but twice, will do that to someone), but at the end, the promise of taper got me through and gave me the mental fortitude I was looking for.