Saturday, April 28, 2012

Taper and tape

My joke this week is that I have been carb-loading and tapering for about two weeks in anticipation of Sunday's half marathon. To anyone who is reading that isn't a runner, let me explain carb-loading and tapering. Carb-loading starts about 24-48 hours before a race, when you want to consume something like 90% of your calories from carbs (a typical diet is closer to about 55%, if my memory serves without looking it up). I have had noooooo problem adhering to this, though!

A taper means you run less than normal in anticipation of having your legs well-rested for the race. Any hard training near the race no longer helps your race performance and can only serve to hurt you, so the idea is to taper down your running until race day. Again, I had no problem adhering to this. I have read about "taper madness" where people get antsy and have a hard time reducing the thing they love to do, but this time, at least, I felt really good about it. My last few runs were kind of crappy, anyways, so I was happy to take a little break and build the excitement about the race. Last Saturday through Monday I ran a total of about 17 miles and my legs were toast for the rest of the week. I did a slow easy run on Wednesday night and intended to run another slow easy run on Saturday (today), but I didn't have a chance to (read: too busy carb-loading to let my stomach empty enough to fit in a run!).

On Thursday afternoon I went to my physical therapist. It was only my second appointment with her and so far I am not in love. Last time she sent me home with ideas for stretching and strengthening, which I did more or less every day with pretty much no change in my hamstring/shin issues. On Thursday she taped up my hamstring and shins with kinesiology tape and sent me on my way. Well, that was nice, but not sure what that is supposed to do for me in the long run (pun not intended!). I ended up ripping all the tape off today because I realized I didn't want to run with my legs all taped up like a neon Christmas present for my first half marathon ever, especially since I had never run with the tape on before. So far my injuries don't negatively affect me while I am actively running I wasn't too worried to take it off. Maybe I will try taping and running another time.

Side note: how random is it that when I run hard I feel fine, then hobble around like an old lady when I stop running, only to be able to leap in to a sprint again?

Obviously this is just my shins, my right hamstring was all taped, as well.
The girls made signs for me and Matt hinted at having made a sign of his own, I can't wait to see it! It is going to be a really fun day. I feel completely and totally ready and that my training went as well as I could have hoped. After telling myself I don't really need to, I decided to make a time goal (putting it out in the universe now: it's 2:00) but if things don't go as planned, I will be okay. After all, it is my first half, so it will be amazing whether I bust through my time goal or overshoot it by 20 minutes. Okay, maybe I will cry a little if I go over by 20 minutes, but it will still always be my first! I can't wait to come back and write about/show pictures about how it goes!

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