Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Running In Taper Mode

With just over two weeks, 16 days precisely, to go until the Israel Marathon in Tiberias, it is time to head into taper mode. I have been training mostly in taper mode, so I think the only thing I will be tapering is no long runs. The rest I plan on running a few more medium-long runs and trying to even ramp it up a bit. I think I have only run more than twice a week just a couple of times, so I dont think I deserve a taper.

In 16 days 18 weeks of training will be over. January 6th is the day man meets asphalt. Man meets himself. The marathon is really one of the greatest personal challenges anybody can undertake. It is a challenge in the physical realm, and more so in the mental realm. To will oneself, and keep motivated, for training to run 42.2 kilometers, to run anywhere from 3 to 6 hours, is a challenge that is beyond a persons normal abilities.

That is really what is great about the marathon. It is not that I love running 42 kilometers. I don't love running anything even close to that distance. I do love the challenge. I love to challenge myself to see if I can do something I know I should not be able to do. Both the physical challenge - to get myself to run such distances physically, and the mental challenge of getting through the training and even just getting through such long runs. You really get to know yourself when you train for a marathon. And it is a life-transforming experience.

Coach Chaim sent out some words to introduce the taper mode. They are words of instruction, direction, inspiration and motivation, and I will share them with you in a later post.

Despite taper mode, I went out for a 17km run this morning. I hate running in the cold, so I skipped last nights run and decided to run this morning. When I run in the cold I feel stiff and I never feel like I had a good run.

The weather was beautiful, with nice cool air and a warm sun. There was a bit of a gusty wind, but not too strong.
I decided to do a run I have not done in a very long time. When I got to Road 10 I turned left and ran eastward towards the Industrial Zone of Bet Shemesh. I only ran out 3km on the road and then turned and ran back. I then continued on to the end of Road 10, out on 375 and back. I totaled 17.2km.

I have run plenty of dangerous runs; pitch black trails, pitch black highways, highways with almost no shoulder, and more. Running on Road 10, in broad daylight, must have been the most frightening run I have ever done. I was worried the whole time about being hit by a car, and even though the shoulder is decent, for some reason it was more frightening, both running with traffic and against traffic, than any of the other crazy runs I have done.

Anyways, it was a good run. The winds were a bit of a disturbance, and ner the end it was getting a bit warm, but it felt great.

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