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Taper Away

My body aches, my brain’s tired and every part of me screams “hell to the no” each time I walk by my sneakers in the back hall.

After a week packed with weight training, speed work and capped off with a 38k long run, I’m so tired it’s hard to keep my head upright.  Honestly if it weren’t for my pillow tie (and a major penchant for cross-dressing) my forehead would be seriously bruised right now.  My body aches, my brain’s tired and every part of me screams “hell to the no” each time I walk by my sneakers in the back hall.

But praise sweet baby Shakira — it’s taper time.  Well almost. Stevil’s schedule calls for speed work twice this week and a 25k jaunt on the weekend, but he promises that from there it’s all roses and relaxation until race day.  Wicked.

Now my regular readers know I’m not a prize-winning runner (except for that second place finish – that was awesome), but I am seriously good at tapering.  My non-running even got me a mention and a mug shot in The Globe and Mail a couple of years back. And while I may be getting faster, my ability to stay still has always remained strong. This is all good news.

Even better? I’m hurting, but it’s for a good reason. In the past few months I’ve become faster, leaner, and more mentally prepared than ever to sub-4 in Toronto next month. Will I do it? Who knows? But I sure feel like I’ve given it I’ll I have and I’ve got a real shot.

Yesterday, in order to get in Stevil’s required mileage and to acquire more race day experience, a new running buddy and I ran 17km before getting into the starting corral of the Oakville, On, Half-Marathon. Around 15km into the race I realized if we pushed it just a tad harder on those last 6k, we could sub-two hours and get my friend a new PB. We finished in 1:59:31. A three-minute PB for my friend (even with our “warm up”) and a real runner’s high for yours truly.  She was thrilled, but I was the one tearing up.

That’s why I love this sport. It constantly surprises me. It shows us what we can do even when we really really don’t want to do it. Just one foot in front of the other, one workout down then the next and before you know it this former fat kid feels like she’s flying.

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