On the Express Train to Taper Town

Today, I boarded the train from Taper Town!

It’s an express train. It usually takes two or three weeks to get from there to the marathon, but I’ll do it in just one week.

Today was my last long run before Chicago, and I am happy it’s behind me.

No matter how many of them I’ve done, I’ll never stop getting nervous about long runs. Will my stomach cooperate? My legs? My skin, against chafing?

My master plan for today was this: run 7 miles, run a half, brunch. I woke up at 5:30 to do this with plans to leave at 6:30, and when I looked at my clock to leave, it was after 7. EFF. How did that happen? I ran up approximately 3 miles to the start in Central Park and knew I’d have to get mileage in after the race.

I was lucky enough to find a friend in the corrals, and I ended up running the first loop of the race with her. Grete’s Gallop is two loops of Central Park, which is tough and hilly. I had no real strategy other than to take it easy and practice fueling. I felt fine during the first loop, other than the impending doom of doing it all over again, but by the second loop, the wheels began to fall off. My left leg began cramping a bit and my low back started feeling tight. My stomach began to hurt a little. I walked several times between miles 10 and the finish.

The entire time I thought, you think this is hard? Hey, remember that marathon you’re running next weekend?

I finished the race in 2:06, for a 9:40 pace, which is around where I wanted to be.

As soon as I crossed the finish line, my everything tensed up. I got nervous about running an extra 4 and began some inner bargaining. “Well, as long as you run 2, you’ve built up to more than last week!” By this time, my back was really tight, so I didn’t want to push it. I told myself I’d run at least two miles, but preferably three. I had brunch plans on the UES, so I ran all the way east, then north and west. My back felt better on flat land, but I’m glad I didn’t push it too hard.

How do YOU deal with the taper crazies?!

4 comments on “On the Express Train to Taper Town

  1. katie

    I recommend relaxing yoga classes and cooking good dinners. Loading in all the healthy foods so you can so your body can run the way you want it to!

  2. Ash Diamond

    Three years ago, before I was supposed to run NYCM I took four days of detox/relax yoga at different places and it made a WORLD of difference. I was so ready for that race, and then Philadelphia. It helped release some “yay i’m working out endorphins” and leave my body in such a happy place.

  3. Eve

    Best of luck on Sunday! I’ll be there, too, running my first marathon. Fingers crossed we both have an awesome race! -Eve in San Diego

  4. Lauren McKay

    I’m a long time reader/lurker, but I had to tell you how amazingly helpful and inspiring your blog has been for me. I’m running NYC next month as my first marathon. I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve read your NYC marathon recaps! Thanks for what you do!


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