Thursday, May 7, 2009

Taper Anxiety

Yesterday I didn't run at all, just did an uphill walk and a strength workout. Today was 5 miles with 20 minutes at 7:00 pace. It didn't feel as easy as it should have, but I got it done. Tonight I have Yoga and I plan to take it easy. I've been doing Yoga for three weeks now, and this Yoga business isn't as easy and relaxing as I imagined it would be. I knew it would involve working on flexibility, but the core strength work has taken me by surprise! The good news is that it really has helped my flexibility. I am now only as stiff as a board, when before starting Yoga I was as stiff as a cast iron skillet. Quite an improvement. As far as the core work, it hurts pretty bad during and after the Yoga session. When I see people doing Yoga on TV and in pictures, they don't have the same pained expression I seem to be wearing throughout the session.

I am waiting patiently for my legs to start feeling fresh and fast from having started my taper for MMT. So far they are still feeling pretty tired and slow. No worries! There is still over a week before the race. My hip that had been bothering me has fixed itself, snapping into place on my fast uphill walk yesterday. I am going to hold off on the chiropracter because right now, it feels fine.

I am feeling a little "performance anxiety" about Massanutten. It is much easier to go into a race under trained and with no expectations from myself or anyone else. It's absolutely pressure free when I go to a race thinking, "gee, I haven't really trained at all and if I make it to the finish line it'll be a miracle." It is much more anxiety ridden to think, "I've been training for this specific race for 4 1/2 months. If I don't do well, it will all have been a waste of time and effort." Oh well, all I can do is my best. One of my favorite things about racing ultras is that once the race starts and the first mile or two are behind me, I become totally relaxed and can just run in the moment without worrying about what lies ahead. So at least this nervous anxiety I am feeling right now should be gone by 5:30 AM a week from Saturday!


  1. Laurel,

    You know the course now, and you've had a great winter of training. You should do very well down at MMT, despite your concerns. I think we all have our doubts at times as big events get close. You are healthy and fit at the perfect time. Have fun in VA.

  2. Laurel, you’ve done your homework. I'm sure you will have a great race. Even if it doesn't turn out exactly as planned, your training would not have been "a waste of time and effort." Haven't you enjoyed the journey and explored new places, learned more about yourself and your inner strength, found that the hard effort may have bent but never broken you?

  3. Training hasn't been a waste. You are in great shape, had fun running snowshoe races, and ran Green Mt 3 times on the 1st try. Then with "tired" legs still run it! The rate I'm going it will be 12 more tries to get to the top...ONCE! Even the workouts you're not crying about much at all anymore. You make things look even easier now than you did before. You should do as well as you want. Relax, have fun, just BRING IT!