CCM Diary: Be Stiff

12 days until Cape Cod – time to start serious tapering.  It may or may not have been the best thing to throw in a couple marathon pace miles on this morning’s run, but that was it.  From here on in, I’ll be taking it easy.

A lot of people go through withdrawal when they taper.  They get anxious and develop flu-like symptoms, just like someone who’s going through withdrawal after quitting alcohol or cigarettes.  I felt that way last week.  My sour mood wasn’t helped when my shoulders and neck started to tighten up.

My attitude will be better this week, now that the hard part, all the training, is truly over.  There’s still some waiting to be done, but there’re no more deciding whether or not to cram in more workouts and no more guilt about backing off, which never feels good even when it’s the right thing to do.  All that remains is race day.  That’s the fun part, the reward for all the work I’ve done.

But there are still things to worry about, as always.  My neck has kept me from sleeping well the last couple of nights.  Pre-race stress, kettlebell exercises, and too much computer time may have contributed to the problem, but I blame this bout on bike riding.  I’m a more efficient rider if I bend forward more, especially with my new cleats.  But since I have straight handlebars, my arms have to bend too much to get my body in the best positions.  And when I get lower, I have to bend my neck farther back so I can look ahead for cars, trees, and other obstacles.

My final massage session was scheduled for yesterday, but Mina had to cancel because she was sick.  So today I called around and found someone who had an opening so I could go in to get my legs flushed out and see if they could loosen up the muscles in my neck.

At this point, I wasn’t looking for any deep-tissue work on my legs, just someone to help move out the accumulated waste products so I’m fresher for the race.  This massage even loosened up my toenail!

I hope the neck pain resolves itself soon.  It’s hard to rest up for a marathon when you can”t sleep.  There is one good thing, I guess.  When I don’t sleep well, my weight usually drops.

(5.8 mi. run; 145.5#)

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