I have started my taper for Western States. Why? Well, tapering allows for muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints to recover from months of high intensity training. When running long, there are microscopic breakdowns in these structures. The tapering allows this damage to heal. The tapering period also allows your muscles to store the most energy that they possibly can. This will hopefully allow you to avoid "hitting the wall" or push this stage later in your run.
Listen to your body. There are no workouts the week prior that will enhance your preparedness for the race. I think that "less is best", particularly if you are feeling either physically or mentally tired and /or your leg muscles are fatigued. Okay, enough about tapering, I'm bored already. I do have a quick question for everybody. If you bonk in the pool, can everyone else hear the thud? Um, yeah. Cause tonight there was an echoing thud on the bottom of the pool when I completely bonked somewhere around about 1000 meters. I totally sucked at the pool tonight!! I had to force myself to hang in there and act casual. I actually swam slower than the slowest swimmers there tonight. Not good. Not. Good. Maybe swimming is not the best thing during my tapering period. I don't know. I do know that I stopped caffeine today and I do have a terrible headache. Can I hang in there with caffeine withdrawals for 12 more days? YES!!! I can't wait until Saturday, June 23rd to have a large cup of joe before the start of the race. Yes, the wait will be worth it. Sweet. I hope everyone who is getting ready for their race is feeling good and thinking strong.
"The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." Walter Bagehot