I started taper this week. Taper makes me feel helplesssssss. I know that many of you are like me--which is to say obesseive and compuslive and addicted to the knowledge that you just went out and worked out for five hours so you are definitely getting it done.
Taper makes me feel like I'm getting nothing done. This is ironic since I have actually gotten an enormous amount done since taper began. I've done things like hung pictures, paid bills, sorted my closet and my drawer(s) that contain my workout garb, replaced ink cartridges, written thank you notes and obsessed over my AG competition at CDA, and updated my athlete schedules until after I get home form Idaho. You know, important stuff. I also sent Mrs. Z away. She's on route to CDA. I think that means I'm actually going to go there, and I'm actually going to race.
My training and taper for CDA have been different than they were for LP.
How? Oh, I don't know. The actually weren't that different. They just feel different. I have the same fabulous coach, and she is training me in a similar way as she did last time.
My training for LP was done in the midst of a rather massive mid-life crisis, while I was still working. I got down to race weight for LP because I got sick, and was also in ummm-- turmoil. Despite this, my training volume was actually higher than my volume for CDA. My CDA training involved more long riding, but fewer total hours.
During taper for LP I had a UTI which I didn't actually know about until it became full-blown during the race. (very special.) I never felt good when tapering for LP. I was taking Ibuprofen every day to keep a slight fever down and I just felt tired and grumpy. I remember I kept emailing Ange and complaining that I needed taper.. I just ached to do less than I was doing.
This time taper feels different. I feel like I am finally feeling a bit rested--which is, I think, what I'm supposed to feel. My times in swimming and biking have shot back up this week to where they normally are. For awhile there I wondered if I would ever swim faster than 1:25 pace or run faster than 8:30s ever again. What a freaking relief to go out there and swim and run well! (or well for me.)
I'm thinking this is all good. Still, you never know.
Another thing I feel good about is that I have A PLAN.
It's not a sort of plan, it's a PLAN.
The gist is:
Just swim. Don't loaf, but don't KILL IT. Try to get clean water. Don't panic and don't go hypoxic.
The bike. KP the master power man talked to me last weekend (thank you, btw) and helped me to understand how I need to ride the bike using the meter. I already knew how I needed to ride the bike, but he talked me through it in a way that was CONCRETE. There is the old don't go too hard idea -- which is all well and good but what the fuck does it really mean? How hard is too hard? I am competitive and impatient, and nothing is too hard in my mind if I want to pass the chick with the 40 on her leg.
So we talked ranges in terms of power. This is the range for downhill, this is the range for flats, this is the range for hills, and most importantly, this is your superthreshold number which you should do everything you can to NOT HIT.
Okay. I get it. I ran the bike plan past Jen, and she said GOOD. Exactly. We have always talked about it in terms of not spiking the hr (because until now I only had hr to work with, of course.) This works except that there is such a lag in the reporting of hr that it makes it easy to just blow it off when climbing a hill or passing. Oh! No problem! I'm still in zone 2 (when 10 seconds later it registers that you are, in fact, in zone 4).
The run. My plan is to run it. My plan is to not walk the water stops--to not walk at all. It won't be smoking fast. I get that now. I did LP and I understand how the marathon is NOT LIKE a marathon. It's a different beast. You go slowly--much more slowly than you can in real life running. My plan is to keep a pace that allows me to run approximately 30 minutes slower than my marathon PR. If I can do that, I will officially consider myself a GODDESS. I have nothing against a little walk except that I know what happens when I walk when I am that fucked up tired. It HURTS to start running again. It hurts more than just continuing to run. So I'm going to just keep running until I keel over. Hopefully I will reach the finish line before that happens. The goal for this race is to run the second half of the marathon. That is really, in the end, what I need and what I want and my biggest biggest goal.
I also have a fueling plan, but that's even more boring to detail. It involves eating and drinking 220-240 calories an hour and taking salt tabs. UUEUE!
I know I'm boring right now, but forgive me. I am laser focused on getting this fucker done.