Tapering to the EXTREME + 12 Unexpected Things.

In case you missed out last week… the top viewed posts were:

*Andrew’s Race Recap & Lessons Learned!!

*Friend to Friend: Navigating Life with Terminal Cancer.

*Tantrums & We NEED to Catch Up on Things

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I don’t think I’ve ever taken a taper so seriously in my life;). I cut out my final back to back long run (remember how I was a week off on my training all along) and this cold thing knocked me down completely yesterday.  I cannot remember the last time I stayed in bed as much as I did yesterday and thank goodness Andrew wasn’t at the hospital because I took a full sick day.

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And a long hot bath (with a bath bomb, hence the purple water).

This sickness= cough, headache and feeling completely zapped of any and all energy but I’m guessing I’m on the upswing from here on out (cross every finger and toe you have for me okay).

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Luckily food still tastes amazing.  Chicken fajita nachos for the win.  I just need someone to send me some energy please.

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Also, these 7 Layer Bars that Andrew made were amazing.

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I think Skye is trying to apply to be the next model for huma gel ads.  I’ve started to pack…

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Hoping to today and hopefully feeling normalish again!

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It’s always fun to look back on a training cycle and think about how things might have been a little different than what we expected going into our training.

I had a few ideas (but really I was clueless about it all) about how things were going to go for my 50 miler training but here are some things that happened that I didn’t know would:

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*I’m really surprised how well my body is handling eating while running.  This has never been the case during previous marathons (and a part of why it took me so long to hit my marathon goals).  Eating a lb of French toast and running a minute later doesn’t even bother my stomach in the slightest… chomping on a sandwich while ticking away the miles has become my normal and I didn’t expect that!

*I’ve lost a lot more speed than I thought I would.  For some reason I just assumed I’d still have a little kick in my legs but I think with all of the miles and hills on my plan, the speed has taken a back seat.  I’m sure that I’ve built up some strength that will help me when I start incorporating more speed work again in the future but for now the endurance has taken over.   During my training for this race there was a workout that happened most weeks and with each month my paces for this workout got slower and slower which is usually the opposite with training!

*I didn’t expect the training to mess up my perspective as much as it did, ha.  I’m sure a month or two after this race I will not continue to feel like a 22 miler on a Thursday morning is quite the cutback compared to my previous weeks:)

*How much I need people during the long runs.  With marathon training it was great to have people with me if I could but I was really fine doing most of my training on my own.  I think a lot of my marathon training long runs included speed work and I would just get lost in the miles focusing on paces, goals and pushing myself.  With this training, it has been SO SO SO helpful to have people join me for sections of the long run.  I hope during the ultra that I can find others that want to chat.  It will be so nice to have a pacer in the last 17 miles.  In my last marathon I was so focused on the splits and paces that I don’t think I said a word to another human (besides ‘hi and I love you’ when I saw my family) the entire time.

*How hard the back to back long runs are.  Getting in 30 miles one day is hard but the REAL challenge for me was getting out of bed the next morning at 4:something to get in another double digit run.

*I knew that training in the winter meant there was going to be snow and in my head I just thought I would do those really long runs on the treadmill because of the weather.  I’m kind of surprised I got out there for those double digits on some of those really crazy weather days.

*I’m really surprised I’m not hurting anywhere.  I didn’t expect to get injured but I did think that maybe something would be bugging me off and on during the training etc.  I thought 60ish miles a week was my max but this training has proved me wrong:)

*I didn’t really think my body would need as much sleep as it does.  I underestimated how much recovery time would be needed for this training.

*To go along with the above point, I knew this was going to take a lot of time but I didn’t expect how much time.  Luckily, I have been able to do a lot of my training when the kids were asleep/at school/napping but I definitely didn’t know how much time it would take!

*I’m not nervous which is very strange for me and I didn’t expect that.  Leading up to big races I’ve definitely had my fair share of nerves but for some reason this feels much more laid back to me.  I’ll be stopping at aid stations for potato chips, power hiking the ups, walking when I need etc… I have zero time expectations placed on myself so it’s nice to just kick back but I’m sure I’ll feel some nerves race day that will help fuel me to finish!

*I expected to run more on the trails… hopefully that reality doesn’t haunt me on race day.

*I didn’t expect to love my hydration pack as much as I do.  I thought it would be annoying and heavy but I love having my hydration and all of the things right there with me in my pack.  It is so easy to drink from and grab the things I need to during the run.

And I’ll leave you today with these thoughts because they give me goosebumps (and I blurred out the ultra in ultrarunning because I think this applies to ALL types of running).

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Let’s repeat this one more time, “You are better than you think you are, and you will do more than you think you can.” -Ken Chlouber

I can’t wait to see what I am made of on Saturday!

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Any unexpected things during your training right now or from one of your training cycles?

Ever been sick during the taper?  What about during a race?

What are you looking forward to this week?  (Also, did anyone run a St. Patrick’s Day race yesterday?)

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54 comments

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Hope that Andrew had a wonderful birthday, and I hope that you start feeling better SOON, Janae. Sending prayers and positivity your way!!

I’m with you on the getting more sleep thing. I didn’t realize how much my body needs complete rest. I’ve given myself an unflinchingly rigid 9 p.m. bedtime that I’ve been sticking to for the last month, and it’s incredible how much better I feel when I wake up to go running each morning and how much better I also feel throughout the rest of the day. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old now, but I’m all about the sleep!

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Ahhhh I just realized that I had originally planned for this post (the last half) to go up on Andrew’s birthday but forgot to switch that end part for today (oops) but thanks for the bday wishes! You are being so smart to give yourself that needed sleep… your body is thanking you! Have a wonderful day Natalie and thank you so much!

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I hope you feel better Janae. Luckily it’s still early before the race. One of my friends just got really sick right before her half and then rested and ran a 1:18. I am excited to see how the race goes for you. It’s been so fun and inspiring to watch your journey in ultra running.

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This is seriously just what I needed to hear… thank you Hollie! This definitely gave me some relief! I hope you are having a great day so far.

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Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Janae – I will cross everything and pray that you feel better soon. By Saturday, you’ll be great and enjoy the race :) So excited for you!

My hip, which has been hurting for a YEAR is finally ALLLLLL better. When I tried to come back several times over the past year, there was always a little bit of pain. And now zero. I am so happy and hopeful that I’ll be able to run now from spring, summer (I LOVE running in the early morning during summer. Unlike most people!). Okay, that is my random happiness that I had to share with you.

Thanks for writing up that list – I was curious on the things you discovered during this training!

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Your hip is better?!? This is fabulous news Amanda!! Seriously I am so thrilled for you! Have a beautiful day and wish we could go for a run together! Thank you!

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LOVE that quote at the end!!!! And, don’t stress about being sick—someone I follow on Instagram (apaceofme) was sick last week and just went to knock out a PR at the Shamrock Half Marathon. The body is so resilient and amazing! I think that even though your speed feels lower, you will be pleasantly surprised to see how this training cycle really benefits you when you train for another half or marathon distance race. All good things!!!!

Happy Birthday, Andrew! You’re having quite a month here—-races! school! birthday! Again, good stuff!

I had last 5K in the series I’m running yesterday, and I won first masters ladies again and ended up being the series winner, so I got SEVENTY FIVE BUCKS! I’m a pro now! ha ha ha I was thrilled. I met all of my race goals, and would have gotten a PR, but the course measured short! BOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I had the word “NOW” written on my hand in Sharpie :) Along with a dollar sign to spur me on to win that 75 bucks! ha ha ha ha Thank you for your encouragement!!!!!

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JEN!! AHHH CONGRATS on your win and the $$. This is so exciting. I am literally going to be writing now on my hand too… I was thinking about that last night. I am so proud of you! Keep celebrating your huge accomplishment!

Thank you for telling me this… her story is just what I needed to hear. My body is resilient wahoo.

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I hope you feel better soon!

I feel like any time I try a new kind of race it changes perspective on everything and for a few weeks after the race haha. Every race is different and makes you train different. I hope this year I will end up being able to fully train with no injuries too!

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It really is so true. Here’s to a healthy year of running/training for you Jenny!

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Happy Birthday Andrew!! Hope you feel better, Janae! I think the elderberry medicine helps too! And diffusing rosemary oil or using in the shower is supposed to help your immune system.

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Thank you so much Mariah… I am going to try those. THANK YOU and I hope you have a great Monday!

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Hello Janae and Andrew! Andrew, Happy Birthday! Also, congrats on being in your home stretch on school. I finished school a few months ago, and those last few months were an exercise in patience and motivation. You’re doing great!

Unexpectedly hurt my achilles during my training cycle, but actually ran the marathon yesterday! It was my first marathon and I did it in 4:06. I didn’t have a time goal, I just wanted to finish and do well. I could have raced it a little more smartly and positive split the race, but my thought was that if my achilles was going to hurt after 3 hours on my feet, I should make the three hours count. Miles 18-23 were expectedly the toughest, I feel like that’s just the dead zone of the marathon where you’ve already been moving for a LONG time but the end isn’t in sight. Thanks for all the posts and info about marathon training, I will totally do another one in the future but my next challenge will be a half iron man because I love biking and swimming.

Maybe this isn’t what you need to hear, but last year I ran the Peachtree road race, which is the largest 10K in the country. I run this race every year and it’s a super easy course. It’s on the fourth of july and is so much fun. I had a 101 degree fever the day before and probably that morning, but I ran the race anyways since it’s a family/friend tradition for us. The last three miles of that race felt worse than anything during the marathon. It was NOT ideal.

I’m really sorry that you’re not feeling well. I hope you can get in 1000 steps or less these next few days and recover. You crushed this training cycle! I’m super impressed. Lay down, eat some food, and rest! You got this! You’re a tough cookie!

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AHHH SAVANNAH… I was wondering how it went. HUGE congrats on your first marathon, I am so happy for you. I totally agree with you about the dead zone… you rocked it though. Oh I cannot even imagine running a race with a 101 degree fever, ouch! Thank you so much.. my goal is 50 steps today:) Thanks Savannah and I hope you are loving the post marathon high:)

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A few years ago I ran a 5k race 10 days post-surgery . . . I was cleared to run, but by mile 2 I was HURTING! I’m still really proud of that even though it was probably a terrible choice to run the whole thing. : )

You should be so proud of your training! Not only ultra training, but ultra training in winter . . . you are TOUGH. Please remember that at the race!! I’m also impressed you can do both speed and endurance–I always thought our bodies were kind of either/or on that, so that is really neat!

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10 days post-surgery… WOW. You are so strong Kristin. Thank you for what you said, that means a lot. I hope you have a wonderful Monday Kristin!

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Hope you’re feeling better today!! Why is it every time we plan big events/races we get sick?! We leave for spring break next week & the whole house has a cold-cough-yukky stuff! Looks like you’re fueling great tho!!

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Hahaha it really always happens for the times we really need to be healthy. I hope that you are all feeling 100% for your spring break trip. Good luck and thanks Katie!

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Happy birthday to Andrew!
I think the sickness is just a sign you needed a little extra rest. :) You have plenty of time to get better! I was sick the entire month before my last half and ended up finding a new race because I just wasn’t getting better and missed a bunch of runs. And then I got the stomach bug Thursday of last week and had a St Patrick’s day half Sunday. Luckily it was just a 24 hour thing (unlike all of the other sicknesses this year) and I think it made me really focus on hydrating all day Saturday when I felt better. Then I got a 5 min half PR and sub 90. lol. The cold won’t stop you! The work is done! You’re going to crush it this weekend

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MOLLIE… HUGE HUGE HUGE congrats on your 5 minute half PR and sub 90. You rocked it! Hearing you were sick before it and how well you did just pepped me up!

Extra rest= that is the best way to look at it! I am just needing some more rest so I can kill it on Saturday:)

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Oh Janae… I am sorry you are not feeling well! And I just saw on your IG that you were up coughing most of the night 😔. Hoping you get good rest today, and that you will feel much better tomorrow!
I’m still fighting my cold too, and my hip issue! My marathon on Sunday will just be about finishing! But that’s ok.
Happy Birthday to Andrew again 😊

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Wendy, I am so sorry that you are still fighting your cold… booo. I hope that the extra rest you are getting will help your hip and help you to have a great experience. So I am so silly… I was going to post the second half of this post on Andrew’s bday and then I switched it to today and forgot to change that comment about it being his birthday ha. I just don’t want to stop celebrating. Thanks Wendy!

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RACE WEEK!!! I’m so excited for you Janae!! I’ve really enjoyed following your training.
I think it’s a good sign that you still have your appetite. You just need some extra rest before Saturday. Stay hydrated and eat something salty like chicken soup. Sending you lots of good race vibes and prayers!!

Happy Birthday Andrew!!

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Thank you thank you thank you Elizabeth! I told Andrew I need some chicken noodle soup for lunch after reading your comment:) THANKS and have a wonderful day!

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I am looking forward to finding out I am pregnant! We just did a 3rd IVF transfer – this time of 2 embryos – and we will know on Friday March 22nd if it worked! Prayers are sooo appreciated. I am so ready to close this chapter in our lives, its been a long 5 yrs.
Good luck to you on Saturday, I can’t wait to hear all about your race!!!

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Jessica, this is so so exciting. I am praying for you big time and will you please let me know if possible. I’ll be thinking about you a lot.

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My last little tip for you before your race: get some ginger chews and have them in your pack with you. If your stomach starts feeling weird the ginger chews are nice and soothing. You can actually just let it melt in your mouth while you are running.

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THANK YOU JACKIE!! I will absolutely pack some of these in my pack. I hope you have a great Monday.

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I hope you feel better ASAP, Janae!! Being sick is never fun but especially not near a race! Years ago I ran a half marathon with a horrible head cold and I felt awful. My time wasn’t any good either! Ugh, the things we do for running, haha :-)

Keep resting and taking hot baths!! I’m sending you lots of good vibes!!

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Oh I bet that hurt so so so bad! Thank you so much Torrie… hoping this disappears soon. I hope you have a wonderful week!

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Loved reading your “didn’t expect that” notes. Running always teaches us something, doesn’t it?
Hope you are solidly on the upswing & feel better stat!

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It really does and I think that is one of the reasons we are all hooked. Thanks so much Corey and I hope you have a great Monday!

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My race is this Saturday as well. I came down with a bad cold beginning Wednesday, so am a little nervous about how well I’ll do, especially since I ended up skipping all my runs last week.

At the end of the day, I can only do my best.

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GOOD LUCK ON SATURDAY LIBBIE!!! You are so so right… we can control what we can control and that is it! I am really hoping you feel 100% soon and that this extra taper you are taking helps on race day. Good luck!

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I will say this: my best taper ever in my college competitive swimming days came with a week-long cold and sinus infection that vanished mere hours before my first event. So your body will be super strong by the end of killing this thing off!

Those are some really cool observations about your training!

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REALLY!?!? This is just what I needed to hear. Thanks Victoria! This will just help me to rest and get my body full energized to go on Saturday! I hope you have a great day!

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I tried to run a half marathon with bronchitis. My doctor said it was fine and I was feeling pretty good until about the half way point. Then by mile 10 I just couldn’t get a full breath and ended up walking a good portion of the last few miles. I don’t recommend ever trying that. I really hope your cold is gone in the next day or two!

I am looking forward to warmer weather this week! My hip is bugging me so I am taking a few days off of running but I see 60 degrees at the end of the week for my return! And I am really looking forward to seeing how you rock this ultra!

Any HRG readers who have dealt with hip bursitis?

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I cannot even imagine running a half with bronchitis!! Thank you so much Corrine and I am SO sorry about your hip! I hope you feel 100% for that 60 degree run later this week. Can anyone help Corrinne with hip bursitis info?

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Oh I hope you are feeling 💯 ASAP!!! Get lots of rest and drink lots of water!!!!!! My husband and I have been passing the same awful cold/flu whatever back and forth for a month. Steam cleaned the entire house and finally kicked the dang thing!

Wow … I don’t even know *know* you but feel compelled to tell you that I am proud of you! You are rocking this training and you just LOOK happy.

After your rave reviews I bought a weighted blanket. But!!!! How do you wash your blanket?!?!?!?!?!???

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Thank you so so much Sydney! I hope you guys are feeling 100% soon! Thank you for your sweet words:) YAY for the blanket. I hand wash mine. I also put it on top of my sheet so that I don’t have to wash it as often and wash my sheets instead:) Have a beautiful day!

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I hope you get to feeling better! I feel like I always get a cold during a taper. I’ve never been able to just sleep it off or anything because I was in college or teaching. So my advice: SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP. Drink some OJ or Emergen-C and sleep as much as you can.

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Thank you so so much Sloan… time to get even more sleep than normal. I hope you are having a great day! Thank you!

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Hope you feel better soon!

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Thank you so much Samantha!

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You are going to rock it! And it will be as awesome as you hope, I just know it!
I usually get sick after my race…..the combo of training hard and chilly race weather usually give me a cold afterwards, this month was no exception.

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Thank you so much Loribeth! I’m hoping that being sick now means that I won’t be sick after;) I’m glad that on your 13th you skipped the sickness after.

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I am not training for anything and for whatever reason I don’t sign up for races. I have people asking me quite often if I’m training for a race or how many marathons have I ran… my answer is always no I am not and zero, lol. I’ve ran the turkey trot (like 5 miles?) and a Fourth of July 3 mile race in my town…that’s it!

I have to tell you I channeled you many times this past week while running. I said things like “I can do hard things” and, “move arms move!” Meaning I made sure to really pump my arms mid run if I was feeling tired. Unlike you I’m not a consistent runner. I love to run but take months off. What I really mean is I LOVE the long runs so do that too much for a week or two and kill my legs doing so… so then take a few weeks off.,. Repeat repeat. Not the right way to run.. this I know… but I continue to do it anyhow 😜. Sooo so anyway sorry for rambling but last week I ran more than I have in like 2 years…. my week looked like this:

Sunday 14 miles
Monday 10 miles
Tuesday 15miles
Wednesday 15 miles
Thursday 16 miles
Friday 18 miles
Sat and Sunday OFF!

I’ve never done that but shockingly felt good doing it! I tracked what I ate at the end of the day a few times and I was downing 5,000ish calories a day! Hangry is an understatement! And I watched sooo many Hulu and Netflix shows ;)

My weekend was filled with st Paddy’s day foood and booze and a killer hangover today!

I am looking forward to dinner tonight… making cheese ravioli with garlic bread – love both😋😋😋

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Lindsay… you ROCKED your running last week! Way to go and I am so happy a few of those things were able to help! You keep doing what is best for you and makes you the happiest ! I hope the things you refueled with were delicious! Enjoy your dinner… that sounds so good. Thanks!

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Ha, this post really nailed how I felt while training during my first 50, too! The insane amount of miles and sleeping a million hours a day just felt “normal” and like I’d been doing it for so long that after the race when I stayed up past 10 p.m., I was like whoa, this is real life? I was also really surprised that my body stayed so healthy and how it adapted so well to every crazy little thing I threw at it (including trying BRAND NEW fuel — Tailwind — halfway through the race because it was the only thing that tasted good).

So excited for your race! Hope you’re feeling better.

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Ugh, I feel like I always get sick during tapers for big races.

I really hope you get lots of rest and that you feel amazing on race day!

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Ah Janae! so sorry you are sick…. boooo. Hoping you recover quickly. You will rock Saturday no matter what!

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I’m so excited for you! Trail running/racing does my soul good. I do not know an ultra marathoner that started as a road racer that keeps the same pace on the trails. I like to keep a little treat in my hydration vest when I’m having a low point. I’m not an experienced trail racer but having some bacon wrapped up in my vest tastes sooooo good! I’ll be crossing my fingers for you!

I felt pretty crappy before the NY marathon. But I raced it great!

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I’ll be sending you all the healing vibes and energy vibes I can muster! This is the last thing you need but maybe it’s the only way you’ll get a proper taper in! Ha!
I’ve never been sick during taper or a race but I did send my husband to the Urgent Care on my race day because he was sicker than a dog. Poor thing was trying to get me to race still but since we have 2 kiddos I couldn’t let him do that.
Both of my marathon training cycles have brought on injuries. Somehow though, my 50k training was flawless…. maybe marathon’s aren’t my thing but anything less than or more than is??!!
No race for me yesterday but I did get in my first trail run since my injury so that was amazing!
Pending weather, a couple of friends and I are going to try to summit a Mount Si at sunrise this weekend! And also, my youngest starts t-ball today and I’m beyond excited to watch him shine!
Have a great night and feel better ASAP!!!!

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This “unexpected things” post is wonderful! What great insight into training and expectations vs. reality. Thanks for this!

I hope you’re feeling so much better today! Sending you nothing but healthy vibes.

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