Knoxville is less than 2 weeks away, which means my taper for the race started this past Monday. Is there anything worse for an athlete than the weeks leading up to the race where they have to taper? I'm 2 days in and I already feel like crap. Let me set the stage as to why.
This past weekend, I finally got to put down a long ride outdoors on my bike which I have been waiting for for a while. The day before I did my last long run, which ended up being my fastest 10 mile run EVER. That's a great and confidence building feeling. But as a result, I also probably pushed myself a little too much leading up to the race. I was so concerned putting the miles down on my bike and making sure I felt comfortable on it as well as putting together a good run, I didn't care about anything else. Especially since I knew I had my taper coming.
I woke up Monday morning with this painful feeling in my left leg. Not muscle soreness and not anything I have ever had before, but the back of my knee was just throbbing. I decided to take a day off from working out since I need to let my body heal and it wont affect my fitness. Not working out is torture for me. So I woke up this morning excited to go for a run, but that nagging in my leg was still there. I don't want to push myself and risk further injury so I decided another day off is what I needed.
So now, I'm 2 days with no working out and I feel horrible. In days leading up to a race, I want to get down to my race weight, but without working out its virtually impossible. I sit here writing this knowing I only am 1 pound off where I want/need to be, but I feel like a big whale. I know in my mind its not true, but these are the typical effects of tapering. I get cranky, feel gross, and the only thing that makes me feel better I'm not allowed to do.
I hope I can get out on the streets tomorrow and at least put down a nice easy ride or run to make me feel better. Weeks leading up to a race are both the best and worst of times. Tapering is supposed to be good for the body. But right now, it's just about as bad as can be.