There are a couple of ways to taper before a big 50 mile race.
The first is to do things intelligently.
You do some Yoga.
I know it looks like I'm praying, shutup.
You do a recovery run or two.
Maybe you work in some stretching.
Or you can go play a hockey game and get splattered at the blue line by a jerk the size of a tundra Yeti, resulting in "ass over tea kettle" style acrobats rivaled only by cirque du soleil. You know, whichever.
Horrible back pain or Al Pacino impression . . . you decide.
Sweet Skating Jesus that was not a nice feeling. The adrenaline carried me through the rest of the game but once I got home, I could barely get my bag into the garage and getting my own shoes off was decidedly out of the question. (Hat tip to my daughters for helping out with that one.)
This was not good.
I hoped that hitting the pain and inflammation head-on with some Naproxen would help out, and it did, thankfully. This left me with about two days of limited mobility and a big giant question mark where running was concerned. Luckily, by Wednesday I was able to run, but by the six mile mark, I was tightening up a little. Long story short, I wasn't going to push it and needed to be chilling anyway, so I took it easy. Just in time for . . .
A big bowl of Head Cold.
The taper cold. I'm not a huge believer in "I always get sick when I taper" and this didn't make me any more skeptical. This thing was going around and it was bound to happen. Unfortunately my wife got it with an EXPONENT attached to it, making it absolutely brutal. While I only felt like crap, she was absolutely down for the count. That being said, running sounded like a fairly miserable proposition and I was only able to muster 17 miles or so.
Listen, before everyone launches into lecture mode on hockey, let me just say that I believe that hockey is exactly the type of cross training that has gotten me into great shape, rather than just running shape. My back muscles are stronger, my core feels great, and I think my results in the 50k and how I felt afterwards speak to this. So yeah, it's risky. I got it. But the juice has been worth the squeeze in my opinion.
And if you're wondering, I did play again during our game this week.
And I got two assists.
Must have been the lack of mythological beasts looking to decapitate me this week.