I know other runners and bloggers talk about getting the crazies when they’re tapering, but the taper crazies is not something that I experience. I didn’t get it last year and I don’t have it this year. I’m really happy about tapering, running fewer miles, and I don’t miss the high mileage or the long runs.
This morning I DNF’ed at Grete’s Great Gallop. This is an annual half marathon organized by NYRR that consists of two big loops (and a little bit) of Central Park. I did this race two years ago. I wasn’t planning on doing this race, but NYRR canceled a long run because of the heat advisory and so they gave everyone who had registered for the long run a free NYRR race from a list of selected races. I picked Grete’s Great Gallop because I needed to run 10 miles the weekend of the race and it was the only race from that list that I was free for.
What was planned was to do 10 miles at 8:27 and if I felt good, to continue, otherwise, to slow down and take the other miles easy. I ran the first mile on pace, but it felt hard from the get go. My legs were tired. I urged to move. They responded by saying, “Nope, nope, nope.” By the time the second mile came around, I had already eased off and decided to take it easy. By the third mile I decided to DNF. I figured there was no point in finishing a race where I wasn’t having any fun, nor was I even going at the planned pace.
I slogged through Cat Hill and Harlem Hills. The 1:55 pace group passed me. The 2:00 pace group passed me.I got lapped by the front runners who raced to glory and the finish line when I had just finished my first lap. I mentally counted down the miles until I could leave the course because I would be close to where I had parked.
At Mile 11, I stepped off and stopped my Garmin. 1:50:00 exactly. I didn’t even plan this.
I thought tapering was supposed to fill me with anxious energy because I’m no longer running all the miles. Instead my legs felt like lead. They’re dead and tired, as if I came off another week with a 20-miler. I guess I have the taper lazies.