Friday, March 13, 2015

"Taper Crazies" or just plain Crazy?!?

I have always thought the "Taper Crazies" were some myth created by ultrarunners to give them something to talk about during a time when they could no longer have conversations like:

Them: "So, what did you do this morning?"
Us: "Ya know, nothin' much - just ran 30 miles."
Them: "Wow! You are crazy!"
Us: "No big deal - I'm training for a 50 - so 30 is, like, nothing. I don't even warm up until 26.2."

(I'm guilty, I'll admit it.)

Sure, I have a penchant for getting some mysterious feverish illness the week before a race and I have a generally high-strung personality, but as far as "Taper Crazies", nope, - just not my style. 

Until now...

It started last Sunday: I ran my last long run, a 5 hour depletion run with the last 1/2 at a pretty good intensity (mostly due to the time change that I forgot about and my needing to be somewhere).  I didn't feel the way I usually feel after my long run which is looking forward to a nice break before the race... I felt... lost, like I was forgetting something or simply like screaming, "WAIT! I NEED MORE TIME!"  I didn't feel physically broken enough - I expected to feel like I was physically a mess going into my taper, proof to myself that I had worked hard enough.  I just felt normal.

Monday: I go into work and start wigging out in a meeting about pretty much nothing.  To put it in simple terms:

Them: We are thinking about implementing X, what do you think?
Me: AHHH blabalabalx #jflajf989#3!!98 (crazy, loud and argumentative - may as well have had 6 heads).
Them: X makes sense for this reason.
Me: Oh, so you want to implement X?
Them: That's what we are saying.
Me: Oh yeah, makes sense.

My busted knees.  Classic "UltraJess" - 1 1/2 weeks before the race
and I bite it hard on the ice.
I have also developed some weird kind of phantom back pain (which I have convinced myself is my desk job killing me), busted both my knees (that actually did happen when I fell on the ice - pics below), and have had people feeling my forehead for fever constantly.  Plus I just find myself pacing around the house - feeling like I should be doing something (uh.... getting my race stuff in order) but unable to get it together.

Then yesterday my poor husband came down with a fever, not a pretend UltraJess fever, but a real fever.  I panicked and started freaking out.  Poor Nate is laying there shivering - he has the flu and we are all doomed!  I have researched every statistic for contracting the flu on the Internet that is available - all of which point to the same thing "Get a flu shot" - Damn!  This is the running Gods conspiring against me because I refused to get a flu shot.... bad karma!  Meanwhile - my sick husband is telling me to suck it up and get some mental toughness - how would I be able to finish 100 miles if I can't even deal with (not really) getting sick?

Update: Nate is still sick (and an amazing husband because despite feeling like crap he is asking me how I am doing - how did I find a man like this???).  I ran 6 miles and felt much better today, so as of now, I am not sick and am going to try and be rational and positive today.

So, yes, the "Taper Crazies" - whatever they are, are real and I think I've got them.  Maybe I can do something productive with my time instead of pacing around the house worrying.... like pack myself for the race, write my checklist... we will see!

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