Smooth Sailing

April 11, 2011

Taper time again – I love taper.

With several big races on the calendar, a handful of goals in mind, the day is easily filled with training in the spaces where spare time used to be. Sometimes, this is exhilarating and wonderful, and makes me feel so alive and well. Other times, I despise it and kick myself for dedicating so much time to staying on top of each of the tasks given by my coach. These times tend to fall most in the weeks just before a taper – when I’m really down to my wire. And so, by the time taper arrives, I am ready to luxuriate in a ” regular” schedule – waking up late on weekends, reading in bed, enjoying pancakes for breakfast, hikes with the dog, and long lunches. Extra time to make cookies, or drink a glass of wine while we catch up after work. Training runs are replaced with contemplative trots and yoga, and my manic brain/body is quieted again.

For a few weeks both before and after a big race, the house is clean, I talk on the phone for hours on end, and spend all day on Sunday writing, cooking, drinking tea…

Last weekend, we had family in town and enjoyed exploring San Francisco a little more – enjoyed lunch at Pizzaria Delfina in Fillmore, sailed on the Bay, visited Alcatraz, had a mini BBQ. The sun is coming out and it’s fabulous to watch spring arrive here.

Best of all, it feels great to arrive at this point and feel healthy, rather in balance, and ready to push. Really hard. To find lazy moments plentiful enough that, when find myself toeing the line with 20-some-thousand other runners at the Boston Marathon next Monday, I feel ready to dig to the absolute bottom of myself and pull out a few extra minutes on my time from Boston last year. If all goes well, I will come out with a PR, a ticket to next years’ running-rite-of-passage, and a big pat on the back from myself because – in my mind, I haven’t had to sacrifice a thing to have this little bit of glory.

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