An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Taper Tantrums?

I've got one of those jobs where I have to wear a badge. It's got my picture on it (from a time when, as Billy Joel said, I wore a younger man's clothes), and the company logo, along with a "smart chip" that's supposed to carry all kinds of secret information. [Insert Big Brother comments here.]

But when I take that badge off at 3:00, most of the time I take the job off as well. I forget about being an enginerd when I pass through the guard gate to make my nightly escape, not thinking about the stupid things that happened all day, all the red tape and hoops I had to jump through. I'm in a different environment, and what I am at work has no place there.

Similarly, when I put on a pair of shoes to go for a run, or cap my head with a helmet to go on a ride, I leave everything else behind for the duration of the movement. Stresses and cares don't have any place here. Like Sylvester Stallon's character in Over the Top, when he turns his hat around, "I become a machine."

And the funny thing is that when I come back from that movement, and I re-enter the world of those stresses and cares, they always seem a little less.

But I realized something this week, when my wife was thinking I was pushing myself too hard -- I was carrying them with me into the rides and runs, and I was still fuming about work when I got home.


And I think I found at least part of the answer.

Taper Tantrums.

It's that phenomenon that you see in Ironman athletes and marathon runners the week or two before the event where they're tapering down their training to rest and fully recover prior to race day. Something about those weeks just sets the mental and emotional horizons at partial tilt, and everything is a little off.

And I'm not even racing!

But things this past week have just been a little different than normal, between schedules, a weekend trip to Washington wine country for a Barrel Festival (lots of wine tasting), bad weather this week, things at my daughter's school... I've been ramping up the mileage on the bike over the last several weeks, and the last two weeks have been lower volume (along with no long ride).

So I think that's a major component.

Which means that I need to get back on the mileage!

A good problem to have, I guess.

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