With one week to go until Ironman Cozumel, I am smack in the middle of my taper and have lots of extra time on my hands. You would think that being able to relax and essentially do nothing would be a luxury...but it's not. The taper crazies have fully set in.
Some sure signs of the taper crazies:
1. You remove 15 hours of training volume from your weekly schedule. Instead of feeling perky, you feel tired, lethargic and exhausted. A 20 minute run feels like 20 miles.
2. You randomly burst into tears and/or freak out on anyone offering any type of suggestion and/or criticism (constructive or otherwise) concerning your race plan, equipment or pretty much anything. Sorry to the person who suggested that my bike isn't fast and whose head I promptly chewed off in spades. I'll forgive you in eight more days. Maybe.
3. With the extra time on your hands, you scour training blogs and twitter posts to use as ammunition for continuously second guessing your own training. (i.e., I have a rest day today and have done nothing but eat quinoa and bananas, yet so-and-so is doing an eight hour ride followed by a 30k brick run and 50 x 100's on 1:15. All that on the Sunday before race day! I must be doing the wrong thing!!!).
Then you promptly remember how painful it is to run 20 minutes, abandon the thought of any such brick workout and go back to the blissful ignorance of eating quinoa and bananas. (Refer to #10 regarding abandoning thoughts.)
4. You make a race checklist and check it. Every day for a week. Twice on weekend days for good measure.
5. You remove caffeine from your diet so you feel a little crazier than normal.
6. You get up a 4:30am for four days in a row to validate that no caffeine makes you crazier than normal.
7. In conjunction with #5 and #6, you remove sugar and wheat from your diet for a dose of super-crazy. Convince the people at work that you are totally nuts when you cannot participate in any social activities or lunches because every item contains sugar and/or wheat in copious quantities. For even more fun, inform them that you are on a "caffeine-free, gluten-free, low sugar, low dairy, high protein diet" and watch them look at you like you are really strange.
8. Extra weirdness points when asked by people why you are not eating anything but rice cakes and respond that it is because you are about to swim 3.8k, bike 180k and run a marathon, successively on one day and completely on your own free will, not because you are being held prisoner or being chased by a voracious animal of some sort.
8. At the same time as you espouse the aforementioned ridiculously clean diet, pack your bags with race "nutrition" including maltodextrin and fructose laden gels, caffeine pills, salt tablets, immodium, naproxen, tums, a precautionary dose of broad-spectrum antibiotics and aloe for the nasty sunburn you are about to get. (Yes, there are two #8's. See #10.)
9. You experience arbitrary aches, pains and twitches and convince yourself that they must be the manifestation of a chronic injury. Then you take random internet questionnaires to analyze all said aches, pains and twitches. You successfully self-diagnose yourself as a borderline exercise addict. However, you score very poorly on Cosmopolitan's "Are you Good-Girl Hot or Bad-Girl Hot" quiz because there is no such thing as "Crazy-Taper-Girl-Hot".
10. You act antsy, irritable and demonstrate no attention span whatsoever. Squirrel! What IS this blog post about anyway?