How to distract yourself during the taper

Tapers: love em or hate em, they’re gonna arrive and you have to get through them. Hopefully intact. This is actually next week’s topic, but since I have something else planned for next Tuesday and I happen to be in my taper currently, let’s talk a little bit on how to distract yourself during your taper.

Stalk the weather
Hey, it may be 2 weeks out, 10 days, a week, a couple of days — forecasts lie. Like really, really lie, as I found out much to my dismay at Shipyard Maine. Not that I didn’t already know this, but you’d think a couple of days before a race they could get the weather right.

I’ve got this bridge in Brooklyn for ya . . . but seriously, weather is very important for a goal race, and while you can’t change it, you can be prepared. Sort of. Which leads me to my next distraction . . .

Pack/Plan all the clothes
I’ve been burned on trying to pack lighter (even when traveling by car!) too many times. So what the heck — pack the shorts, the skirts, the tees, the tanks, the leggings . . . anything and everything you think you might wear in your race.

I’m pretty sure I don’t have to worry about this for my upcoming AZ race — it’s going to be damn hot — to me, anyway. It’s just a matter of having some kind of throwaway (or handoff) because desert mornings can be chilly.

These guys don’t understand “not now, I’m trying to taper”

Get yourself a furkid or two
All my goal races are racecations. Hey, it helps distract you from the weather and your nervousness and what the heck pace you might want to run, because you’re up to your eyeballs cleaning your house and getting everyone packed.

Right now none of the furkids are on any meds, just supplements. So if I screw it up? Not a big deal. But I still have to get those supps into little packets for the three different pet sitters we have, make sure there’s enough food (again, three different types), kongs, chews, etc.

It’s like mobilizing an army. And then one of said furkids might decide to wake you up at 1:30 am, of course on the night you had trouble falling asleep, to go out and potty.

Mad baker doesn’t stop for taper

Bake all the food
I find breakfast on the road one of the hardest meals to eat healthy. So I bring it with me. And because I’ve had so little time at home lately, that means I’m baking right up until the last minute.

Thankfully I like to bake.

Sometimes I forget to bring what I bake anyway (because I stick it in the freezer so it can survive the trip), so not only am I baking all the food, I’m taking all the snacks/breakfasts also, in case I forget what I’ve baked or get stuck in an airport or plane for a gazillion hours.

Overanalyze every little niggle
Last week’s topic was best running advice, and I think maybe one of the best pieces I’ve received was that if you run, things will ache, but they shouldn’t be painful.

Then of course you enter your taper, and things do ache. Sometimes things that always ache, sometimes things that never ached before.

And so you start to wonder . . . if I run this race and push for my goal, will I injure myself and not be able to run the other races I already have lined up? Is this a “real” ache, or phantom taper ache? Because it seems there’s always an ache that pops up during your taper that doesn’t at all bother you during your race.

Research restaurants
Because, you know, an army marches on its stomach. Napoleon said so (and look what happened to him).

There are pre race dinners to plan and post race recovery meals/treats to plan. Reservations? Nah, that’s for sissies. But knowing where you want to eat? That’s for determined runners.

Make it a Racecation
Then you get to do all of the above, and pack, and clean, and travel — yes, it can definitely distract you from the fact that you have a goal race looming.

Sometimes I do wonder which is better: racing from home, or traveling to race. Guess I’ll never really know, not for the half distance, anyway.

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup. Sure, I’m being a little tongue in cheek here — but just a little! There’s a kernel of truth in all my points!

Tuesdays on the Run

Let’s get the party started — tell me in the comments:

How do you distract yourself during your taper?

Would you rather race at home or travel to a race?

Do you have a bucket list race (that’s today’s actual topic)?

26 thoughts on “How to distract yourself during the taper

  1. Lol! Sometimes I feel like I’m always on a taper, so much to do, when do I run! Except that’s a lousy excuse. I set my alarm for 6 am this morning, but it was dark and cold so I got back into bed with a cup of tea and played with my phone for an hour😔 No wonder that I don’t achieve my running goals!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I am busy, but I don’t have to spend 8 (or more) hours working. Still, the furkids probably suck up half my day. I would’ve told you before Bandit that I’m ok with that . . .


  2. The timing of my marathon taper couldn’t have been more perfect. Work is insane with deadlines right now and I’ve been working long hours, so not having to worry about getting in long runs has been a blessing. I am still trying to eat as healthy as possible and get my 7-8 hours of sleep, though! The bad thing is that I really haven’t had time to research places to eat or things to do, but it’s Chicago, so I’m sure we’ll come up with something! Good luck on your race!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, but the stress from work! I guess it’s distracting, though.

      I haven’t had time to research restaurants yet, either, but then again, I have a little more time than you.

      Mr. Judy has looked at them . . . you gotta wonder, am I just mismanaging my time or is that what everyone does at work nowadays?


    1. I’m always trying to pack light, but I knew going into this trip that we’ll definitely be checking a bag — for me, at least!

      I still can’t bring EVERYTHING. I never can. And I really don’t have to worry much about the running clothes, other than which skirt & tank to wear. 🙂


    1. We’re not a big city, so it’s usually not bad. Other than getting there early enough — I have had instances where I *thought* I left early enough, but almost missed the race because I couldn’t find parking!


  3. I don’t really ever taper. I run the same just my last run is only 10. I prefer to do local halfs. I hate the expense of travel. I also like to sleep in my own bed. I haven’t had a race-cation since last February but when you stay with friends, it’s not the same. You can’t do and eat what you want. You have to be flexible. I guess that will be the same with Panama City. It’s easy also if you’re not a fussy eater. I don’t bring food just a carry-on with a racing outfit and a few things.

    Good luck. Relax and enjoy the experience!!

    Are you going out there early to get acclimated with the heat?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to go to NYC Oct 23 and then again for work Oct 24-28. I may not see you until NYC. So good luck with the race. I’m sure that you’ll do fine.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Too bad you won’t be near somewhere to run. 😦 I’d get in early morning miles if I were able to (I used to exercise pretty darn early in the morning back when I worked outside the home).


  5. I’m still about a month away from the taper so I’ll have to keep all of this in mind! Hopefully I won’t freak out from phantom pains, though it wouldn’t surprise me! I do need to make sure I have my logistics in order since I’m no longer walking distance to the starting line.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I were going to race, I’d rather it was a local one. I hate to travel especially since we adopted the kitties. I have forgotten food at home and turned around and got it (much to Greg’s dismay) so that you could have those chocolate peanut butter brownies. It was worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

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