Flashback Blog: Tapering to the Finish

Flashback Blog: Tapering to the Finish

Originally published on the original kessel korner at blogs.starwars.com/kesseljunkie on October 16, 2005

Luke and Yoda
I used this image in the original post. Luke really should look into having that checked out. (Copyright Lucasfilm 1980, though if you put him in a front-side harness like a baby…Total Recall!)

Well, the next two weeks begin the process in marathon training known as “tapering”. It’s a process where you decrease the weekly (and daily) miles you run, as well as the pace, in the time leading to the big day.

It serves a couple purposes.

First and foremost, it decreases the risk of fresh injury. You’re still training, but you don’t want to push too hard before your “performance”.

The second purpose is similar to a light workout the day before a football game – it keeps you loose and tuned, without burning yourself out for the time you need it most. how useful would Shaun Alexander be if he blew out his hamstring on a wind sprint the day before facing New England?

It takes a little getting used to, and it’s really hard to stop at ten miles now. That sounds really weird, I know. Yesterday (Saturday 15 October), we went 10.5 miles, and I barely felt like I’d had a workout! It was a cool and bright day, and I wanted to keep going. I really, really wanted to keep going. Fortunately the three others running with me made sure I reigned it in.

We were pretty close to our target pace, and we stayed on the 3:1 split. The main group leader felt that the 3:1 group was successful enough on the 24-miler, that Stacey and I could lead a 3:1 group again. Only two other people took us up on it.

One of them, Sam, is a really nice guy. Four months from now his wife is giving birth to their third child – and he seems to be a dedicated father, which is both nice and a rarity. The girl that ran with us this week, Robin, is really nice, too, and is as fervently devoted to sci-fi and LOTR as any guy I know. To say the least, Sam and Robin were a source of terrific conversation, and Stacey and I loved every minute of it.

We even talked about ghost stories and experiences. It’s amazing that three of us had stories – all of them shades of creepy, and one of them downright terrifying. Had it happened to me, I probably would have screamed like a girl – you know, like Lando when the Sarlacc grabbed him.

To keep you all posted on the injury report:

*My right ankle is doing fine, but now my left is tweaking out on me. I’ve been icing it since the 24-miler, which is a drag. “Will this never end?”

*My toenails are hanging in there. (HA!) The one on the third toe of my right foot keeps getting snagged on my socks, and it’s a pain in the butt. I may tear the damned thing off just to get it over with.

*The large, large blister on the inside of my right foot popped three times, bled once. It seems to be progressing into the world’s toughest callous, which is pretty cool. It’s all sorts of yummy colors.

Not related to running…

*The stitches in my neck and back come out tomorrow. They seem to have healed nicely, and I am all tripped out as to what will happen when they snip out the stitches tomorrow. I hope no more blood, because I’m sick of bleeding.

*I hit my head. I have a welt adorned with a beautiful cut in the top center of my forehead. *sigh*

Hitting the streets tomorrow morning for the customary Monday morning 3-miler. It’s a great way to start the week, but it’s starting to get pretty cold before sunrise. Brrr!

[Post Script:
I had forgotten, after taking some time off from TKD training in April, how driven I can be. It’s scary to know that nothing will stop you; no amount of pain can stand in my way, no task is insurmountable, and I am always asking myself, “Is that all you have?”

During the training runs, my thoughts always travel back to my first love, the martial arts, and how much they pushed me to my potential.

One thing is sure: I am getting back to TKD as soon as the marathon is wrapped up, and though it will take a few years, I am getting that black belt. I have a brown belt from a very respectable school, but I know now that Brown is not good enough. As great as running feels, nothing can top the exhiliration of the martial arts.

I have to return to Dagobah complete my training. Only my Yoda won’t wave me off – he’s probably going to work me twice as hard.

Not a problem.]

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