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Define "taper".

I ran a lot last year (2014). A lot. I started with a 10k at the inaugural Cape Cod Trail Race and reached a pinnacle of ~18 miles over 36 hours as part of an ultra relay team of 6 women Ragnar's Reach the Beach. Phew. I interspersed these with the Capablities and Houston Memorial 5ks in Hyannis and topped the year off with the annual Thanksgiving Chase the Turkey benefiting Falmouth Service Center.

So in November I signed up for the 2015 Cape Cod Trail Race, and it happens to be this Sunday, April 12. Half marathon this year - I think I am way beyond the 10k distance after my stellar long-distance running in 2014. No time to reconsider - the race fills up fast. And so what if it's the day after my anniversary. I am a runner now. I can commit to a half 6 months ahead.

And then I got tired. And sore. More than just sore - I was in pain. My right hip. My left hammie. Ouch, just to even walk. So I took December off. And January. And then the snow came, and any thought of running morphed directly into saving my energy for shoveling our long, long, long (gravel) driveway. Usually shoveling is spaced out a little. And a tag-team event. This year it was one storm after another. And my wife was recovering from an ACL replacement which meant no "technical" moves. Apparently shoveling is a technical move. So I got extra in. I took it as a chance to build my biceps. And my back. And most importantly my legs - lift with your legs. Five times each square of the driveway. All 220 feet of it. Plus the path to the chickens. Plus the chicken pen itself. Chickens hate snow.

And dogs gotta walk - even if there's snow and no snow shoes. They could get their exercise shoveling, but there are some challenges to that. Walking around the bogs is good. If you pick your steps carefully, you only sink in a little. Besides, it's great exercise. It's just not running.

I started training for the 1/2 marathon on March 18. I ran 3 miles. The road was wide enough and it wasn't too, too cold. And besides, when else do I get to wear that super-warm hoodie? And my tights? Under my wind pants. I was ready. It was tough, and I was sore the next couple of days, but I still had a month. My legs felt strong, and it didn't hurt. Life was good!

I got 3 more runs in - building up distance to 5 miles. Then I got the cold - you know the one. I was down and out for 5 days, and still slow to get energy back. But I did. I started training again on April 4, last Saturday. I ran 3.5 miles. The half is in 3 days.

Here is my question --> When should I taper? Runners World recommends a two week taper. But if I haven't really started, how do I manage that? Wish me luck!

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