THE MADNESS! It’s here!!!
My taper for Boston started the moment I finished the Indian Trails 15k last Sunday. Indian Trails elevation gain is madness, but TAPER MADNESS is a whole other ball game.
Taper Madness occurs in the weeks leading up to a big race. A taper is a period of time that allows you to recover from rigorous months of training, letting your body absorb all that work. A taper can last a day or two for shorter races, but it’s typically two to three weeks for a full marathon.
Tapering sounds nice, right? Like some reward you’ve earned for working your butt off for all those weeks? WRONG! Tapering causes MADNESS.
Symptoms of TAPER MADNESS include, but are not limited to:
- Heightened awareness of coughing and sneezing in your general vicinity
- Clothes fitting tighter
- The inability to speak of or think about anything but the race
- The frequent, sudden urge to wash or disinfect your hands
- Restless feelings of boundless energy, accompanied by the inability to fall or stay asleep
- A sudden obsession with meteorology
- Extreme feelings of self-doubt in your ability to run the entire distance and/or run it at goal pace
- Random aches, pains, and swelling of any and all muscles and joints, which convince you that your marathon career is over
Taper Madness subsides at the race expo, but you only fully recover when you cross the start line. Symptoms can be alleviated by hanging out with other runners and, if possible, others running the same race.
My first case of Taper Madness was the the most extreme, but the Madness from a spring marathon taper is proving to be awfully cruel. (dare I say ‘wicked,’ since it’s Boston?) Adding to the torturous symptoms described above, Mother Nature mocks me as daily temperatures reach 65, sun shining brightly. Fair-weather runners take to the streets in droves, and trees develop new leaves and bright flowers, making trail runs ridiculously appealing. Beers taunt me as spring ales arrive to local taps, and outdoor beer gardens open.
Involved in a fantastic running club, I have it pretty lucky, but my only real consolation is that one week from today TAPER MADNESS will be over. Then I’ll just be really freaking tired.