Taper week re-cap
Tapering…my new BFF. Not only did I get to avoid running for an entire week, but tapering also freed up a few days to do fan-freakin-tabulous stuff too!
My last run was a 16km on the Friday of the long weekend. It went really well and I kicked off the weekend feeling ready to relaaaaax. Enter: winter camping! We rented a yurt and spent the next 3 days crammed into a canvas “freezer”, equipped with a wood stove as decor only. Thank mercy Dudes remembered that we are all class and packed the boxed wine. Little did we know that in the meantime, family and friends were convinced we were going to perish in a wind storm that knocked out power and trees? Huh. Again, thank you boxed wine for giving us the gift of oblivion. So we lived see another day of excessive eating, drinking and playing frisbee. Excellent start to taper week.
A few days later, I was sent into the wilderboonies of Algonquin Park to join our research crew on the black bear project. Have I mentioned that I have a severe love-hate with bears? I would suspect that most people are indifferent…but I have a definite relationship with this species. As a runner who has “run into” bears (ok just one once, but it clearly scarred me) I spend all of my summer (and late spring/early fall) runs thinking about if there is a bear behind me, in front of me, waiting on my doorstep, etc. That said, I also can’t camp, walk the dog, get groceries or mow the lawn for fear of being mauled.
BUT come February and the chance to crawl into hibernating bears’ dens rolls around, I volunteer EVERY TIME. What am I? Some kind of masochist?!
So just what the crap are we up to? Well, the crews head out to different dens and (after much drugging…the bears and me) the real risk-takers (aka biologists) remove the bear to change the radio collar and measure it as part of their research. I take photos. And keep the cubs warm. Seriously.
So after a few days of b’ar tracking and snowshoeing, I was back in the safety comfort of the big city. Taper week tapered off with me watching the weather network for about 14 consecutive hours on Friday night, still trying to decide whether or not I could stomach “a chance of flurries”. In the end, I woke up on Saturday ready to run!…ish. So I headed in to the YMCA to register and $60 smackers later, it was on.
That night I celebrated my pre-race meal with the gals (vetoing Indian food…um, hello vindaloo-poo? Thanks, but I have to run 21 km tomorrow and would rather not crap my pants) and hit the hay dreaming of chafing and finish line chocolate milk.