Taper madness – The Road to TCM 2013


October 4, 2013 by Amy B


Love the taper, hate the taper. While I love not having to schedule long runs into my weekly work schedule (and let’s be honest, no one LOVES getting up at 4:30 in the morning!), the reduced mileage in this last week leading up to the race is killing me. I’ve had serious problems concentrating on work, which would make sense if I’m just twiddling my thumbs obsessing about the race, but I’m not! I just can’t remain focused. My lower back aches have ebbed and flowed in terms of pain. Then Sophie caught a 24 hour bug that kept us home yesterday. Aaron’s nose has been running like a snot faucet. It’s like we’re all just trying to survive.


Kind of like these guys will be doing once deer season gets going.

Monday had been my last run and I decided to put in the 2 miler scheduled for this morning last night. It turned out to be a good choice. I threw on shorts, an old marathon (un)finisher shirt (2011) and went Garminless, for two reasons:

  1. The garmin is packed with the other gear and I didn’t feel like digging it out.
  2. I really wanted to go out with no expectations for pace.

There is a route I ran when I first started getting back into running after Aaron was born. It’s just around two miles and I can still remember how painful everything was at the beginning. My times for the route were ranging from 20:00-24:00, depending on the day. It was a real milestone for me when I got that time down under 20 minutes. I have no idea if I hit that time yesterday, but it doesn’t matter.

When Scott and I ran our first TCM together, we had been dating for a few years and were free of infant/toddler children. The kids would stay every other weekend, but on this weekend? This trip to St. Paul was our trip, and it was really special to me. We are not people who take long vacations, exotic vacations, or hell, very many vacations at all! Our trips tend to be weekends with the occasionally luxurious extended weekend, and most of these trips involve at least 14 hours of drive time round trip.

The marathon weekend was our chance to get away, even if it meant punishing our bodies for 26.2 miles. I know it sounds crazy, but I lived for it every year.


Grandma’s 2008 photo thrown in to fill in the squares. 2011 start only photo due to DNF (BOO) due to being knocked up.I prefer labor to the round ligament pain I experienced during the 17.5 miles I endured that day.

Even though things have changed and we have small kids now, I still love marathon weekend. Each year when we go to the expo to grab our bibs, I tell myself I need to soak it in, just in case this is my last year running. And I won’t lie – when I’m hurting post-race, I tell myself that I don’t want to do this again.

But I honestly can’t picture NOT running the marathon, and no, the ten miler just isn’t the same – I’ve run that, too. Eventually, there will come a time when I will have to pass on TCM if I want to participate in any other races – Detroit International and Chicago (again) are on my list of races I want to do soon – but this year isn’t the year.

I’m going in with a good attitude, a solid training base, and this mantra I am stealing from Sarah (Mac) Robinson.

I Am

Here Now.

And when all goes well, on Sunday afternoon I’ll be here, too.


2 thoughts on “Taper madness – The Road to TCM 2013

  1. Ashley @MilesonOats says:

    Maybe try an epsom salt bath with 1 cup of epsom salt, warm water, and soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. I find it really helps relieve muscle strain, tightness, and pain. I took one last night to loosen up for my long distance run tomorrow. Hopefully your back pains go away soon, wishing you luck!


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Runner, Eater, Mother, Tweeter

Amy, July 2013

I'm a thirty-something suburbanite turned ruralite living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Wife, mom of two, eater of all things delicious, and a runner. This is where I blather on about running and health. Baby Number Three will be here in November (so yes, I'm a little crazy), and I'm running through my pregnancy for as long as my body's willing and able. There's also more of me at amyupnorth.com. Read more here.


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