How to Taper For a Race I Haven’t Trained For: And a Strange Dream

Sitting here waiting to catch up on the phone with my Swiss bestie and watching Oscar the foot dog lounge at my feet while keeping an eye on the birds in the back yard…

ImageThe boys and I had a great time visiting my parents over the weekend (and HH enjoyed a lovely bacheloresque weekend gorging himself on college football and golf.)  Alex and my dad went fishing and caught 30 fish…



I snatched up some Indian art at a local art fair…while my mom and aunt were checking out the serious stuff, I fell in love with the cartoonist Ricardo Cate and picked up this–



Can you read it?  It says, “Now wait a minute.  Somebody here, I’m not gonna say who, has no rhythm whatsoever!”

 We had a great time, I squeezed in a productive 5-mile run on Saturday morning, and we got back in time to spend a good part of Sunday with HH.

Oh, and in other news, I had a dream last night that I was an actress and got cast in the new Princess Diana movie with Naomi Watts.  I was cast as Camilla Parker Bowles, and Tom Hanks was Prince Charles, and I had a fabulous screen test but was confused because I didn’t know why they would cast me since I had dark hair.  I am serious.  Interpretations, anyone?

Dream Weaver

I believe you can get me through the night

On to running…my half marathon is this weekend.  Oh, had you forgotten that I was doing that?  So had I!

I have never (not)trained like this.  I think I ran 9 miles at the most for a long run, and that was several weeks back.  Not only have I shorted my long runs, I’ve shorted my short runs!  In short, I’m short.

I have my reasons, like most people do when race time comes and they aren’t prepared.  It happens…it’s just never happened to me because I am typically anal obsessive freakish fixated psychotic dedicated when it comes to training programs.

So I am in a unique situation.  Do I bail, or do I thump my chest, give myself the ol’ I’m not a quitter speech and lace up?

I sort of feel like I need to show up and run as punishment—a “take your lumps” sort of deal.  Yet, the thing is, I will feel plenty mad anyway, even if I’m at home on my couch.  I will hate myself in either place.

Still, I think I might give it a go, with my phone nearby in case I need someone to come sweep me up off the side of the course at Mile 10.

I won’t sub-2:00, which will be like a giant kick in my nuts, were I to have any (what is the female equivalent?  Do share!)

I might not be able to finish.

Even if I do finish, I will crash at some point past the Mile 9 mark, and it will be spectacular.  Nobody turns to the Dark Side like I do during a race.

So how do I taper when I haven’t even trained?  I think I’ll do 4 miles today, a 30-minute tempo run tomorrow (tempo defined loosely as any pace between a fast walk and a sprint since I currently lack any stable tempo) and a 3-mile run on Thursday.  I’ll rest my undertrained muscles on Friday and then take my medicine come Saturday morning.

Happy running!





28 thoughts on “How to Taper For a Race I Haven’t Trained For: And a Strange Dream

  1. I’ll forgive you for not sending me the wine. If you send me Oscar. What a sweet face!!!!!!!!

    Ok, here’s the deal. You could run the race and crash and burn in a glorious fashion…..OR you could run the race and PR because your body is well rested and will be in a state of shock wondering what the hell you are doing. If you bonk, then you can tell people – It’s because I fell off the training wagon. If you rock it, then you say – It was all part of my plan, people! I. Am. A. Genius!.


    • Exactly. And why did I only think that my hair was the problem? Age, skin color, attractiveness–none of these other things were a problem? What a weird dream…but I must say that I had amazing chemistry with Tom Hanks! 🙂


  2. I have no idea what your dream means. And I don’t know enough about running yet to give any useful advice about your half marathon. But I want to tell you that I ran a 10K on Sunday and I was thinking of your dedication to running and your example was one of the things that inspired me to run faster than usual. So, thank you!

    Good luck this weekend, and whether you finish or not, whatever your time is, I think you should give yourself the I’m not a quitter speech. Not finishing, or deciding not to run because you aren’t ready right now, doesn’t mean you’re a quitter. It might just mean that you free up some time to work on that great American novel (and no, I’m not going to forget that you’re going to write one!).


  3. I believe the term you’re looking for is ‘punched in the ovaries’. But don’t do it to yourself. Accept that you feel undertrained, adjust your goal, tie your laces, set your shoulders square and just run. You never know, by removing the time pressure you might be able to just run the race for the sheer fun of it!
    And if think you will need to be scraped off the ground at mile 10 (you won’t), as a laugh write the following words on a piece of paper, take a photo with your phone and make it the home image on your screen:
    “If you’re using this before 13.1 miles, future you is going to kick your ass when you get home!”.


  4. Your dream is a sign from above telling you to dress like Camilla Bowles (with grass stains on your body and all) for this Saturday’s race. That should motivate you to persevere with the whole run, knowing that the gal who doesn’t give up eventually gets the King. Either that, or it means you have the potential to be a marriage breaker! 🙂


  5. You could treat the race as a training run and just see how things go.

    I ran a half last month that way. I didn’t make great time, but I was ready to pull out if necessary. I ended up having a great run (although I was seriously sore for several days after)


    • That is my plan! It’s funny, because I feel no pressure…takes the nerves away. I hope that I don’t have to quit and that my running base will see me through, but if not, I will quit and not be too hard on myself. And if I do finish, I know that my foam roller and Advil will be my best friends for the next few days! 🙂


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