Taper means one thing: everything is a season ending injury

Of course that’s not true, but often it feels that way. I’ve had a good build up, I’m having fun and feel strong, so why shouldn’t the shoe finally drop? Surely I’ve been doing something wrong and it’s all going downhill.

Not this time.

I spent this past weekend mostly alone. That’s not unusual for me, however it does get nasty when I have time to be in my own head. When I feel less confident. When my guard is down. When I’m tired but “shouldn’t be tired” or whatever my irrational brain tells me.

My calves are sore. They’re in knots. I have to pay attention to them. This is nothing new, my calves are always that way. It being the end of my season is no different than usual.

Now this same soreness that I know I can knead and work out is akin to losing a limb. In my brain that is. In my totally irrational runner brain. My calves just need rest. My body, just needs rest.

Im sure I’ll have a few more moments, afternoons, days even, where I think I’m not ready or I’m about to get injured. That’s just how my brain works. But this time, I believe.

I believe in my training. I believe in my body. I believe that I’ll get to the starting line with a smile on my face.

I may not get the standard I’m hoping for. That’s ok, because running is still there.

And I’ve got four more years, many more races to run and miles to enjoy before the next one.

There are so many things I can look back on during this cycle that gave me confidence. No missed workouts due to injury or illness. I showed up every Tuesday and Saturday, ready to chase my teammates and suffer with them. I did the little things in the gym, but didn’t overdo them. I cut out excess training and mileage and focused just on what the plan said.


You know what? I enjoyed my fitness. I had so much fun being fit.

I ran two 50ks and loved every second.

I treated myself to easy miles with wonderful people. I made friends. I ran easy and hard.

I tried so fucking hard. I had so much fun.

I believe in whatever my body gives me on the day.

It’s been one wild ride, and oh baby I’m ready to enjoy it.

Ellie Pell