This is “taper” week in preparation for the Rock ‘N Roll Las Vegas Marathon on December 6 (I’m doing the Half Marathon, remember?). I meant to run easy this week; naturally, all my well-laid plans flew south in an admirable escape from the cold front that descended upon Colorado.
I haven’t run since Monday morning. That morning I meant to run about four miles. Somehow, my thoughts got going and I ran into “the zone”, where miles fall away and the ol’ brainpan works out some problems. I was figuring out characters and the plot of a story I am starting to work on, and suddenly realized that four miles had come and gone, while I was still three miles from home. Oops.
My energy was good and being thoroughly entertained by the images floating through my head, I kept right on going. What else was I going to do? My one concern was that I had agreed to try a yoga class with a friend at 8:45, and I had to get home, shower, eat, and get out the door again. The extra three miles truncated my timing, but somehow it all got done.
The yoga class at Core Power Yoga was “warm”, as opposed to “hot” yoga. After my 7-mile run Murphy’s Law dictated that my friend was in the “C2” class instead of the “C1” (introductory) class, so the pace was fast, the temp was up, and within minutes my toxins were dancing on the mat in the form of sweat dripping from every crevice of my body.
The thought crossed my mind that I shouldn’t push my body too far during the 75-minute class, given that I was technically in taper mode this week. Keeping the concept of “taper” in the forefront of my head was difficult in the warm environment that was steeped with yogi’s and yogini’s that exuded suppleness, strength and fluidity. I persevered though, and even came out of warrior pose when I felt my gluts and quads raise their little ruckus. I’ve avoided injury thus far, and I really didn’t want to tempt fate by getting out of my “runner’s box” too much during the first yoga class I’ve attended in over a year.
I was thirsty, very thirsty, after class. The rest of the day I guzzled water and peed buckets. I slept hard that night and didn’t wake until 5:55 AM, possibly a new world’s record for me. Tuesday I was tired and felt run-down, though rallied and kept to my busy schedule. I put on a good game-face and made it through the day, though just barely. I was cold all day as well, absolutely chilled to the bone. The temperature was dropping fast in advance of the cold front that was to settle over the Front Range for the next two days; even though I wore a coat, hat and gloves, my extremities were numb with cold. While Bill took Connor to Cub Scouts, I stood in the shower letting hot, healing water run over my body. When I was finally warm I dove into bed with my new library book, “The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle” and proceeded to hibernate. I drank three glassess of Emergen-C, a cup of hot tea, and went to bed by 8:30, feeling like a cold was upon me.
I woke Wednesday knowing I had dodged a bullet. The “I have a cold” feeling had passed, my energy was up, and I was only cold whenever I went outside. The temp never got about 20°. Even with a warm sweater, coat, hat, gloves and boots, the cold permeated my body. Bill and I canceled our evening plans in favor of putting up the Christmas tree with the kids and staying toasty warm in our cozy house.
The high today was 19° F. The low this morning was 7°. My running buddy didn’t want to brave the cold and ice at 5:30 this morning and frankly, neither did I. The cold is hard on delicate bronchi; is it really so important to stick to a running date and time when the weather is dictating its own terms? No.
Bill and I leave tomorrow morning for Las Vegas. We’ll get the kids off to school then immediately head to the airport. I’m sure we’ll do a short, easy run either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, but that will be the extent of it before the big race Sunday morning. I meant to actually taper my training, but the circumstances of the week dictated a pure elimination from training. That’s happened to me before and honestly, it’s a relief. It’s nice to know that I can simply sleep, rest, eat, and hang out before a race, and then have the ability to get up on race day and give it my all. I’ll have plenty of energy and reserves for the 13.1 mile course, and it’s been a gift to sleep in these cold, dark mornings. Ahh, winter. You change the gait of the training, but that makes the training all the sweeter.