144 Days: The Circus Act of Tapering

Tapering the week of a race is quite the circus act for me. Two weeks before a race, I tend to push pretty hard knowing I can recover in a week. However, race week is still a guessing game for me. Do I run a little, not at all? Am I recovered enough? Dare I risk tearing muscles that are almost healed? Do I eat like a pig or start eating clean? I sure wish I had a routine. Triathlete Chrissie Wellington says in her book how she always eat tuna pasta and something else, I don’t remember, the day before the race. Yuck! That’s the last thing I’d want to be burping up the next day but she’s got her routine and it obviously worked for her.

This year, I got better finishes in the shorter races and I tended to eat super clean on race week. A lot of smoothies, greens powders, few carbs, vegan protein, fruit and stuff like that. Even race morning I sometimes didn’t eat anything. Just about 8 ounces of greens powder dissolved in water and a drink of water about an hour before start. Usually it worked out pretty well and on race day I’d feel light and peppy IF I didn’t have to carry much water on my back. If I had to carry a lot of water, I’d have moments of regret that I hadn’t eaten more.

Given the insane humidity in Hawaii right now, I’m definitely going to be hauling lots of liquids with me this weekend. So, what’s my food plan for this week? EAT IT ALL!!! Not junk food but lots of whatever’s on the menu. With 4 kids and my wife going out of town on Wednesday it may be pizza, pizza, pizza, but I love pizza. I think I could live on pizza and/or bean burritos for the rest of my life and never tire of them.

Anyway, it’s taper week. A few miles here and there, and lots of stretching and eating in my makeshift plan.

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