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Pumpkins and Tapering – Geek Turned Athlete

Pumpkins and Tapering

The last couple of weeks have been a little crazy with work, training, family time, puppy time, volunteering, being sick, resting etc. Not last weekend, but the weekend before, I did NOT have the best training weekend.

That Saturday, I was supposed to run for 3 hours. Did not happen. Two miles into the run, I started crying. I thought my body was just tired. My husband asked if I was starting my period. Bad move considering I wasn’t. Instead, I went to have coffee with a friend.


I hoped the next day, when I had to ride for 6 hours, was going to be better. The scenary was beautiful, and the company was very entertaining.



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These ladies were great to cycle with. They were so patient too. Granted it was a very very very hilly course, it took us 6 hours to go 65 miles. NOT good at all. On the flats, my goal was to stick to my IM race pace. It did not happen. Every time I would get up to 11 or 12 miles an hour, my heart rate would sky rocket. It was embarrassing. I went home definitely worried that something was wrong. Sure enough, Monday morning I woke up with a fever, chills, body ache, and lots of mucus. Ah, it all makes sense now.


Monday, I got to cuddle with the puppies, and work from home in between sleeping. I had to actually go into work the rest of the week, and when I wasn’t working, I was sleeping and drinking Airborne out of a wine glass.


Fast forward to this past Saturday, I felt like a new woman! Off to masters swim:

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Three hour trainer ride. Hey, it was 39 degrees out, and I’m sick of being cold. Don’t judge! It actually wasn’t that bad. I just put on some Jersey Shore, Real World, and the Food Network, and i was good! I also had a friend stop by and ride with me for an hour. That definitely helped with being on the trainer for a while.

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And a 45 min run afterwards. That was all just Saturday.

Then, I volunteered for a 5K race called the Monster Dash with my running team on Sunday. It benefits local high school. cross country programs. LOVED it! The only bad thing about it was that once I got done freezing my butt off outside that morning for 4 1/2 hours, I still had to run for a couple of hours, then bike for an hour and a half. I got it done though despite the rain and cold outside!

I’m on the front end of my taper for Ironman Arizona, and I’m so loving it! I guess a lot of athletes hate this time (and I might too towards the end), but I’m loving it up right now. Even though I was working out for 5 1/2 hours on Saturday, I felt like I had so much more time to do other things! Crazy, huh? I’m so looking forward to the off season and only working out for 5-7 hours a week. My house is so dirty most of the time because of IM training and working and doing everything else. haha.

Anyway, that is what’s going on! I have a book review for you guys on Thursday, and reviews for tofu, gloves, and a running movie (VERY inspiring) coming up in the next few weeks!

Do you like tapering? Do you follow your tapering plan to a “T,” or do you freak out that you are loosing fitness and train more than you are supposed to? I’ve been guilty of that before with a few races. Boy, was I stupid!! haha

What do you usually do with all your extra energy while you are tapering? Clean? Work on a different hobby? Spend more time with the fam?

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • nrmrvrk November 1, 2011, 7:40 am

    I used to have the same wheel block for my trainer sessions. I hated the way the wheel would twist while I was spinning and it was unstable when I was out of the saddle. The Cycleops wheel block ($20? at REI) was totally worth it. I recommend one if you don’t already have one.

    I’m jealous about your masters class. My gym has masters swimming 2x/week but both are during the “black-out” period of my work-provided membership sadly. I gotta find a way to sneak in and take that class. Do you know any good online resources for improving swimming technique? I’m s-l-o-w in the water. Nice pictures…


    • Nicole November 1, 2011, 8:27 am

      I haven’t really had a problem with my physics book, but thanks! I’m sure it will start to bother me this winter though. 😉

      Here is a swim site that my coach recommends:

      Good luck!!

  • Lisa November 1, 2011, 9:57 am

    3 hours on the bike trainer? You are a dedicated woman! The trainer kills me!

  • Maggs November 1, 2011, 10:59 am

    I LOVE taper time. Enjoy it!

  • Cati November 1, 2011, 11:40 am

    I hate the taper! I am restless and grouchy and uncomfortable in my own body. I also catch myself having unhealthy eating thoughts (“Why do you need a cookie? you barely did a thing today.”) But I am convinced that the taper works magic for race day, so I will continue to adhere to it, and only put in an extra mile or two when my psychological well being is really being questioned…

  • Kat @ Balance and Spice November 1, 2011, 12:56 pm

    I used to do trainer rides when I lived in — get this — Los Angeles. It was my TV time! It was pretty lame, but also considering I lived in such a bad neighborhood, to get to anywhere that was safe for me to ride alone was at least a 30 minute drive, which I wasn’t willing to do 3-4 days a week. I loved tapering for races – it always made my body feel amazing. Have a great time and don’t take it too seriously!
    Kat @ Balance and Spice recently posted..On the Radio!

  • Lisa November 1, 2011, 2:55 pm

    That’s rough getting sick at this point in your training, but oh so normal. I just got thru my latest (marathon) taper with no problems. I really don’t usually have taper anxiety, although our part of New England ended up with a Nor’easter storm that threatened (and delivered) up to 30″ of snow in some parts. My race was on Cape Cod, so instead of snow, we got hurricane force gusts.

    I gotta say, this taper did have a little bit of weather anxiety……

    Enjoy your taper!!! I can’t wait to follow you through your Ironman :)
    Lisa recently posted..Cape Cod Marathon – Part II (a race report)

    • Nicole November 3, 2011, 10:21 pm

      I just had a friend run a marathon up there this past weekend, and she was freezing! Crazy weather going on in that part of the states!


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