Because of the late start to this training cycle and accumulating nowhere near the kind of mileage and hard workouts I had planned on, I decided on a two-week taper rather than three. That extra week made no sense; the taper needs to be a taper from something, and not just some mindless fart in the wind. Okay, so I have done some training: fairly consistent long runs (5 at 30k+), less consistent tempo runs, hill repeats, strides, and the odd bike race, peppered here and there (the purpose of the bike races was fourfold: fun, cross-training, mental strength, and an outlet for being kind of a competitive jerk) –just enough to necessitate a modified taper. On a side-note, I know someone who is doing a four-day taper after struggling through the last few weeks of training. I’m hesitant to say that this is a great idea, but I’m hesitant to say anything in this case. I think there’s a metaphor about a bark being worse than a bite but I don’t want to risk being bitten. I hate being bitten.
The last two weeks leading up to Chicago will consist of early bedtimes, nutritious meals, self- and other- massages, a few key workouts, including a final tempo 10 days out and a few race-pace specific workouts, researching the best spots for pre-marathon pasta and post-marathon burgers and beers, and more early bedtimes.