Friday, July 14, 2006

How NOT to Taper

1. Overload yourself with races so you do at least 1 every weekend.
2. After your race, do an additional workout--long runs, marathon tennis sessions, surfing, etc.
3. Make sure it's blistering hot outside.
4. Once Monday rolls around and you're sore and exhausted, take the day off and begin sleeping.
5. Eat as much as you can when awake, including chocolate, pizza, and Big Macs.
6. Take 3 hour naps a day.
7. If you can't nap, sleep at least 12 hours at night.
8. Do nothing else.
9. The night before the race, begin to panic.

This has been me this week. It's similar to how I tapered (unintentionally) for the San Diego International Tri 3 weeks ago. I was in a panic before that race, and it turned out to be a fantastic race. For some reason, I'm less worried this time around. Hope that's not a bad sign.

The Camp Pendleton International Tri will be only my 2nd Olympic distance. In addition, the 1st one (San Diego International Tri) was a little short (1000 km swim, 30K bike, 10K run). Tomorrow's race is a "real" Olympic (1500 m swim/40K bike/10K run) so it will be my longest race ever. However, for some reason, I know I can do the distance, and I feel more confident than last time. I trust my body more.

Ideally, I would have tapered down for about 2 weeks and would not have raced last weekend. I would continue my workouts but shorten them and keep the intensity up. This week, I would have scheduled more rest days but also would have short, little workouts in there to keep my muscles fresh. That's what I would have done. Instead, I slept and ate all week (see above). I think I may have needed it after last weekend.

Monday, I had a massage and then took the day off from working out--intentionally. That was all good. Tuesday, I ate well and took the day off from workout out--unintentionally. Still okay (except for the massive quantities of pancakes I ate that morning). Wednesday, my stomach acted up, and I slept all day, taking several 2-3 hour naps. That evening, I felt better and wanted to do some sort of workout but decided against it. Instead, I had pizza for dinner. Last night, I came home from lab, exhausted and starving (bad me for not stopping to eat lunch!!!) and succumbed to the golden arches. I wolfed down a Big Mac, 5 McNuggets, and french fries (with a Diet Coke; isn't that a riot?), followed by dessert--a dark chocolate Hershey's bar, 2 large Pepperidge Farm oatmeal raisin cookies, and some Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux cookies as well. Want to know what's scary? I didn't even feel that full afterwards! WTF? Laden with a belly full of fat and sky-rocketing serum insulin levels, I fell victim to the overwhelming post-prandial fatigue and fell aleep on the sofa, moving to the bedroom at 9 pm where I stayed...asleep...for the next twelve hours. Anway, as you can see, I'm not hurting for carbs or cals!

This morning? I feel great. It's a new day. The day before the race. Gulp. I'm NOT working out today. Maybe go for a walk. Take it easy. My job is to prepare for tomorrow mentally, pack up my race bag, get my bike ready, and eat and sleep well. I'm going to start eating better!!! Plan out my meals, space them out better so I never feel hungry and make smarter decisions. Sigh. So difficult!

Yeah, I wish I'd paced myself more last weekend, but I had a blast last weekend. I wish I had slept less this week and worked out more but I think I needed the rest. I wish I'd eaten better but I probably needed the cals so there's no permanent damage, and I'll get back on track. At least I didn't starve myself, continue to work out, and remain sleep-deprived all week! So I'm just going with it. Keeping my fingers crossed...


Paul said...

Good luck tomorrow! And stay away from the evil arches! In-n-out's much better, haha :P

punky said...

hey rachel, i'm so sorry if i wore you out last weekend but i hope you enjoyed it and i'm really sorry. with your good attitude and rest though i have a feeling you are going to do really really well....

jessie_tri_mn said...

Good luck at the race, you're going to be awesome out there!

Your body was probably craving what McDonald's can offer...starchy fat. Mmmm. With your activity level, you'll burn it off in no time.

Barb said...

Glad to hear you're getting lots of rest so all that food can digest! :)

Man, that just sounds SO familiar! I start my taper and start eating! I consider it working on my buoyancy. That's not my stomach! It's a floatation device! :)

Good luck on your race! Looking forward to the report.

Cliff said...

Woah.t.hat's a great pre meal race :)...

don't worry about working out more..u do what u need to do months before...

Knowing your body can handle the distance is half the battle already. Now just enjoy the ride :)..remember smile like me on the bike ride.. :D..

Tammy said...

Whenever I crave McD's, I know my body is in a state of starvation.... I either haven't been eating enough, or just did a really tough workout, or both.

Take care of yourself. I just may have to give you a good talkin' to come September! :)