The Taper

I am having the most glorious taper as we march closer to the San Diego Marathon on June 6. My aches and pains are minimal, my frame of mind is clear and eager, the whole Team in Training journey is wrapping up with a wistfulness that has us asking each other, “but we’ll see each other still when this is all over, right?”

The taper period is a great wind down from some intense long runs and a chance to let our legs and bodies and minds relax and get back to 100% before the race. On Saturday we went out for our last team run, a 12-miler around the Charles. As usual at this part in the season it induces this twisted sort of mind set, where all of a sudden people are saying things like, “Awesome! Only 12 today!” and then reflecting on the statement realizing we’re in such a different place now than we were 4 months ago.

On Saturday a teammate observed that the training for the marathon is really the “marathon” itself, whereas race day is just the culmination of that journey… the race itself ends up being the homestretch or the finish line. The training has me so prepared for what I am about to do that I’m not nervous, anxious, or scared… just ready. Sure, it will hurt. Doing anything that taxing for 4 hours hurts, but it’s matter of fact. It’s just going to happen.

Last Thursday a group of us ran in a Thursday night run series that happens once a month from May until September. It’s a random 4.2 mile distance, but a great after-work run with free beer, BBQ, and bands at the finish. It was an unfamiliar route, so I’m already curious to see how I’ll pace next time around, but it was such a perfect evening and something to look forward to all summer. It’s sort of funny and I don’t know when it happened, but sometime over the past couple of years when I wasn’t paying attention, I think I became a runner.