Curing the tapering blues
If you're one of the many people signed up for a long-distance race this weekend (like the Vermont City Marathon or Pineland Farms Trail Running Festival), you have probably spent the last two or three weeks tapering to make sure you're well rested for the race. And perhaps instead of enjoying all that extra free time, you have instead—like many other runners—begun to feel increasingly sluggish, out of shape, and grumpy.
Fortunately, there are two well-established treatments for tapering. One is to read a lot of of race reports, such as those posted by Chad earlier this week. Another is to sign up for a new race even before finishing the upcoming race. Tonight, coincidentally, registration opens for one of the best ultras in the northeast—the Vermont 50. The race is open to both mountain bikers and runners. If you hope to bike the course, you have to be ready to sign up at 7:00 tonight when registration opens or you probably won't get in. If you're a runner, you can take a more leisurely approach. But if you're a runner who has a big race coming up this weekend, then I say take the plunge and enter the Vermont 50 before you have a chance to think about it. If your upcoming race goes well, you'll be even more excited to have another race to look forward to. If you get halfway through your race this weekend and feel like you can't take another step, well, you can treat it like a training run for the Vermont 50.
Or, if you're not in the mood to commit to 50 miles or kilometers, sign up for a more reasonable race. There's always the Western NH Trail Running Series, of course. The WNHTRS is 100 percent tapering-free. Finish one race and there's another just a couple of weeks away. Other challenging-but-fun races coming up soon are the race up the Ascutney auto road and the second annual Okemo Mountain Challenge.