I am such a selfish
bastard husband. My poor wife is home sick, coughing and sneezing with a nasty virus, and all I can think about is me. Yes, it's all about ME.
How will it affect my CIM taper if I get sick now, less than three weeks before the marathon? Already, I'm feeling my chest tighten a little. Am I just psyching myself into an illness before the race? Has the madness of tapering -- that period before a race when you reduce the number of miles run in preparation for the race -- struck?
Last year, before the CIM, I wrote a story about the mental strain tapering has on a runner. The best quote I've read comes from elite running coach Jack Daniels, who said that during the taper "you start questioning every facet of your training, lifestyle, sanity and reasons for getting up in the morning."
Dr. Tim Noakes, in his seminal book "The Lore of Running," tells the story of one of his colleagues, an ultramarathoner who gets ultra-paranoid before a race:
"(He) now refuses to work for the last seven days before the race. When not running during this period, he dons a surgical mask, takes leave of his family, cloisters himself in a sterile environment, and finds solace in reading books from his large library of Eastern philosophers. At such times, only those who are known to be free of 'marathon-destroying germs' have access to him."
I haven't gone so far as to buy a surgical mask ... yet.