Taper. The most beautiful, sacred part of training for a race. While some seem to go crazy and get nervous about a decrease in mileage and training time, I embrace this all-too-short stint of relaxation and scaled back workouts with an emphasis on sleeping more.
Taper and I have been buddies since I was in middle school. I was that kid that began bouncing off the walls in the days leading up to big meets... when coach said "rest" I heard "more time and energy to play". I remember sitting in class feeling like I had restless leg syndrome because I legitimately could NOT sit still.
Training for ironmans and the associated tapers have been a little different. I feel more exhausted than anything else though workouts have been pretty spot-on. I did find that little piece of missy franklin-katie ledecky that has been hiding since "retiring" from competitive swimming.
I love swimming again.
Its taken years to be able to say that. I haven't loved swimming since I graduated from college. I liked it, sure. Its always been a strength in racing. But did I enjoy practicing? Nope. Did I love the swim in races? Not really. I found a semblance of speed again and its comforting and motivating and encouraging.
In the past few weeks I did a 5800 yard workout - its been 10 years since I did that! Last week in the midst of the work-out I had 5 x 100's on 1:25. And I did it - with REST. Its awesome to see improvements like that in training. I know that the swim isn't going to win me a race, but to be comfortable coming out of the water and onto the bike is a pleasant advantage.
Aside from swimming, biking and running has been sustainable. Its hard to say how I feel, given a nagging IT band issue, but come race day, I'll be ready.