(Un)tapering at T-minus-six days before the Disneyland Half Marathon

Hi. Friendly neighborhood Hokeydude here. So the big run at Disneyland is pretty much here! Boots, Shyla and I leave Friday morning, Virgin America direct to LAX, where we’ll be met by Ann (who WILL earn a blog nickname before next Wednesday), and then it’s 5 nights in Southern Califnornia. Hope to get in a ton of sightseeing before and after the run, including at Disneyland itself (I’ll be running through that park as well as California Adventure), meeting up with an old friend who lives in Hollywood who’s performing Tuesday night, getting some karaoke in there somewhere, a stop at Amoeba, dinner in Santa Monica, and a Steel Panther show Monday night. It’ll be a great trip.

17 thousand runners are going to be running through that castle Sunday morning.

Unfortunately, I’ve spent the last 5 days dealing with a particularly brutalĀ head-cold, one that left me unable to maintain my training and taper properly. Tapering is, more or less, winding down your training in preperation for a big race. Winding down, but not shutting down… the latter of which, unfortunately, is what I had to do. So last night after work — GOD, between being home sick and then barricaded in in prep for TS Isaac, which was about as threatening as Ethan Hawke in a tough-guy role, I totally missed work! — I hit the treadmill for an hour of moderate conditioning. Juiced up from a glass of powdered Spark, I did just over 6 miles and felt pretty strong about it, despite being not quite at my fighting best. Congestion and lack of exertion over the past week left me a tad more winded than I should have been. Still, I’m not going for a PR here. This one’s just gonna be for fun and to grab that 2012 Coast To Coast medal.

Today and Thursday I’ll be doing light weights, nothing strenuous, just keeping the energy levels up and the core strengthened, then another conditioning run on Wednesday, this time a little longer and a little faster. I haven’t done a Half since last March in Sarasota; I don’t know why that makes me a little nervous, but that compounded with being out of action for nearly a week has made me want to (un)taper. I’ve certainly trained enough over the past months and put in those long hours hitting both the pavement and the treadmill. Maybe it’s because I used to do them regularly, every three weeks between January and March, plus a 5K and 10K as well. Maybe it’s because I’m unnaturally preoccupied with worry that I will devolve into what I was before I became dedicated to running.

Soft. Old. Anemic. Weak. Pathetic. Ugh. I can’t go back there, but it’s this type of thinking that’s going to strangle me.

So I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude. After this race is done, it’s full-on training for the Full 26.2 mile run in January, with some stops along the way for a 10-miler in a month and probably another Half or two as well. After that… who knows? Thinking about looking into triathlons and the like. The key is to never stop. Be like Dory, just keep swimmin’. As long as I’m alive and as long as I’m moving, that’s the real victory. It’s like my philosophy going into every race in terms of rank and placement: even if you come in dead last, you’re stillĀ way far ahead of every one who stayed home, slept in, never trained, or couldn’t be bothered. Your victory is assured simply by lining up and crossing the starting line.

Not that won’t stop me from obsession over the numbers, but that’s a knish for another deli…

If you're reading this blog, YOU'RE AWESOME! Let me hear your thoughts.