Sunday, April 4, 2010

Week 13 / Welcome to Taper Hell

Week 13 2010:
Week’s Running totals: 48
Running Total for 2010: 550.45
Weight training: 2
Swim: 0

Taper madness has begun: my back hurts, my knee hurts and my head is spinning. Yep, I’d say everything’s right on course!

I’m always edgy during taper; perhaps it’s the excess energy, usually expended in miles now turned into restlessness. This, combined with a heavy dose of worry as I sit and question everything: my training, my abilities (or lack thereof), my nutrition, my aching back, my now aching left knee, and mostly my sanity. I have done all the work I can squeeze in, now it’s time to take this taper and mitigate the worries.

I worry about race day jitters, my aching back (do they make battery operated heating pads? Or do extension cords come in 26.2 mile lengths?), the curious throb in my knee, the taper nutrition, the race day hydration, the night before the race sleep, the night before the night before sleep, race pace, stomach cramps, weather, bonking and crashing at mile 17 when the hills hit hard. I worry about catching germs at school and staying away from as many as I can, I worry about my Denver to Boston flights and missing my connection in DC in time to get my race packet on Saturday, and I worry about being away from my boys for 4 days while I venture to the other side of the good ole U.S. of A.

I worry about letting people down who have believe in me and have supported me though this incredible, yet heartbreaking, journey o f mine. My family at home, my friend here and scattered across the nation, and mostly you bloggie friends who have been the absolute BEST support system out there – ever! I know that’s not a good thing, but I always run better when I know I’m going to bring a smile on someone’s face for doing job well-done.

My taper includes a great mental preparedness. Every approaching marathon (this will be #15) feels like final exam week….like a countdown until I have a serious evaluation of the lessons taught in recent months. A marathon, no matter how many I've done, is never easy for me. A marathon is like one of those prime workshops for me, I have always been one who learns by the book but must practice in order to become. For me, it’s not about muscle strength, lung capacity and facing fear – these things are daunting enough as it is. The true lessons for me are always the soulful lessons of the heart, and I never know the Professor well enough to know what questions will be asked of me.

Jilly, it’s mile 17 and the infamous Newton hills are around the corner. Your back is killing you and you know last year you nearly died a fast death at mile 22. Do you:
1) Have a complete melt-down, panic and start walking
2) Pretend to gag on a GU so you have a valid excuse to slow to a snail’s pace.
3) Trust your abilities to handle the upcoming hills.
4) Crank up your iPod, put your head down, and start praying.
5) 2 and 4.
6) All the above.
Oh yea, testing anxiety never really goes away for me, even as an adult. Trials come hard and fast and unexpected, as they do in life (a loss of a job, a separation, a sick child, a loss of a loved one, a friend’s sorrow, anything…). I want to be doing the best I can with what I have before me, in my running and in my life. Have I trained to the best of my ability in this Boston journey? No. And that scares me. But I know I can do it and when the test comes, all I want now is the courage to be ready!

“There comes a point in the race when you alone will need to decide. You will need to make a choice. Do you really want it? You need to decide.” - Rolf Arands

T-minus 2 weeks and counting. Godspeed to everyone out there running the Boston marathon….or whatever race you’re running -- be it a marathon or a 5K or just another one of life’s test that’s thrown at you, may you have the courage to be ready to accept it!

Finally, Jennifer gave me the "Super Support Award" - what a sweetie. Thanks, Jennifer!! :) I think about 3 boxes of tissues will fill my 34A's just fine!!
I am so far behind in blog world, sorry! I'm back at work tomorrow (sigh) and can get caught up. ;)
And finally in other news, my client, Brian, ran his very first race yesterday - a 1/2 marathon trail run in Indiana. He rocked it!!!! He remained calm at the start and listened to me to stay back at the start and was picking off people left and right at the end. You ROCK, Brian - way to go!! So very proud!
Here’s a few pictures from my days in Boston last year! Enjoy!!

My neighborhood girlfriends threw a little "good luck" dinner (me in the gray shirt)

Arrived in Boston, my first day there, with my besty girlfriend, Karen, from Iowa

Trying on the race shirt to see how it fits (is this the ugliest color ever? At least I can wear it in on an evening run and be seen!)

A guy at the expo rolling out my tight hammy with "the stick" - oh man, that hurt!

Boston Finish line on Bolyston Street

A Redsox game on my birthday, the day before Boston!

Walking home from Fenway; I loved this street with it's gorgeous rowhouses

The banners which filled the lampposts

My favorite rowhouse. It has violet-colored window panes in many places

My dear friend, Elaine, and I at the expo (again). She qualified for Boston on her very first marathon. She is awesome!

Entering Athletes' Village (now the 2-hour wait begins. UGH!)

Making my way to my corral (18). Massive hoards of people!

About a half mile to go. Yea, it looks like it huh???

Texting isn't easy to do when it's freaking freezing and I am dead!

Very proud of this medal!

Post race celebration upon return to Denver with some dear girlfriends (me in the white shirt)

Opp, this one got out of order. This was a huge banner that was drapped somewhere along the course. People could write on it and my friend from Iowa, Karen, wrote that nice little heart. I never saw the banner on the course, I have no idea where it hung.


HappyTrails said...

Jill, I think you and I are related - we are BOTH worry-warts!!! LOL! I am here to comfort you, though - you are going to do great - so no more worries. Not only are you going to do great, you are going to have tons of fun on and off the course, AND meet Meg!!! How cool is that??? So, no more fretting allowed! Have a wonderful week,

Julie said...

Hi Jill,
Enjoy your taper!! Wow, Boston is just two weeks away and I am so excited for you!! You are going to do great and you have so many people who will be cheering you on:) I really wish that I could go there...I would be the best cheerleader!! Thanks for sharing your Boston pictures from last year! It makes me miss has been two years since our last trip there!! Hang in there Jill and happy taper!

HappyTrails said...

Oh yeah, PLEASE feel free to come run with us anytime - it will be F-U-N!!!!!!! :-)

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Great pics! Glad you shared! Fun to see esp. since I hope to run Boston someday.

I know what you mean about anxiety. When I race, I'll be reminding myself that races are fun, that I'm racing for fun - that helps my nerves a little.

I know you're going to have fun in Boston! Can't wait to see how well you run!

Irene said...

LOVED the pics!

You give me hope that I can turn things around in the face of adversity and return to training soon AND run a marathon by June. I'm a ways from a BQ, but you also give me hope that, someday, I can get there.

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

oh, i love those pics from last year! you look great! I say just look at em' every nite for the next two weeks, because yah...i think tapering is a bit hard. you're like a philly about to bust outta the race gate.
and i actually like the electric yellow shirts. My friend Maggs (aka sunsafetybarbie blog) wore hers last week and I thought it looked cool. Solar yellow is in!
Can't wait for you;-)

akjenniekt said...

I like your pics :-). I can't even fathom doing one marathon let alone 15 (and it two weeks 16)! I think you will do amazing- I can sympathize with the worrying, I do it all the time!

Meg said...'s all going to be GOOD! I think we're all feeling the aches and pains, the worries and the fears...but it's going to happen despite our fretting! We're going to have FUN and enjoy the moments and the things that truly, truly matter; friends, fun, food and memory-making! Hugs girl, good luck getting back to work and I LOVE those pictures. I like those rowhouses too!!

C2Iowa said...

You are a rock and that is what you have in store for Boston. I like the pics! To top things off --- you used my favorite "Godspeed". Having never attempted a taper, I can only wonder.... Go luck with you next couple of weeks. Exactly two weeks from now you will be out there doing what you do best; on your B-day!

I miss those houses. My mom is from there and I almost forgot how nice they look.

Teamarcia said...

Taper at last! I'm still not sure I can even make it TO the Newton Hills, let alone up and over them. This training cycle has been horse dung. Oh well. Love last year's pics--great reminiscing!

Jennifer said...

Jill! You are going to do so well. I know it. Great things happen to great people. You have been so full of awesome advice and good will for me and lots of other runners that good karma always returns! Relax have a great taper and remember the hardest work is already done!

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

use all the positive energy surrounding you to keep moving forward when your mind starts telling you that you can't go anymore. we are all rooting for you in blogland! 3 of the 4 Boston Marathons I have done, the wait in the athlete village was 4 hours b/c the race didn't start until noon :( I like the earlier start time much better. Isn't if weird how cold it gets in the city when you finish? I remember being hot as i was finishing and then all of a sudden as i was walking to the bus to get my belongings, the temp felt like it dropped 20 degrees. Crazy! You are gonna do great Jill!

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

BREATHE! That's the best I can offer, sorry:( I am excited, and of course I have many of those same thoughts, especially about heading into and out of "the hills" IT WILL BE FUN! Thanks for sharing the pics.

Anne said...

I sometimes think that running repeat marathons is a little like your second round of childbirth - you're actually more anxious because you now know what to expect, versus being blissfully ignorant. Good luck to you - I'm sure you'll do a great job out there.

Anonymous said...

Great photos!!!!

I am so excited for all you Boston runners. And this is YOUR race; us supported always support no matter what! This months RW has a whole article on Taper Hell- lots of info on Boston in general. You're going to do great; enjoy the taper and breathe breathe breathe!

Run Jess Run said...

It seems everyone gets anxious during their taper. Just remember that this is your 2nd Boston Marathon and you are about to run marathon #15. You'll do great!!!

ajh said...

I love all these pics! Have a great time at Boston! You will all have so much fun there! I will be there somewhere cheering you all on!

Glenn Jones said...

Woo hoo! Taper! I'm soooo excited for you! Boston!

I've only done three marathon, but from your description, it sounds like nothing changes the more you run. You are describing everything I go through to a tee!

How can you let us down? You're in Boston! You've already won! Now just go out and do what you know to do. Just don't let yourself down.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Wow oh Wow! Good to know I am not the only one who WORRIES!! But I also have moving in my stress just before Eugene UGH!!

Funny I think that shirt is cool..I always love the people in dayglow yellow.

Thanks for sharing the photos, makes me even more excited for 2011!!

Beth said...

Wow, Jill good luck with your tapper! You will do awesome. I am starting mine too (not for Boston, I wish, just a local half) and I already feel anxious. I will be cheering you on from Denver!!

Stephanie said...

Jill, you will do great! You gave me chills reading this, with my first half this weekend, I wasn't nervous until I read this....but, it's a good nervous! The type that makes me realize that my first half is such a momentous thing!!!
Good luck with Boston...just remember that you are SOOOO LUCKY to just be there...everything else is just a bonus!!!

Marlene said...

Love the flash back to last year's Boston... I ams o excited for you. You're going to be AMAZING out there!!

Wonder what color the shirts are this year??

Katie A. said...

I'm back in "going to shit my pants" mode after see all the great pics! I worry then I get excited. Then I worry, then I get excited! I have worry ADD! Ugh, I just want it to be done...and yet, I don't :)
Miss you! You're going to do great!!!

Running Through Life said...

It's taper time and you have worked so hard to get to this point. Now just sit back and let yourself go into auto pilot for the rest. I know you are gonna rock this!!

Tara said...

Hey girl! I got your e-mail, I'll e-mail back soon and let's DEFINITELY plan something! I think a giant margherita the size of your head might do your anxiety well (and maybe your back too). Can't wait to catch up!

I'm the same way when it comes to being afraid of letting people down, so I know how you feel. I keep trying to remind myself that I am doing this for me.

That's awesome about your client Brian! You must feel like a proud mother hen!!! :)

Psyche said...

Hey, Jill! What great photos. I actually started to well up seeing the Boston Finish line at Boyle Street!

As for taper madness, you know I am useless to you in every way when it comes to that, as you had to talk me down from the ledge over the weekend!

What I believe is this: it won't matter a hill of (boston) beans what you think, feel, or imagine from here to there. Once the race begins, you will "snap to" and do exactly what is required of you. You have 15 marathons worth of experience to draw on. You know you have what it takes. So go on and prove it, girl. We're all rooting for you!

BTW, what did you use to slick your bangs back for that photo they used of you to fill the lamp posts? :-).

Running and living said...

I love the pics! Such great memories! All the work is done, now we rest up and hope for cool temps!

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Sorry to hear of your anxiety and mounting "taper madness". I feel for you, and know that you will pull through with flying colors. The pics from last year are great!

ShutUpandRun said...

I'm so excited for you!! Keep the anxiety at bay, you are going to do so well. I love the quote, btw.

Bethany + Ryan said...

woohoo! less than 2 weeks now! no need to worry about not getting your packet. i am sitting at my computer right now and i can see the packet pickup location right outside my window. i know people ;-). see? now you have 1 less thing to worry about! :-) i worry too when i am traveling for a race. i hope ryan and i will get to meet you after the race! good luck!

DRog said...

J -
Great photos! Under two weeks to go, taper well and Good Luck!!!

HappyTrails said...

BTW, I saw your comment on Tina's page - have you tried the Honey Stinger bloks??? They taste good and are easy to chew. Plus they are a company from Steamboat!!!!

Brian said...

Ha Ha! You turned my half-marathon into a half mile, "Brian, ran his very first race yesterday - a 1/2 mile trail run in Indiana"
Pochero would be so disappointed.
Thanks for the encouraging words and your help in getting me across the finish line! Couldn't have done it without you!
I know that you will rock Boston!

LMC said...

This is a great heartfelt and hopeful post because despite all of the fears and worries and aches and pains, you're gonna do this and we're gonna cheer you on, every step of the way! I can't wait to read your race report, no matter what. You're going to do great and you're going to have fun because it's Boston and you made it!
The news about your client is very exciting, good for both of you. Thanks for sharing the pix and have a great week of tapering!

Abby said...

Thank you for the sweet comment, Jill! Good luck with the next couple weeks - I've had similar experiences with taper madness :)

Heather said...

Oh, the taper crazies. I'd tell you to do what I do, but eating chocolate probably isn't the answer. :)

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Enjoy your taper! Don't worry. YOu are going to enjoy this marathon and all the sugar after it!

I love your photos.

Stay away from germs! Wash your hands. Stay healthy! *hugs*

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Love all the pics from Boston last year, it's getting close for you again!! Noticed the guy with the Canadian flag on his shirt in the last mile photo :) Cool!! Take care!

Denise said...

you summed up taper madness perfectly. i know what you mean about letting people down. while i didn't think of letting down my family/friends, while i was running the race i kept telling myself that i wanted to blog about it being my day and sharing the excitement with all my virtual friends. you're going to kick butt!!

Jess said...

You're almost there and now it won't be the first time!

Sherri said...

This was the such a fun post to read...I was really into it! I did not read all the i am sure you have been told 100 times that you bring smiles everyday with your great energy and sweet comments. I will admit, you have a ton of people all over the globe cheering for you...and we are just proud of what you do on a day to day basis...Boston is just a bonus!
I am curious where your Iowa friend is from ...I am from Pella, Iowa!
I loved all the pictures from last year...and can't wait to see the ones from this year!
Good Luck!
You'll do AMAZING!!!

AZ said...

I ALWAYS get phantom pains just before races. It's all part of it. You'll do great, looking forward to reading about it.

Anne said...

This was such a great post...thanks for sharing the pics from last year and wow to your friend who qualified after her first marathon! You look amazing and you are going to rock these hills :) Have a great time in Boston!!

lindsay said...

i loved all the pics from last year's race! def pumped me up for this year's :)

Katie said...

I hate tapering too. I know it's hard when you get all worked up for a race. I can manage to keep my jitters under control if I'm racing once a month, but if I'm not I even have trouble sleeping the week before a race. I hope that you can find a way to relax and enjoy the experience! Also...nice pics!

Kenley said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have not yet completed a marathon but it is very inspiring Jill. As far as letting down anybody, only worry about yourself. You are not running for any one else. This I know. You are running for You! I do know what you mean though. You are in my prayers and I wish you the best. I loved all of the pics that you shared here. Thanks. Very Cool. have Fun and take care. and by the way I am with 4) Crank up your iPod, put your head down, and start praying, but the praying should be first and always. lol. See YA! (Actually I wont since you are faster than light speed)

Adam said...

Those pictures look amazing. ah-ma-zing. I'm so jealous that you've been there.

I totally understand what you mean about taper! It is soooo mentally exhausting.

misszippy said...

Jill--I agree with you on the whole marathon thing--it doesn't matter how many you have done; they are a scary, intimidating race! BUT--you have to go with number 3. You have the ability to handle those hills! And since you've done Boston before, you know those hills really aren't all they are rumored to be! Let your confidence win this war.

Ewa said...

I lived in Hopkinon for quite a few years. That was way before my running days. Say hello to MA for me. Loved living there.
As for tapers... well, I actually envy you. I would be rather tapering with all the feelings of depression and anxiety than having an injury, and this is exactly what is benching me.
Good luck with Boston. I'll be cheering for you. What's your bib number, of have you posted and I am just blind?

Anonymous said...

jill, You are goona rock in Boston! Trust yourself!


Robin said...

Oh, Jill! I am sooooo excited, nervous, excited, nervous FOR you!! I KNOW you are going to ROCK Boston, but I can feel your words right down to my soul. If you hadn't said you had already run 14 marathons, I wouldn't know it from your respectful acknowledgement of what's to come. I cannot even describe to you how much I'm thinking about your upcoming race. It's on my calendar, it's on my mind! I will wake that day knowing it's The Day and will be thinking of you guys all day! (Can't wait to hear the report!!) And you'll be celebrating your birthday...yay!! :-)

Love the Rolf Arands quote, the Super Support Award (and 34A reference ha ha!), and the pics. Boston is one of our (hubs and I) favorite places to visit - he was just there two wks ago and said there were signs/banners about the upcoming race. So cool! Beautiful city!

HUGS and more HUGS from Orlando!
robin/turtle runner

p.s. - if you get 5 minutes, i'd love your vote in my quest to get to NYC (info on the blog) and would love it even more if you'd invite your readers/blogging buddies to vote, too. Each person can vote once per day, but even if everyone voted just once - oh wow!!

thanks, girl! :-) sending you good vibes (and no-hurting-knee thoughts!)...

Velma said...

You are going to be great - trust in your experience. You have done this before and you will do it again!

Tim said...

Wow your blog is rocking. All these comments. Everyone's into Jill!

Good luck in Boston!

Tim said...

You really ran 48 miles just 2-3 weeks before your race? That's an average of 7 miles every day. Is that a taper??!! That's about 13 miles more than my high-mileage week in training for a marathon!

Anonymous said...

Sweetie, Just get out there and run! You always end up surprising yourself!