It’s finally taper time! This is, for some runners, a really hard time of the training cycle. No one wants to decrease their mileage right before the big day. It starts to make you think you won’t have the stamina to follow through like you want on race day. I am kind of in the middle on this one. I understand the feeling of having lost fitness by decreasing mileage, but I also think it’s incredibly important to make sure your legs are well rested and fresh for race day.
So many things can go wrong: weather conditions, an upset stomach or just your own mind playing its games. “Did you train enough? Did you get enough sleep? Are you dehydrated? Maybe that’s why your calves are cramping…” In my opinion, the mind is the most crucial part of training, and I’m the first to say that mine is not strong enough yet. It probably was a couple of years ago, but not lately. I’ve been feeling tired from work, often forgetting to drink enough during the day. I know… my own issues. I’m working on that.
It’s also been a new experience for me to run with a team. I haven’t done that since high school. It’s been nice to get to know people with common interests and values. And I can honestly tell you that Team ASPCA is one of the best groups I’ve seen. I can’t compare to any of the others that run for charities, but I’d run with this team again for sure. 🙂
And now it’s taper time. The hard work is done. The miles have been pounded out week after week since mid-July. The one part of this training cycle that has been the hardest is honestly not the training. For me, the fundraising aspect is much more difficult. I have never run a race for charity. I have never liked to fundraise. It wasn’t easy this time either, but I felt like I was consistent. And for once, it was actually fun!
I had so many great messages hit my inboxes, as friends who donated told me beautiful stories about their pets. I had at least a handful of people say how remembering these things about their pets brought them to tears. What a lovely way to honor them! I’ve shared so many pet dedications the past few months, and I have some more to share in the coming week or so. It’s amazing how our pets are such an important part of our families. Here’s a collage of some of the pets I’ve shared. There are more, so I’ll make another one soon!
I’m so glad I have been able to share these stories, and my own, throughout the training cycle. I could tell for many how much it meant to them. And I’m not done yet! I still want to honor them all a bit more. I plan to print the photos of the pets I’ve shared and pin them to my race singlet on race day. I haven’t figured out the details yet, but I’ll be sure to share it once I’m finished.
Tomorrow is the last day to donate to this great cause. Please help an animal find a new home, get a much needed vaccine or surgery or simply be saved from an abusive situation. Anything you can offer is more than appreciated! Thanks, friends! XO