Yep so this week is supposed to be my little taper week before the Vancouver First Half on Sunday.
Back when I first started running, I took the term "taper" to mean "do nothing" for the week. Ha ha. Not exactly the right idea I know but I was so thankful to reach the end of my training that I just rested the whole last week. Over the past couple years though, I've changed my interpretation of the term to mean "reduced distance and effort" like I think it's more traditionally meant to be. As I got more serious about my running and my training I realized that I didn't wanna just full-stop in that last week but keep running while still giving my legs and my mind a chance to rest up before the big day.
But this time around my poor broken body had other ideas in mind. That's right, we're back to that "full-stop" kind of taper this week and it's killing me!
Starting last weekend I started to feel that familiar twinge in my lower back. The one that starts as a bad ache and then progressively gets worse until I can't lift anything, can't bend over and eventually can't even stand up straight. The one that ever since I got hurt, has come and gone repeatedly and made my functional life a living hell. Yeah, that one.
Of all things, it had to be this week that I'm having one of my bad back pain episodes. Complete with awesomely irritated nerves and a lovely side of sciatica while we're at it. Nice. Normally, I just medicate a bit more and run through it because I know it's not the sign of any darker problem, just the way my back now is post-injury. It's a real pain in the neck (or should I say, back?) but it's just kinda the way things go. However, knowing that I really want to focus and race hard on Sunday I didn't want to risk doing anything this week that could exacerbate things.
Hence, the full-stop on running for the past week and my totally lame taper week.
The post-injury part of my mind knows I am doing the right thing. This flare up seems to happen every few weeks or months and taking it easy is the best way to get rid of it. The athlete in me is frustrated because I know I'm doing the right thing but I'd rather be out running. In my heart I just feel guilty because I didn't complete what I planned to do this week. And the wannabe-faster-runner-Beast-in-Training side of me is feeling downright ticked.
Anyhow, I've been keeping moving and trying to do lots of targeted stretching and rolling etc. I'm trying to make sure I rest lots and thankfully I think I am starting to feel things loosen up a little bit. There's no surefire fix when this happens but thankfully it can clear up just as suddenly as it comes on and another few days of rest should likely do the trick.
So while everyone else is actively tapering for Sunday's race, I'll be the one on the couch resting or down on the floor stretching. Fun.