Toronto Waterfront Marathon Training Monday #15: The Taper Blues


I cannot tell a lie.

A combination of tapering+challenges at work (more the second one) has GOT ME DOWN. This has been a hard, hard week emotionally.


Teaching is one of those professions that can throw you  curveball whenever it pleases. And I thought I’d caught every curveball there was in the last 8 years. I mean, I’ve worked with every kind of student with every kind of behavior. I’ve co-taught in every single subject area, and I’ve worked with seven different grade levels. I taught through Hurricane Sandy in NYC, for goddness sake!

But somehow a new curve has found me and I really, really wish it hadn’t. Now, don’t you worry. My job and my students are safe and sound. But the whole situation has got my brain feeling tired, tired, tired. And to be honest, it’s been really hard to find the motivation to do, well, anything.

Maybe being in taper mode is a blessing in disguise. Perhaps I needed the extra rest/chill time this week to stay afloat. I have a hard time sitting still, so it’s hard for me when I feel like I can’t get things done. But it really is so, so important for everyone to let their souls take the rests they need once in a while. Or, at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself whenever I hit the snooze button or click “play” on yet another SNL skit on Youtube (Watching old SNL Skits on YouTube is my chosen form of self-care).

Anyhow, here’s how week 1 of tapering went down:

  • Monday: 4.15 mile run
  • Tuesday: 4.01 mile run
  • Wednesday: 30 minute swim, 1 mile run w/ Dreamfar
  • Thursday: Yoga Class + Physical Therapy
  • Friday: Spin Class
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 7.21 mile run
    • Total Miles: 16.37 miles

I’d actually planed to run a little more this week, but when I was at PT, my physical therapist noticed that my muscles were pretty fatigued. We were just doing some functional movement assessments, making sure everything is in order for the race. Usually I breeze through exercises like those, but on Thursday everything felt exhausting. My PT recommended I take it even easier than I’d been planning to, and I was happy enough to take his advice.

Hard week or not, it’s still important for me to taper well and make sure I’m really preparing my body for the race next Sunday. So here are a few things I have prioritized this week, and that I’ll keep prioritizing throughout my taper.

  1. Eating Well! for me this means tons of protein and hydrating daily, plus upping my sodium intake for two days before the race. Protein is especially important during this rest time so that my muscles can totally repair any damage they’ve faced throughout training. 
  2. Gathering Everything I’ll Need for Race Weekend! So, this one is a little more challenging since I am flying to Canada for my race. I need to make sure my outfit is clean and ready to be packed. I also need to make sure I’ve bought all the food and fuel I’ll need while I’m there so that I’m not scrambling around Toronto looking for items that might not be available across country boarders. This also goes along with…
  3. Checking the Forecast and Packing Appropriately. Again, this is more important for races you’re traveling to than ones close to home. I’d been expecting temps in the 50’s for the race, but WINTER HAS COME evidentially so now we’re looking at a 35-ish degree starting line and finish line temps in the low 40s at best. So I’m definitely not going to wear the shorts and tank I planned, and I’ll need to pack some warm gear in my drop bag to put on once I am done running. 
  4. Get TONS of sleep! I try to go to sleep .5-1 hour earlier each night for the week before a race. This helps me store up some rest for when I inevitably can’t sleep the night before I run:) 
  5. Define My Race Strategy: This is the toughest one for me. My training has been a little all over the place speed-wise. I’ve got a time goal in mind, but it’s pretty realistic and I know that if I get out there and feel like it’s my day, I could probably surpass my original goal. So I’m planning to sit down and work out my race-day A Plan, but also have my race-day DREAM plan somewhat worked out in my mind. 
  6. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES!! So, my cousin’s wedding and my friend’s birthday were both last weekend, and I wore heels to both events. I walked a lot and danced a lot on said heels both nights, and come Monday my achilles were SO SORE. I had to baby them with ice, massages, and compression for days before they felt right again. So from here on out I am a sneakers-only lady! 


2 thoughts on “Toronto Waterfront Marathon Training Monday #15: The Taper Blues

  1. I can’t believe your race is almost here! It seems like some places skipped fall and jumped right to winter. Fingers crossed every aligns and you have an amazing race! But anything will be better than Boston right?

    1. Right? These winter temps AND this race kinda snuck up on me:) and I keep telling myself “well, you survived Boston 2018, so…”

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