CARBO LOADING ISN'T A ONE NIGHT STAND
Get ready for a short term relationship with complex carbs. Carbo loading is for the weeks before NOT just the night before. Sure, cake is a carb, but not the best for right now. Instead add more quinoa, oats, brown rice and other complex carbs. Nutritionists recommend 3-5 grams of carbs per one pound of body weight.
It's okay to gain a little weight during taper. In fact you should gain between 2 to 4 pounds. This is because "with every ounce of glycogen the body stores, it also stores three ounces of water."* And you want all your glycogen stores full up to the brim!
Don't leave your race anywhere but on the race course. Not in a peppy 6 miler, not in an all out fast finish to an easy 4. Just bottle it! For me this means NO music on the run. And when slow miles feel "hard" no worrying. It's just a mind/body disconnect. And race day magic is real.
DO NOT PANIC
You might feel achey, sore, or have ghost injuries. Do. Not. Freak. Out. You might feel slow or sluggish. Do. Not. Freak. Out. You might be super tired or feel like you're getting sick. Do. Not. Freak. Out. Apparently it's all normal. Seriously this sport ... so messed up.
UNPLUG + REST YOUR MIND GRAPES
This I've been bad at, but there is really no need to use up energy stressing or getting excited for the race. No reason to check the weather a million times or Google every weird run/race question you have...try to block it out. My plan was to catch up on the fashion, lifestyle blogs and watch some good movies. Rest and relax.
This didn't happen though. I mean I guess did watch like 4 hours of 30Rock on Sunday while working (hence the term 'mind grapes'). I don't know if things are really as stressful as they feel right now at work or if it's Taper Tantrums. But between that and race day anticipation... I feel like I'm having an excruciatingly slow panic attack. I'm just breathing and trying to check things off the list. No time for relaxation, but hoping to avoid paper-bag-breathing level of panic. Inhale. Exhale.
What tips have you picked up for taper success?