Tapering Blues

I’m about halfway through the tapering period before the marathon and I’m totally bummed out.  I am always depressed a little.  It has been more overcast this week too.  And I’m not running as much, still four days, but much shorter runs.  The combination has created a perfect storm of “tapering blues.”  I may have just made that up.

No, I didn’t.  Google says 400,000 other people came up with it first.  Oh well, at least it’s a real thing.  I guess I can add that to the black toenails, runners trots, boob chafing issues, and blisters that I have managed to earn a runner’s badge in.

Yeah, so I feel crappy.  I haven’t had a really long run in 12 days.  Haven’t done a structured workout in over a week, all the runs this week were just “easy” runs…no tempo, no intervals.  In fact, between now and the marathon I have only two more runs — a 5miler and a 2miler.  Today’s run was the first though where I started to feel the beginnings of “recovery”…all my other runs after the 22 until now were still pretty tough (even though they were supposed to be easy…fatigue does that).

But mainly it’s just the blues that have me down.  I’ve got to pull it together though, the first thing to tank when I get down is my diet.  I’ve had practically no appetite this week — which is kind of good, since I’m running less I should be eating less — I don’t want to gain weight before the race.  Still, I need to eat something decent but I just don’t know what I want and even if I did, I lack the motivation to do anything about it.

The lovely part of having tapering blues is that the blues don’t just confine themselves to the whole running thing…no, they run amok the rest of your life.  So I’m feeling bad about just about everything.  With the school year back in full-swing, I hardly ever see my wife.  We’re like roomates.  She has a cold, so we’re not even sharing a room now because if I get that cold this week before the marathon I’m going to go apeshit.

I feel bad about my kids.  They are bored with me.  Grace is so smart and so energetic, I just can’t keep up with her and it disappoints her.  I disappoint her.  She looks at me with disappointment in her eyes and I just feel like crap.  Hope on the other hand is so calm, gentle, and easy to please.  She never looks disappointed in me, but she doesn’t have to.  As I rush around trying to keep up with her big sister, Hope just watches and plays with her dolls contentedly until I have a moment for her.  When I do, she climbs into my lap and holds onto my neck as if to say, “now you’re mine, don’t let me go.”  Those moments never last long enough.

I don’t know how stay-at-home moms do it.  I don’t know how working moms do it either for that matter.  I’m know that there are groups out there for stay-at-home moms, but I’m antisocial.  I don’t make friends easily.  Fifty percent of my friends recently moved away, so that’s not helping matters.  I would like to go see them, but I am broke because I spend all my money on Gu.

Now I’m bored too.  I was okay a month ago when I was all “book crazy”.  Now I have no desire to read.  None.  I don’t even want to go to the bookstore and “browse” or maybe try an e-book.  So I spend my days alternating between disappointing and neglecting my children.  While they eat or nap I access the outside world through Facebook or the Internets only to discover that the whole damn country has gone batshit crazy and that I have officially reached the end of my rope with religion in general.

When I can’t take reality anymore I play Angry Birds until I am angry, then I try to watch some tv.  So basically, to unwind from (or recover from) feeling totally inadequate as a mother I perform a series of activities that are completely unproductive and meaningless and which make me feel even worse.

The only thing that pulls me out of the funk is running.  For now, it’s just thinking about running mostly.  Of course the thinking turns to obsessing pretty quickly, which turns to me fidgeting with my eyebrows and such and oh crap this sucks.

Deep breaths.

One week to go.  This time next week I’ll have my race packet, I’ll be able to pin stuff together and obsess over that chip thingy that’s supposed to attach to my shoe.  In the meantime I just have to get my butt in gear, start eating the good stuff again, and ride this out.

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One Response to Tapering Blues

  1. Amanda Leath says:

    Oh Jen! You never fail at cracking me up! I sooooo appreciate you and your sense of humor. And I’m with ya! So much of what you write is true for me as well. You are an amazing woman and you are doing an incredible thing!

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