Well the time is finally here - race week! The week I most look forward to (and dread). While I love the preparation for a race, I don't enjoy the moments of anticipation and amount of unknowns associated with race week. During regular training, its business as usual. Diet remains strong (with an occasional cheat here and there) and you are allowed to run yourself ragged with tough workouts and fatigue. But then everything shifts upside down on race week. All that was once good is now evil. Those hard workouts that make you tired, but fit - stay away from those! That big bowl of ice cream you used to get for having run 13 miles of tempo work - you're gonna feel that on race day...every lb equals about 2s/mile you know... So much focus into the minutia of every day - every decision has factor of whether or not it will be [insert choice of beneficial or negative] toward race day. If yes, then proceed. If not, then consider something else.
Its things like that, that I don't like so much about the whole race week vibe. You try to avoid people like the plague so you don't risk getting sick, and you try to avoid excessive activity to prevent creating too much fatigue in your body, and you try to avoid eating too much so you don't gain extra weight for the lower activity levels. But because you are doing less activity (while your body is still working like it is running 60 miles/week), these things are more difficult to manage. I think race week is when taper madness truly sets in. Its only Monday and I am already starting to feel very antsy. By Friday, I will be in full blown bubble boy mode (ie Do Not Disturb, Race Prep in Progress). You mean I only get to run 3-4 times this week? Ugh! That's how race week rolls. Its different, but not so much in a good way, except for the act of racing, which only comes after you've survived the torment of everything leading up to it.
But then there is the glorious moment of Sunday afternoon when it will all be over and all this anticipation and effort will make it worth waiting for. Crossing that finish line and once again confirming your ability to test yourself and your limits, makes the heart grow stronger and fire burn hotter than ever. Where you return to what was formerly known as "normal" and you get go back to doing whatever you feel like doing and plotting the next big adventure. Yea, I'm looking forward to that part - now if I could only just fast forward to that point right now.