Nothing left to do but sit on the couch and relax. {A reflection on my training.}

2 soggy miles this morning and just like that…I’m done.

taper2

The running part of my training is over. There’s really nothing else I can (or should) physically do at this point to improve my chances for Sunday. I just have to trust that what I’ve done is enough.

I trained for this marathon under conditions that were not ideal. In mid-February I got injured and had to take valuable time off. For about a month I thought maybe I was going to have to pull the plug on this whole thing, but then I was somehow able to cram together some decent long runs at the end, including one 20 miler. I was hoping to do two, but there just wasn’t any room for it this time.

With the physical part of my taper finished, the mental part is really kicking in. I’m currently busy trying to not go crazy and I’ve been pretty aggro over the past couple days. Yesterday I was coughing a little bit and my coworker told me that it sounded like I was getting sick and I wanted to rip her face off.

I felt bad, but seriously? File that under things to NOT say to the person running a marathon on Sunday. I’ve been obsessing over how my throat is a little scratchy ever since.

From the moment I clicked “Register” and became a runner in the Bob Potts Marathon, I knew I was in for something crazy and it has definitely been a roller coaster ride! Training for a marathon has been one of the hardest, most painful, and most amazing experiences of my life. I have discovered so much about myself…what I am physically capable of, that I am mentally stronger than I previously gave myself credit for, but that I am NOT as invincible as I once thought I was.

Here are a few links to posts that highlight (and lowlight) some of my training adventure. Please don’t feel obligated to read them. I mostly just want to keep everything in one spot so that I can revisit them later!

But feeling pretty good today. 🙂

A lot of you have been reading my blog this whole time and some of you are newer to it, but I wanted to thank ALL of you for hanging out with me. Your awesome suggestions, advice, funny stories, and even just the commiseration I received through my injury or after a bad run have been completely invaluable to me throughout my training. This blog started as a place for me to write down my thoughts on running so that poor Mr. Salt wouldn’t have to hear about it all the time. (He cares as much as someone who doesn’t run possibly can, bless his heart.) I never suspected that I would become a part of such a wonderful, supportive community and that the people in this community would become my friends. You are all amazing and your friends and loved ones are lucky to have people like you in their lives.

Is raging emotional instability a normal part of tapering? Because I’ve gotten really weepy when I talk about running pretty much every day this week. Sarah almost had me buying stock in Kleenex with THIS POST yesterday.

Any final thoughts for me? Things I should be doing besides sitting on my butt?

I really want to get a pedicure but I’m afraid to ruin someone’s life with my zombie toe.

Speaking of zombie toe, I got some gel toe caps at the running store the other day and they are AMAZING. Highly recommend to anyone who is about to lose a nail.

xo,

Salt

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64 thoughts on “Nothing left to do but sit on the couch and relax. {A reflection on my training.}

  1. sarahdudek80 says:

    Aw thanks for the love! I am really excited for you. It is emotionally hard sitting and waiting for the start, but you will be great. I am certain of that. Last week I got a pedicure with my sister in laws and I was so embarrassed because I was missing a toe nail. I figured they had seen worse and it ended up being okay!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you so much and also thanks for the confidence vote. I just need to go out relaxed just like I did with the 18 and the 20. I think I might write a note on my arm to remind myself that I run 10K on my lunch break all the time to put it into perspective. 🙂

  2. DarlinRae says:

    For some reason, your posts are not showing up in my reader… sad face 😦 So I came over to say hi. Holy moly, only a few days left! Having never been a marathoner and only being a newbie, I don’t have any advice for you, but I am definitely going to be thinking about you this weekend. GO GET IT! You’ve worked really hard, so now go enjoy 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Oh no! Ugh that sucks and I have no idea how I would fix something like that! Boo WordPress. Thank you so much for the kind words and I’m glad you decided to randomly come say hi! 🙂

  3. samantha couch says:

    lauren! i cannot believe your big day is almost here! i’ve been running for 3+ years but you inspire me daily. i think, i want to be that fast. i want to place in my age group. i want to place OVERALL. you are truly such a badass, it’s amazing! and you did it all while caring for a little one and working full time. that’s tough to do! my reco: do NOT get a pedi before your marathon. do not. you’ve probably (gross, i know) built up calluses and toughened your feet running and training – you wouldn’t want someone to slough all that off so your silky soft baby feet carry you 26.2 miles missing their tough outer shell. haha! my biggest question – will you be running with our without your GPS watch? i know that was a consideration, and a struggle, i have been eager to know what you decided. i’ll be cheering you on from my ol’ kentucky home on sunday!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Okay here comes the taper emo again. You’re making me tear up! Thank you so much for your kind words and for always being so supportive of me. ❤
      Haha my pedi-lady knows better than to take my callouses off. 😉 I just got one done before my 18 miler the other week and she's like "you want to keep these, right?" It was pretty funny. But yes I did want to keep them. 🙂

  4. Eat Pray Run, DC says:

    i was an emotional mess during my first marathon. i cried more times than i can count (okay, like 3 different times) and only one time were the tears a result of pain. it is SUCH an emotional experience. i am so excited for you and can’t wait to hear how it goes. regardless — you are about to be a marathoner and that is an amazing accomplishment and you should be proud. i think you are going to kill it on sunday!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Ahh I’m so glad I’m not the only one! It really is such an emotional experience. I’m like all over the place this week! Thank you so much for your kind words, friend! I really really hope it goes well. 🙂

  5. Sara says:

    Way to go!!! You are such an inspiration we all are so lucky to share in your journey and interact with you here on the interwebs. You have worked so hard and you are going to kick that trail’s ass! Save the pedicure for AFTER the marathon and get the super deluxe!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Awww thanks, friend! I just might do that. Super deluxe pedicure and a super deluxe massage too! I might need new toenails altogether when I’m done. Gross but true.

  6. Kristine Wichner Torkelson says:

    You are a week ahead of me so I love reading your training posts! I think next week I’m going to be a nervous wreak especially with having more rest days than I’m used to taking. I have no advice for you since I’m experiencing it all right now, but I would say find something to distract yourself, like start a new book or something. Please pass along any good advice to me so I know what to do next week!! Good luck, believe in YOU and you will rock your first marathon! Can’t wait to hear about it.

    • runsaltrun says:

      You are getting so close and I’m SO EXCITED FOR YOU! It’s always nice to have someone going through it all at the same time who totally understands the madness. I will definitely let you know what it’s like once I get to the flip side. 🙂 I hope the rest of your training and tapering goes super smoothly and I can’t wait to hear all about your marathon experience as well!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you so much, Natalie! I’ve definitely been a little better about going to bed earlier this week. I think that has been helping a lot (especially considering that I will probably get NO sleep on Saturday night!)

  7. Change of Pace says:

    Love that you’ve had such a revelaing journey- through the ups and downs and pushing yourself and going further than you ever imagined.
    Save the pedicure for after the marathon- the foot massage will be such a welcome reward 🙂
    I’ll be thinking about you- GOOD LUCK!!!
    And my advice, just get out of your head and enjoy the ride come race day!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I wish pedicures were cheaper so I could get one every day next week. And a massage too. 🙂

      You are awesome. 🙂 You have been so supportive and such a great source of information throughout this whole crazy journey! I really can’t thank you enough!

  8. bpangie says:

    I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but the halfway point of marathon lies somewhere near the 20 mile marker… Good luck. Look forward to hearing about it.

    • runsaltrun says:

      I have this great fear that I’m going to spontaneously combust the moment I get to mile 20.02. 20.01 is all that I know. 🙂 Thank you so much for the luck! I hope it goes well!

  9. Ange @ Cowgirl Runs says:

    “Is raging emotional instability a normal part of tapering” <– holy shit yes. Seriously. I become even more of a mess than I already am. Sorry, that's probably not comforting.
    You've got this. Trust your training. Maybe it didn't go 100% as planned, but it pretty much never does. I KNOW you can do this and I'll be cheering for you come Sunday!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Oh thank god because I’m a trainwreck. I’ve teared up reading most of these comments. Then I looked at pictures from last year’s Potts race and cried. Then I cried thinking of crossing the finish line. I’m definitely going to be sobbing at the actual race haha. Thank you so much for your kind words and for cheering me on! I’ll be cheering YOU on next! 🙂

  10. prettylittlerunner says:

    same! I have had a sore throat all week and now a nasty cough. I’m pretending like it’s not happening at this point bc what IS happening is that I’m running Sunday no matter what (unless a tornado comes through Buffalo, NY). At this point, I say go get your pedi, I am, even though I got one last wk, and relax… I will be doing my last few miles today and tomorrow…. I’ll be thinking about you Sunday, and I’ll basically be out there with you… just in a different location. Good luck doll!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I’m pretending it’s not either, but just in case I went to get some Emergenc-e on my lunch break (thanks to a very good suggestion!) and it seems to have helped. And worse case scenario we can run with coughs. NBD. 🙂

      I’ll be thinking of you too and it’s been awesome training/tapering with you! We’ve got this! GOOD LUCK, lady! You’re going to do so great!

  11. txa1265 says:

    Actually I love that you dumped the links together – that really IS so smart to do, and you can even make a page for the marathon after you absolutely CRUSH it on Sunday 🙂

    You have been amazing – smart in your training, careful with your injury, and really dedicated in your approach. Awesome job, already really proud, and can’t wait to see how you feel on Sunday. I am definitely a believer that ‘success is much more than a number on a clock’. Good luck and TRY to relax!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks! I thought I was pretty smart too and I LOVE the idea of making a page for it! I hope I have happy stories to tell haha!

      I want to send HUGE thanks and hugs to you. Your constant support, words of wisdom, awesome insight into pretty much everything has helped me so much! I’m so thankful to for the Internet that I could make some awesome new friends such as yourself. 🙂 And I am trying my hardest to relax! This is the most still I’ve sat in AGES!

  12. Running Bear says:

    Is raging emotional instability a normal part of tapering? YES

    At this point, the Wed-Fri before my Sunday marathon, I read countless marathon stories, everything I could google my hands on. As a recap story talked about crossing the finish line, I’d break down in tears. My wife would ask “whatcha doin?” and I’d reply “reading marathon blogs, listening to techno, and crying”. In my nearly 40 years of life I never experienced happy tears until I started marathon training, sometimes during long runs, and very much during late taper, an unexpected and amusing twist.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Skip the pedicure for reasons mentioned above..sign up for a massage a few days after the race to treat yourself then. Go watch Spirit of the Marathon movies…and remember no matter what you do on Sunday, it’s a PR!! Enjoy every minute! See you there

  14. Amy says:

    Over analyzing your throat? Consider taking halls defense or airborne or zicam (something with zinc). I swear they work. Maybe it’s the placebo effect, but at the very least, it always makes me feel better when I think I’m doing something.

  15. Kelly @ Turned up to Eleven says:

    Sounds like you’ve got this all handled – I say treat yourself to all the things mentioned above after your big race. I would definitely say NO to the pedicure before the race, not only for wrecking the lovely nails but also I’m sure your feet have built up a tolerance to your shoes, and you don’t want to remove the calluses, they’ll just become blisters and no one wants that. I’m SO proud of you and can’t wait to hear all about the marathon!!!! GET ‘EM GIRL!!! ox

  16. Tina Muir says:

    Good luck! That is very exciting! My best advice would just be to have fun 🙂 The result will take care of itself if you do your best and leave it all out there 🙂

  17. piratebobcat says:

    Sounds like you’ve learned the most valuable lesson of a marathon – it’s not about the race itself, it’s about the journey to get there. There are all sorts of ups and downs in training – and nobody ever sees that. They only see the final result. You got this Salt! I’ll be cheering for you from here! Most of all ENJOY IT!

  18. hellyontherun says:

    For me, the training leading up to my marathon was what got me the most. It’s so time/life consuming and really makes you a different person. Of course, the marathon itself is super emotional but man, going back to see all that you did leading up to that moment…it’s amazing..

  19. SuzLyfe says:

    I’m so proud of you. I know people say things like this all the time, but the marathon itself is just a victory lap. The training is the hardest part–you have to go after it, week after week, deal with injuries, put in the time, the training, the $$. All for several hours on one particular day when you might get a side stitch and ruin everything. So, no matter what happens, be so freaking proud of yourself. Now and in a few days. All that will change is that you get a medal and some pictures. But you are already a marathoner.
    10 pieces of advice:
    1) TRUST YOUR TRAINING
    2) TRUST YOUR INTUITION
    3) Go with your gut–literally. Eat/drink etc what you know works.
    4) Ask questions. Everyone knows what it is like before your first marathon. But unlike the other type of virginity, people are willing to talk openly about marathoning in front of children.
    5) Run without music for as long as possible and soak it all up.
    6) Start off slower than you think you need to. This first marathon is about finishing. And with style
    7) Body Glide. EVERYWHERE. Feet, bra straps, underwear, compression sock tops. Where the tongue of your shoe is (trust me). And Sunscreen and bug spray. And take bandaids and kleenex with you.
    8) Hydrate like crazy the day before, have a big water the morning of, then lay off.
    9) Don’t freak out if things go wrong. It’s not a crisis. It is a problem. You’re a mom. SOLVE IT.
    10) CALL SUZ IF YOU NEED ANYTHING.
    Finish with a #mamasalt bath 😀
    Love you and don’t worry, you got this.

  20. Run Colby Run says:

    YES! Emotional instability goes hand in hand with Tapering. In fact, they just went out for burritos and a cold one. Lookit you! The work is done. I’m proud of you already Salt. My only advice on this, Salt’s First Marathon, Run with Your Heart. Period. Don’t obsess about your time. Finish. Enjoy. And yank those ear buds out for the last few miles. You’ve earned it. Soak it in Friend! xoxoxo

  21. candies & crunches says:

    You can do it! You can do it! Don’t doubt yourself because you are capable of accomplishing anything you desire! Instead of stressing out for nothing, try coming up with things or subjects you’d like to reflect on during your run 😉 You never know.. Best of luck! ❤ xoxo

  22. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says:

    I didn’t start reading until after you had already started training but I still feel emotionally invested in your race:) Its weird how that happens when you’ve been following someone’s training. it sounds like you are 100% ready so just picture yourself crossing that finish line with a huge smile on your face!I can’t wait to hear all about it!

  23. vanessahicks331 says:

    I’m a newer reader to your blog but I love your motivation!! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish on Sunday, and when/if you feel down, know you have motivated at least one persons!(me!!)

  24. Mar on the Run! says:

    YOU are amazing! and you WILL be amazing and I cannot wait to hear all about it. Then you get to live it all again when I go through this ridiculous “why do I do this to myself” process later this summer 😉 Rock on Salt!!

  25. The Running Chef says:

    Siting on your butt sounds like a great way to prepare. You are doing what you need to do, and looking back on all your hard work to see how far you have come. Try not to worry about it if you cannot sleep from nerves, just relax and trust that your body will have enough energy stored up, and no one really sleeps well in the build up to a race! Most of all HAVE FUN 🙂 This is your reward for all your hard work 🙂

  26. northernambitions says:

    haha your posts always make me laugh. I’ve officially filed away the fact that I will never tell a marathoner she sounds like she’s getting sick days before the race. I once had this girl in my swim class tell me that the triathlon I was doing (in like three days) was the worse one she’s ever done and that the course sucked because of this and that. Um hello? Keep that stuff locked in, because I don’t want to hear it when I’m gearing up for a big race. Good luck girl! I know you’ll rock and it please share pictures and stories afterwards. And “The Running Chef” is right, the reward is totally in the training you’ve done. One race compared to all that hard work is nothing 🙂

  27. irishrunnerchick says:

    I have really enjoyed following your marathon training journey! You’ve made the ups and downs so entertaining. I don’t have any advice other than TRUST YOUR TRAINING and I just want to wish you the best of luck for Sunday!

  28. M @readeatwriterun says:

    Isn’t the online running community an awesome source of support? Love it!

    The emotional swings in taper are definitely to be expected (taper madness). It’s partially that you’re nervous/excited and partly that your body is experiencing bio-chemical changes from any reduction in mileage/training – it’s not all within your control or of your making. (you may have had some experience with that post-injury, just found your blog so don’t know full story yet – but I know I’ve had that)

    Have a wonderful race!

  29. she's going the distance says:

    I’m so excited for you! All you can do is make sure you, your Garmin & iPod are charged for tomorrow. Rest, sleep and be ready for tomorrow. I’ll be cheering for you all morning via internet! And yes being weepy is totally part of the taper. I had a weepy moment today i’ll blog about later 😉

  30. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Again…a little late to the game 😦 I was so excited for you and still am! You rocked that marathon!! ❤

  31. Kristin says:

    I can’t wait to hear how your marathon went!!! For some reason, your posts have not been showing up in my reader, so I just checked in and realized I missed so much!! I’m so sorry!!! I’m reading all of your posts now!!! XOXO!!! YOU ROCK!!!!

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