My Taper Don’ts

Ah, race week. It’s finally here – the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is on Sunday.

Actually, I can’t believe time has moved so fast. Spring weather came and went here in North Texas, and now it feels like early summer. Oh yeah. I also remember why I enjoy fall marathon training so much better. When you start training in the summer and move into cooler temps, it’s a joy to find race pace efforts are easier. In the spring, for me anyway, it’s tough moving from cooler temperatures to 80 degree sweaty runs. I’m not going to let that get me down though.

I moved into taper mode last week, but it was one of those times that life bumped against training. I did my last hard workout last Tuesday with mile repeats at the park. While I was there, I saw two of the runners from our group being interviewed by the local news. They were headed to Boston. I waved as I went by and when I circled again the news station had gone. One of them asked me what I was running, and I told him I was probably running his easy pace. He jumped in and paced me through the next two. I was dying at 7:25-7:30 pace, and he didn’t even break a sweat. I noticed that running with someone faster helped me shift focus and I ran the repeats a little faster than I would have on my own. Oh, and this guy ran a 3:11 yesterday and is the same age as me. So fast!

By Sunday, I was not feeling “tapered” so I took an extra rest day and watched a movie with the kids. I realized why I felt wiped out, so I created my list of taper don’ts to reference for future marathons.

1. Do not volunteer to chaperone a [2nd grade] field trip which involves four floors of walking at a museum. But I did earn mom points for it.

The Perot Museum in Dallas

The Perot Museum in Dallas

2. Do not sign your kids up for their first color run a week before a marathon – to run after completing your long run. Do the long run a different day. Extra mom points for this one.

First 5k for these two!

First 5k for these two!




They had a blast, and the way the course circled around, I could run with the youngest – who took off like a flash – and still check on the other two to make sure they were having fun. I’ve come a long way from the mom who wouldn’t let her kids fingerpaint or play with play-doh because of the mess. The oldest daughter asked if we could do it again next year.

3. Do not do yard work the week before or on race week. Thank goodness it rained Sunday afternoon, so I put my feet up and watched a movie guilt-free. I may have been last on the planet to see “Frozen,” but the kids were happy to watch it again. Mom points.

After continuous training for marathons since August, I suppose it’s okay to earn some mom points. This week, though my family has been warned. My feet are going up and I’m going to rest.

I haven’t given up on my four hour goal for Sunday. The weather looks warmer than I’d like, but after my fast (for me) 20 miler three weeks ago in the rain, I know I can do it. Mind over matter. It’s a brain thing I need to conquer.

Congratulations to all the Boston Marathoners! My motivation is high after yesterday and I can’t wait to work my tail off to get there.





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