Taper Weeks and Omelet with Soup

by Joanne on April 8, 2011

The last of the longer runs was Thursday morning, 18. 2 miles.  Shane was with me for 11 miles.  It was one of his longest runs yet and he STILL wanted to play Frisbee when we got home. 

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But there was no time to play because I was out the door again with Ted.  Ted won’t run as far as Shane, course Ted isn’t attached to my waist so he has a choice (poor Shane doesn’t).  Sad smile 

I told Ted that around 4:30, I saw two people walking down the Parkway – way too early for strolling along.  He said “maybe they were homeless people or criminals”.  Gee! Thanks Ted. Now I feel so safe when I’m out running in the dark! 

I had that pain in the ball of my foot again. I used a gel insert but ended up tossing it at mile 15.  The insert caused more pain than relief.  It was on again off again type pain and went away as soon as I took the sneakers off.  The only other repercussion from Thursday’s run was hamstring spasms.  Nothing to worry about. I’ve had them before and they subside. 

That leaves me with an easy plan for the weekend:  Friday is a day off – feet up, basically.  Saturday is a leisurely run around the golf course and maybe the Switchbacks with Shane (hilly but relaxed).  Sunday, just a walk.  I was going to run 6 days this week but my mileage is already up there and there’s this thing called “TAPER” that I’ve got to think about.

That Thing Called Tapering….

Taper means to gradually diminish. As a runner, we need to reduce our volume of running before the event to be in the best possible shape before competition. We want to feel fresh, have our muscles fully recovered from the weeks of hard work they’ve put in, and we don’t want to feel mentally or physically tired.

The length of the taper is dependent upon the event distance as well as personal preference. Generally the total volume of hard work begins to reduce in the last few weeks prior to the race. Volume decreases about 10 to 15% the first week of taper and will be as much as 60% decreased by the week of the race.

Feeling fresh: Reduce the length of runs as well as time spent on the feet. Focus on getting adequate sleep and proper nutrition at every meal. Reduce your long run miles but do some speed sprints just to keep the legs fresh. Focus is on intensity. Pay attention to your body. If you feel pain, back off. If you feel tired, back off.

Muscle recovery: Allow muscle tears and stresses to heal during this time. Come the day of the event, the legs shouldn’t feel tired but are ready to take on the miles of the challenge. Remember that your workouts are quick but short in duration. If you have incorporated a weight lifting program in your training, back off. It won’t do you any good that last week before the race.

Mental/Physical Recovery: Focus on what you’ve accomplished during your weeks of hard training. Don’t compare your training to someone else since there is no pre-determined method that works for everyone. You know your body and you trained the best you could for your event. It’s personal.

Timing the taper: It could be 3 weeks, it could be 2 weeks. For a 5K race, it may be one day. Use common sense when determining your taper time. Allow at least 10 days between your last long run and race day. You won’t lose the benefits of that run for 30 days so don’t sweat it. Take it easy and recover from it.

If the day of the event rolls around and you don’t feel like “eventing”, you may not have allowed enough recovery time. Don’t worry. Get through it and fix it next time. Most important is mental preparation. Be confident and believe in your training. Nervousness is normal. You’ve worked hard for this and you want to do the best you can. Do what ever it takes to relax, get a massage, engage in yogic breathing, but most importantly, SMILE ‘cause race day will soon be HERE.

The Omelet and Soup

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Sometimes I get in those moods where I just crave eggs. Not sure what it’s all about but I like to listen to my cravings because I believe my body is telling me that it needs something from that food that I’m craving. 

When Ted and I were headed out to a bike maintenance clinic (that never happened because we got the times mixed up), we had to make dinner in a hurry. Eggs are my go-to guys for quick, easy, nutritionally balanced meals, not to mention settling my craving.

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Serves 2 to 4

  • 1 can of your favorite soup (I used Progresso Tomato and Parmesan)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup egg substitute (or use 2 whole eggs and 1/4 cup egg whites per person) *Enough for 2 omelets
  • 2 TBS Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 – 8 asparagus stalks, trimmed

Preheat the oven broiler. Place the asparagus in a foil lined pan and broil for 5 minutes.

Open the soup and heat to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Stir occasionally.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. When the oil is hot, add the eggs and let cook 2 minutes over medium high heat. Sprinkle on cheese, salt and pepper. *Do this for each omelet.

Lightly pick up the sides of the egg omelet with the spatula to let the uncooked egg seep underneath.  Continue to cook another minute or two then flip over one side.

Allow to finish cooking (about 2 minutes) until cooked through (no longer runny).

Serve omelet on top of soup and asparagus on top of omelet.

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I’ll be eating a lot of eggs in the coming week to “buff up” for Boston. Thumbs up

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4 Comments

  • At 2011.04.08 08:06, Heather said:

    Yes, remember that you’re supposed to be “tapering”!! Take it easy – you’re so close!!!
    And I would never think to mix eggs and soup – but it sounds delicious!

    • At 2011.04.08 12:09, Jen said:

      I can’t believe your dogs run that far and still want to play! Crazy! I love eggs too. They are so good for you and so easy. We got chickens last years and have been really enjoying fresh eggs for a while now. It also means we have about a dozen hardboiled in the fridge at all times for snacks. But I’ve never thought of them in soup but it looks delicious!

      • At 2011.04.08 14:34, MissZippy said:

        Awesome to have canine running companions like that! Mine is too old now to go with me. : (

        Made your escarole casserole last night–loved it and so did the family!

        • At 2011.04.08 22:56, claudia lamascolo said:

          Lots of great tips, love the omlet reallly sounds delicious!
          claudia lamascolo´s last blog post ..Glazed Orange Chicken RecipeMy Profile

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