Running a lot of weekly miles. Missing events and sleep because of planned runs. The anxiety and nerves of each upcoming long run. Planning your routes and anticipating the crash that will come afterward. Running on dark mornings before the day even starts.
I guess you could say you grow addicted to this schedule because with it comes "The Runners High", the constant feeling of endorphin-driven highs and the persistent fatigue and soreness of effort that follows becomes the norm.
As beneficial as running is to my mental health, racing causes a lot of mixed emotion. I love to race, but racing big races also means tapering, tapering means less running, and less running often means an irritable, crabbier version of me. One that no one really likes all that much and is prone to what we have decided, is a Taper Tantrum.
(my thoughts during my taper) Did I do enough? I could've pushed harder on my last 21 mile run. Maybe I should've squeezed in another speed run or two? I know I didn't do enough cross training this time. I should've focused more on the nutrition aspect... What if I wake up and Lyme Disease gets the best of me that day? Lyme disease flaring up would make an already hard race, feel impossible. What if I disappoint my friends and family who have been so supportive, who have sacrificed their time and sleep helping me with my kids or bringing me water when I was out on those long runs and didn't bring enough. What if I finish in a less-than-desirable time and feel like it was all a waste? I'm terrified. I'm nervous. I'm scared of failure.
I'm skeptical about the chaos this taper causes me both physically and mentally.
What I am trying to say is that I hope this helps my husband and kids (and extended family, and co-workers, and cashiers, and Starbucks employees, and the random person at the gas station that I freaked out on...) to better understand the emotional wreck I have been, and I promise, IT WILL GO AWAY after the marathon. Then will come the post marathon blues... but we will talk about those more next week (**wink wink**).