On a Saturday afternoon in mid-March, I finished a terrible 3-mile run. It was one of many terrible recent runs.

I don’t have a sports agent. Speaking frankly, only one person would care if I quit running. I am married to him. So I called him. He answered from a chair lift in Beaver Creek. I got right to the point.

Me: Matt, I want you to be the first to know. I’m taking a break from running.

Matt: Does this mean you’re not running the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler?

Me: Correct. No more questions.

Matt: And you’re not running the Covered Bridges Half Marathon in June?

Me: Exactly right. This interview is over. It’s my turn to order at Muffins Cafe. Love you.

I hung up the phone and I didn’t run for a month. I still found myself in DC the weekend of the Cherry Blossom race since Matt was running and I love our yearly trip. I used to live in DC and coming back for a weekend is always a delight.

One of my closest friends, Tricia, lives in DC and is the chief of staff in a congressional office. Tricia had convinced her entire team to sign up for the race with her. Then she didn’t train for it. A natural born leader, she planned to run the race anyway. The day before the race, we had the following exchange:

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Happy 2018, friends.

Unlike everyone else, I have not started out the new year with a fitness frenzy. I have run a grand total of ZERO miles in 2018. In fact, my last Strava entry is from Christmas Day; I did a 3-mile jaunt in Kyoto and haven’t hit the pavement since. But sinful as it may be to say:  I love running. (Which means sometimes I hate running and that’s normal.) So I’ve signed up for a few races to make sure I get back on track.

River crossing mid-run in Kyoto

River crossing mid-run in Kyoto

Here’s what I have signed up for so far. Are you registered for any of these? Any must-race events I should get on my calendar?

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Hi guys. I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! Did you run a Turkey Trot? Tell me about it!

Apologies for my absenteeism. It’s not your fault.

And no, I didn’t forget my WordPress password, I’ve just been a little less tethered to my laptop recently. It felt kind of amazing. But I’m back in action and back to business.

Did anyone take advantage of any Black Friday or Cyber Monday fitness class discounts? I stocked up on SLT and Refine Method.

I tried SLT a while ago (and wrote about it here). Those with excellent memories will note, I didn’t love it. After the NYC Marathon I was in the market for a tough, low-impact workout and SLT fit the bill so I decided to give it another chance.  They also opened a studio on the Upper West Side which put them in my good graces and zone of existence. This time I made sure to try an Intro-level class before diving it. It made a big difference. The teacher moved slowly, explaining every move and the music was muted enough to hear instruction. I didn’t feel out of my element.

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Oh you know, just 5 days until the NYC marathon. Here’s how I’m feeling, Harry Potter-style. Practically speaking, if you want to track me (or anyone) here’s the link to do so. You just need a name. If you’re looking for general info on the race, I created a page dedicated to the NYC marathon where you’ll find resources including maps, great places to cheer and so much more.

Need even more? ESPN posted this excellent guide about running in NYC.

How did week 17 go? Well I ate everything within arms reach and then I moved over to eat whatever I couldn’t get to the first time. Life post-marathon training needs to have fewer trips to the office vending machine. A day with zero cookies will feel like a detox. In other news, I’ve had some toenail injuries (overshare?) but I think it’s all sorted. Anyone else dealt with that?

On the first week of taper, my true love gave to me:

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Most training plans include a tapering period 2-3 weeks before a marathon. This means you run less, and slow the eff down in fitness and ideally in life. The theory is the work is done, your strength and endurance are built and it’s too late to try to work on speed. Now it’s time to relax and get/be healthy. The goal is straightforward: Show up to the marathon well-rested and eager to run.

I’ve heard the taper can make you go crazy. Some dub the moody response some runners have “Taper Tantrums.” I figured I’d have some issues here, but it’s not what I predicted. I expected to feel the desire to run more than I was permitted to and to feel frustrated and nervous about the lack of mileage, but au contraire. All I want to do is sit on the couch, forget running, take some naps and eat pretzel croissants from City Bakery. (I’m averaging three a week. Too much?)

wedding photo

I would like to interrupt this complaining with a gratuitous wedding photo!

I ran 4 miles yesterday at a 10-minute per mile pace (on the slow side for me) and it was a workout, not a casual jaunt in the park. Everything feels HARD.  I’m still sore from the 21 mile run. Which was like, 10 days ago. So I’d say things are going only OKAY. I feel DONE.

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