10 Days to Go – Thoughts and Actions of a man in Taper Madness

I am in the midst of full blown taper madness where everything seemingly revolves or affects my upcoming marathon. Should I go out to eat today or run over lunch since my legs feel tight? Should I find out a route in Carroll to run after Tasha’s XC meet or should I do my final short long run (6 miles) on Sunday? Should I do my change tonight because really I should be getting more sleep? The list of questions could go on and on. I haven’t made a Youtube video in a week because I am not I am coherent enough right now to do one. Every night this week something is pressing for time. EMT Classes started this week, which is two nights a week, a 6 hour commitment with travel each time.

Here are some thoughts over the past week:

  • Where the heck am I going to eat the night before? My original plan was to hit the Mongolian BBQ, but rational thought thankfully took hold. I am not sure anyone wants to run a marathon 12 hours after a Mongolian BBQ meal. My GI tract might scream uncle.
  • I must get hair cut, so marathon photos have at least a chance of looking good if I break 4 hours and I actually want to show them.
  • “Does a goatee affect one’s wind resistance?”
  • Kids with me on marathon weekend or with in-laws? Is the pleasure of seeing them cheering me on out-weighed by stress of them fighting the night before who gets to sleep on the hotel bed?
  • Where should I plan to meet to Laura along the course?
  • Ooo, that’s a new race prediction calculator, let me try it. Darn, it still isn’t predicting 3:45:00 results unless I lie.
  • Exactly how steep is that 150′ hill in mile 2?
  • That 4+ miler yesterday felt fast at 9:15 – exactly how hot was it? If 9:15 is a labor in 87 degree heat, where is the extra juice going to come from to do 26.2 at 9:05?
  • Thanks to a fellow runner for this one — are they really going to make me take off my iPod at Arsenal Island? 7-8 miles with no music or audiobooks? Really? Will bribes help?
  • Is my current audiobook marathon worthy? That new John Scalzi book, Zoe’s Tale, looks better…
  • I had a great weight Saturday – 220 # lowest in months, but it was short lived. Should I care about the few pounds between now and then? I know if only I ran a bit more this week it would solve my problem. 🙂

So in the end, it all comes down to not running and seemingly not being in control of one race — having to trust in one’s past actions and deposits into the running banks instead of current actions. If one can worry about it in the final week of the marathon, I have.

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0 Responses to 10 Days to Go – Thoughts and Actions of a man in Taper Madness

  1. Kevin says:


    I can help with the mile 2 hill @ the QCM – I’ve run the race the past two years. It is probably about 1/2 mile long and modestly steep. It isn’t steeper than anything in the Des Moines Marathon. The only steep parts of the course are the on ramps to the two bridges and those are relatively short.

    A couple of things to watch out for. There is virtually no shade on the course – if it is a sunny day it can be brutal (it was last year). The middle part of the course runs through Arsenal Island with a couple miles on paved paths with a severe crown. It is hard to find flat footing at a point in the race where things are starting to break down anyway. The biggest challenge is the finish. It is a 6 mile out and back section (3 miles each way). You’ll be about 200 meters from the finish line at the 20 mile mark, then will head out for the last 6. At 23 miles you will turn for home and see the interstate bridge on the horizon. You know you have to pass under the bridge right before the finish and it just looks a long way away.

    I would say it is an easier course than Des Moines, though not by much. If it isn’t sunny you’ll have a better chance of meeting your time goal than if it is.

    Good luck with your run!

    Kevin Hougham
    Dubuque, IA

  2. Ben says:

    That hill in mile 2 is really no big deal. You’re still fresh, you’re still running elbow to elbow, so you just go with the flow.

    Can’t tell you about the iPods on Arsenal. I can tell you it gets kind of lonely out there. Scenic, though.

    Good luck! I thought for a while about volunteering for the Quad Cities marathon, since I’m not running it this year, but life got in the way.

  3. Kent A says:

    Thanks both of you for the info…