It’s about a two weeks before race day and all of the team members are completing their first week of tapering. One would think that getting more rest and running less miles would make a runner feel great. The truth is tapering isn’t fun. Butterflies about the race can’t be avoided. Questions and doubts about the training plan; am I really ready? Why do I feel sluggish with little energy? Do I have the right nutrition plan for raceday? Did I get a good test run of my nutrition plan during my last 20 miler? How am I getting to Hopkinton? Do I really need to get on the bus down town at 7AM when my wave starts at 11:25? Should I have bought a new pair of running shoes? What am I going to wear and what is Mother Nature going to bring us for weather? Now that we are within 15 days of the race, we all have Weather.com for Hopkinton bookmarked in our Blackberries and iPhones so that we can check the forecast at least 15 times/day right up until race day morning.
Finally, why do I now have pains that I’ve never felt before? These Phantom pains are the new pains occurring in the knee, foot, back, hip, or any other body part that arises out of nowhere. These pains are not associated with any previous running injury, nor did they ever occur during training.Researchers believe that these phantom pains are part of the body’s repair and rejuvenation process. Tapering fosters tissue repair at the microscopic level and the repair process can cause muscle twitches, cramps, and even pain, as the body heals. With overall mileage reduced, no high levels of endorphins are on board to mask these symptoms.
Rest assured as the gun goes of at 11:25 AM for the start of wave 4 of the 2014 Boston Marathon, all of the butterflies, aches, pains and anxiety will vanish. It will take 6-10 minutes to hit the starting line once the gun goes off. We will use this time to take in the magic of Hopkinton. We will run with our patient partners proudly displayed on our chests, energizing us for the 26.2 mile treck to Boston. It will undoubtedly be a very special day for the entire marathon team.