Taper To-Do List

You know what’s awesome?

Four day work weeks.

You know what’s not awesome?

I had my first marathon nightmare last night. I didn’t have a place to stay the night before the race, and then when I finally got a room it was in a sketchy basement of some weird dorm and then some other things happened and I woke up in the middle of the night and freaked out.

It’s going to be a long three weeks.

But before I get into my goals for my marathon taper, let me tell you just a bit about how my weekend wrapped up.

As you know, I kicked the Labor Day weekend off by running 20 miles and not vomiting Gu. I then headed out to the Hamptons to eat a lot of food and scope out the Hamptons Marathon course.

The course is very manageable. Rolling hills to start, mostly flat for miles and then a slightly beastly hill approaching mile 20. It’s not a very exciting course and I don’t anticipate a ton of spectators along the way. Driving 26.2 miles felt daunting. Running it should be easy though, right?

Yesterday I slept in until a wonderfully late hour, ate breakfast in bed and then went to Southampton to rent a bike and ride 21 miles.

Check out my sweet rental. It's a Mongoose. I like that name.

New distance record for me on the bike! Easy to accomplish since I don’t have a bike in the city and am definitely not a cyclist by any means.

The ride was beautiful because the homes in Southampton are completely ridiculous.

This was a moderate home. I guess I would live in it if I had to.

My legs were a little sleepy after running 25 miles in two days, so my bike pace was nothing spectacular, but it was fun.

The air in the Hamptons smells nice and pollution-free.
Wooooo bike riding!
Bike riding is fun. Running is more fun.

Every now and then I think I’d like to have a bike in NYC. Then I remember how expensive bikes are and how terrified I am of getting hit by a car or running over a pedestrian. So I probably won’t be making that kind of investment anytime soon.

Also, bike seats hurt. After spending more than an hour straddling my Mongoose, I had to walk kind of funny for a while.

Nothing to see here, folks.

Next stop: Westhampton. Beach time!

The drive through Westhampton was scenic. Dune Road, which is apparently famous or something, is packed with beachfront and bay-front homes. I guess the houses are kind of nice, you know, for beach houses.

Meh. This one is OK, if you like front porches or whatever.
Balconies are nice, if that's your style I suppose.
The owners of this home didn't specifically ask me to move in, but I would, if that was an option.

I spent an hour laying on the beach. It was kind of cold, so I focused less on enjoying the sun and more on enjoying a sandwich and some chocolate bars.

And then it was time to hit up a final BBQ for the weekend before heading back to NYC.

Magically there was no traffic on the way back. Monday evening of Labor Day weekend? I don’t even know how that was possible.

I unpacked, enjoyed a big sushi dinner, had marathon nightmares and then woke up this morning to a dark, rainy day.

Central Park Reservoir this morning. How creepy.

Coach Cane wanted me to run three laps of the Central Park Reservoir. The Reservoir is about 1.3 miles long, and he wanted the first mile of each loop done at an 8:00-8:15 pace, with a cool-down jog to wrap up each lap.

That would have been totally fine if the Reservoir wasn’t completely washed out and my watch was working.

According to my watch, the Bridle Path is now 2 miles long (it’s 1.66) and my average pace this morning was something like 14:35.

Sounds like the ol’ Garmin and I need to have a little chat. Or it just needs to be fixed or re-calibrated or something. I don’t really know how that stuff works.

I ended up improvising a bit and taking my run onto the Bridle Path for a while and onto the park’s main loop. I really don’t know what kind of pace I was hitting, but it felt good, so that’s that. My watch says I ran 6 miles. I also don’t know how accurate that is, but again, I’ll take it.

So the marathon taper period has officially begun. For any non-runners out there, the taper leading up to a race is the time when you take your mileage and intensity down in order to be fresh and badass once race day arrives.

I have several goals for my marathon taper.

I will tell them to you now:

  1. Eat smartly. I don’t need to be filling my body with crap. I may try to curb my 16 Handles intake just a bit. I want to make sure I’m getting lots of vegetables, protein and delicious carbohydrates.
  2. Sleep. Five hours of sleep isn’t going to cut it anymore. I need to maximize my horizontal time.
  3. Booze-free is the way to be. It’s actually not. But no more drinking alcohol for me from now until after I cross the finish line. Drinking isn’t going to help whatever is going on with my stomach, so why mess around? I think I can survive a few weeks without wine. But if someone can be waiting for me at the finish line with a pint of Pinot Grigio, that would be excellent. Thank you.
  4. Foam roll. I will do it more often.
  5. Yoga. I might do it more often. Probably not though.
  6. Don’t be a crazy psycho. This one will be tough. I know Coach Cane is going to be bringing my mileage way down on my training plan, and my inner badass isn’t going to like that one bit. I will do my best not to sneak in spinning classes and other things that Coach Cane wouldn’t approve of. As much as I may want to sweat on any given day, I have to remember that extra workouts during taper won’t do me any favors come race day.

That’s it. Those goals seem simple enough, right?

Also, today is the last day to enter the Erica Sara Designs necklace giveaway!

I would like this necklace, please.

Go enter. Do it. I’ll be picking a winner tomorrow at noon!

NOW YOU CAN ADD STUFF, TOO: Any taper survival tips?



0 Responses

  1. The crowd at the Hamptons is not that big, but you know it’s locals and you feel them cheer. Talk to them as you pass, thank them for coming out, and they’ll cheer louder. It’s a nice community out there.

  2. I feel like Ive only ever heard things about the Hamptons on Gossip Girl and Real Housewives.. so you must be totally famous for hanging out there. Haha good luck with your taper, cannot WAIT to hear all about the marathon in a few weeks.

  3. Ahhhh, The Taper. I see movies during The Taper. Keeps my mind off of not running. I take long walks home from work and I do more yoga. Keep the food clean and the sleep long. Marathon Sunday will be here before you know it!

  4. I don’t have any marathon taper advice because I have never run a marathon. But your training has been AWESOME and just keep on remembering that as your mileage comes back down!

    On a (slightly) related note, I have a bike in the city and I have definitely ridden into a pedestrian before. She was crossing over the bike path on the Hudson River Greenway and not paying attention as I yelled, “hey hey hey watch out watch out!!!” It was either crash into her, crash into another pedestrian or swerve into oncoming traffic.

    I don’t think she was very happy with me but I was definitely more banged up than her. It was the week of my triathlon and I was nervous the scrapes on my knees would be more major. (They were fine, thank god.) She just had a bruise and some dirt on her leg.

  5. I had so many marathon nightmares last year! But, everything turned out ok 🙂 Like you said in your goals, I think the most important thing about taper is not letting it drive you nuts and decide you need to go to that spinning class or tack on more miles here and there. Trust the taper! hehe.

    Loved seeing you this morning and excited to see you tomorrow – this rain has got nothing on us!

  6. #1: Congrats on your second 20-miler. You rock!

    #2: Bike ride through the Hamptons? Yes, please. I need to do that one day in my life.

    #3: Everyone has marathon nightmares. In fact, I still have them and I’m not even training for one right now. Just take it easy the next few weeks. Enjoy the taper, don’t push too hard through anything. Focus on the thought of crossing the finish line 🙂

  7. So I don’t have any spectacular taper tips for you but I did really enjoy this post. Those houses make me realize how much I really want to live in a huge house in a place with clean air. I mean, it just makes sense. And a 21 mile bike ride after 25 miles of running in 2 days might qualify you as a amateur cyclist. I’m just saying. We should look it up.

    xo Marie
    Chocolate & Wine

  8. REALLY smart taper plan – especially the extra sleep and the “taming of your inner badass” – totally know that your body needs to rest and recover the next few weeks so you can come out ready to KILL this marathon in three weeks. Your body will not let you down, I just know it!

  9. I think don’t be a crazy psycho is the most important part of tapering…you will do fine on the race!! it will be amazing, and then much wine and fro-yo will be had by all 😉

  10. I think the most important thing to do is to trust your training. It’s so easy to doubt when you’re not running your heart out all the time. Remember that you’ve put in the time and effort and you’re going to rock it! 🙂

  11. Yay for taper! I keep telling myself to do more yoga. I know it’d be good for me and my tight muscles, but for some reason I just won’t do it. Before my marathon I drank water only…I never wanted a coffee so bad…and I don’t even drink coffee that much!

  12. I think taper is the hardest part of training 😛 but also so important to do! I also had nightmares that I woke up and my marathon had already started. A little nervousness is good, I think. It shows you care. Just don’t let it get to your head! You are ready!

  13. My garmin has been kind of moody lately, too! Only mine pretends I’m running close to your normal pace and yours makes my normal pace look fast! Come on, garmins!

    Vino at the end of the race sounds like a fabulous celebration (or even start of it). Ramona would approve.

  14. I can’t believe you’re already tapering! It’s the worst part of marathon training. I always say I’m going to get out of my own head, but really, how is that even possible? Good luck! I know you’ll do amazing 🙂

  15. You should try updating the software on your Garmin. Sometimes that helps.

    Enjoy the taper! This is such a good time to soak up rest. I love rest.

    1. Agree with Dori! Let your body drink up all of the rest it can. Sleep is glorious. And you’ll feel totally awesome after you start getting 8+ hours for more than 4 nights in a row. Seriously.

      Again, I LOVE how many pictures the boyfriend takes! You are a lucky girl 😉 my Boy is all … pictures? What’s a picture? Why do you insist on taking pictures of everything you eat? Speaking of which, can I eat that now? Are you done taking a picture of it?


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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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