Even these guys are affected by the crazy feeling of not being able to concentrate on ANYTHING, having nightmares that you got lost and didn't make it to your race on time, worrying that you will forget a crucial part of you racing gear, feeling like a hypochondriac, cleaning out every cupboard in your house because you have so much more time on your hands that you don't know what else to do...the list goes on and on.
I started my taper this week and I have enjoyed the lower mileage. I have been training hard since January and I am on the final leg of my racing for this year with my last two marathons coming up in the next 23 days. (My goal was to have ten marathons completed by the end of the year). So, I guess I am essentially tapering for both right now, since there is only two weeks in between the two. I have never run back to back marathons before, so I am excited for the challenge!
I have learned, that for me the first step in dealing with taper madness is accepting and understanding that I do in fact have a problem. I actually know when I am suffering from it because I feel like I am going a bit crazy. My husband asked me last night why I was acting so weird, I told him I was in the tapering phase of my training, and being the non runner that he is, he just looked at me like I was a freak and said, "What are you talking about?"
I have learned that I just need to relax. There is nothing more I can do at this point to improve my race performance. Just getting to the starting line rested, fully recovered and ready to run is the objective!
I have to remind myself not to worry about every ailment, pain, or sniffle I experience during this time. But to increase my chances of staying healthy, I make sure I wash my hands and try to avoid anyone who is sick.
The more positive reinforcement and distractions I can create for myself really help in keeping the taper madness at bay. Telling myself that I am ready to run and BELIEVING it is the key.