How many times, and how many ways, can I say that my third marathon has been drastically different than my past two? In my past two marathons, tapering has been accompanied by a marked increase in fretting, nervous energy, and an inability to stop talking about anything but my upcoming marathon (which is always a problem anyway, but significantly more so in the days preceding a marathon). This time the taper experience hasn’t quite been the same.
It only recently hit me that I will be running 26.2 miles in a matter of days. I’ve been going through my daily routines as if they were just that – daily routines. The magnitude of a marathon seems to be waning to the point where it takes a backseat to the rest of my life. Even last night, I was telling my roommate how excited I am for my weekend in DC. Oh, and also for running a marathon.
Part of me would like to make excuses and blame certain areas of my life (work) for occupying priority mental space and preventing me from focusing on the marathon. But now that I’m entering the taper mindset, there is a much bigger part of me that would like to tell you every last item on my packing list, review every single training run I’ve had (and compare it all to last year’s training), agonize over the various and discrepant weather forecasts, and detail my plan for the race (as long as I get a brief detour through the Air and Space museum at mile 19, it’ll be awesome!). Oh, and have I told you yet about how different this marathon feels from the other two that I’ve run? And have I told you yet about what I did differently with my training? And what about the total mileage I put on my race shoes over the course of the training season? Oh, I’ve already told you that? Let me tell you again!
That feels familiar. Boundless excitement. Frenzied activity. Obsessive planning, detailing, analyzing, and reviewing. Yup, it’s taper time! Probably a good thing it held off. Too much time spent in this mindset could make me a nuisance to myself and others! (Or not. I could never be a nuisance, ha!). Weekend in DC, here I come! Bring on the marathon!!