This week was our first official week of taper before the marathon! Rather than the nearly 40 miles we ran last week, this week we only ran 25. This number will continue to decrease until marathon day, allowing our legs to rest, recover, and be at full strength on the big day.
However, while significantly less running happened this week, other challenges were in abundance. For one thing, it’s apparently common to experience weirdness around the taper – emotions run high, weird pains appear, and strange cravings take hold. Nearly all of these symptoms have manifested in me, from the doughnut that I desperately wanted the day after we ran 21 miles (I don’t really even like doughnuts) to a strange, anxiety-ridden dream I had about being the slowest person on my marathon team. Fortunately some friends who’ve already run marathons have set my mind at ease about most of these oddities, and my teammates seem to be sharing them – and as we all know, a burden shared is halved.
This week’s other challenge, on the other hand, wasn’t one that could be avoided or lessened – the continual drenching downpours that soaked Massachusetts from Monday-Wednesday. Kelly and I maintained our usual morning running schedule in spite of the monsoon conditions provided by the second “50-year” storm that we’ve had in two weeks. Our rationale was that with 3 straight days of rain predicted, there was no real chance of avoiding a soaking, so why not just get out there and do it? We even continued to climb the hills of Somerville – I would argue that you haven’t really lived until you’ve run 82 feet straight up in the pouring rain. You’ve probably also not gotten the looks that say “You two are lunatics” the way we have, either.
We recovered from the rain well enough, however, that by Thursday we were able to turn our morning run into something a bit more fun – we successfully purchased and then carried, in the blue beasts, doughnuts for the entire office! Purchased at Verna’s, a coffee shop that’s been in North Cambridge forever, they were homemade and the perfect answer to my weirdo craving.
Perhaps this week’s greatest challenge, however, was on this weekend’s long run. Though it was a mere 12 miles, the weather shifted from tropical storms to tropical heat – nearly 80°! While the abundant sunshine and short-sleeve weather would have been lovely for a stroll in the park, it turned the run I did with Nandi into sweaty, salty, soggy mess!
And yet, in spite of all the taper craziness and the horrendous weather, it ended up being a good week. Thanks to the generosity of my Aunts Joanne and Cindy, fellow marathoner Meghan Malloy, and most especially my cousin Tamara Askew, my fundraising has hit $4,500 for Boston Partners in Education! Kelly and I conquered new and challenging hills with blistering speed, and we all proved that the weather, be it a monster storm or just monstrously hot, is not going to defeat us. There are two weeks until the Boston Marathon, and I for one am excited!