The Trail Race Taper

Here is what I sat down and wrote several weeks ago.

After many years of running and 5 or so marathons later, I love to taper. It used to be madness. Now, it is resting in the completion. The hardest work is done.

Three weeks later, I have more to say. I have a different understanding. I looked up synonyms to “taper”. Here are my favorites, lesson, recede, close, diminish, fade. After training for a trail race, it is so much about “resting in the completion”. The difference between training for a marathon and training for a 50K, for me, is the time that I put into my training. For a road marathon, the longest time that I will spend on my feet at one single time is three hours. I will do this type of time on three alternating weekends. The longest that I spend on my feet at one single time training for a trail race is five hours, coupled with the following day of three hours. There is also a difference is speed, terrain and scenery.

Sometimes by the end of my road running taper, I am anxious, rest-less. I like that word,  restless. Some synonyms include, edgy, fidgety, agitated. In contrast, I have noticed that by the end of training, heading into my taper for a trail race, I am rest-ing or quiet, recessing, relaxing, at ease, comfortable.

. . . I am resting in completion. The hardest work is done. . .

Now, I am spending some time each day reflecting on these thoughts from the book, Magical Running by Bobby McGee.

  1. I am patient
  2. By holding my form and relaxing I ensure an excellent finish.
  3. I am a champion experiencing the challenges of the journey to the top.
  4. I relish challenges for they are the ultimate opportunities for growth.
  5. I can commit to an excellent level of running, no matter how I feel.
  6. In running, it is required that you deeply know and believe that you have the ability.
  7. If I do not put myself into positions where I am under pressure and require of myself to choose to deal with what arises, I will never have the opportunity to know my own greatness.
  8. Once I know that I have the choice of either exhaustion or challenge, the answer becomes clear, meet the challenge.
  9. When you have passion, even the most difficult task will be enjoyable.
  10. I have practiced the skills to the point that I can forget that I have them. Now, I can abandon myself to the performance. (Flow in Sports, Jackson)

Finally, I have used a line from the David Crowder song, “Oh How He Loves” to remind myself that I will have affliction in any race, at any given time, in life. . . even. BUT as the lyrics read, “When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these affictions eclipsed by glory, when I realized just how beautiful you are and GREAT are your affections for me.” His glory, his greatness, his beauty will be the contrast to each ‘afflicting moment’.

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