The Taper…..

February 15th. Just one week. All my hard work. Soon to be channeled into one two-hour race.

Oh, yeah. I’m feeling the adrenaline.

Ok, it’s probably the caffeine from the coffee. I actually feel kind of terrible right now because I decided it would be fun to actually stay up on a Friday night after babysitting and watch the men’s skating in the Olympics (my favorite winter event and ex-sport).

I forgot I have a condition called Icantasleepinonasaturday. Yep, you read that right. Being so meticulous and consistent about waking up (5:45 every morning as soon as the alarm goes off) and going to bed, my body adapts and develops a very good internal clock. Oh, there’s benefits. I am a big time morning person (I can get so much more done in the quiet morning). Unfortunately, unless I stay up until 4 AM, I wake up around 6. Ugh. So I had to ditch my no-coffee-unless-it’s-before-a-long-run rule (developed due to shakiness) and indulge. At least it was good.

This week my right hamstring has been aching. It’s a tightness only when I do a strong effort stretch. I doesn’t hurt when I use it or run, so I’m not too worried. But as a precaution, I’m skipping today’s 9 miler and stretching gently, rolling religiously, and later going or a walk. I read that it’s somewhat normal to feel little tweeks during your taper. This particular muscle has never given me any trouble so I’m not too worried.

About 6 months ago when I got more detailed about my diet and learned more about what was in the things I ate, I vowed never to consume a sugary coffee drink (think mocha frapp-my all time favorite) after I found out how many calories were in it. My only exception is as a VERY rare treat AFTER a long, hard run. So to celebrate my half-marathon, I will get one right after my race at my favorite coffee bar (conveniently located down the road from the race start). That will be my recovery carbs (I know, not the greatest, but it’s how I’ll celebrate) along with some lean protein. Am I a terrible person? Oh, if you’re thinking “A frapp in winter?!”, I will have you know the snow melted and it’s warming to be about 50-55 degrees on race day. Score! Couldn’t have planned it better.

Have you gotten tired of having to pass on “creamy” salad dressing because of their high fat content and chemicals (as in the case of most light dressings)? I have the solution…Greek yogurt to the rescue! You can buy yogurt dressing at the store (refrigerated section near produce), but it tends to be quite pricey. Simply mixing roughly half regular dressing (ranch, caesar, thousand island, etc.) with and equal (or 1.5 times as much if you are more used to the yogurt taste) part plain Greek yogurt stretches the calories with out the fat. I do this when I crave creamy dressing instead of olive oil and vinegar. I usually use a high quality ranch (no funky ingredients) and it tastes delish.

I’ve recently been thinking about places I’d love to run in. Someday when I go on a big trip, the place(s) will most certainly be decided on based on their places to run. 🙂 I found this place (Trentino Alto Adige, Italy) that I really want to run in, even though I’ve never done any real trail runs.

Beautiful, right?

I decided it was time to move on from the winter blog theme….like the new theme?

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