The Unintentional Extreme Taper

For my job, I had to pick out what week worked best to go away for a training course. I happily chose the week before the marathon since I thought it would be easiest to attend during the low mileage taper week before the race. There wasn’t much depth to my thoughts beyond mileage.

The week before training, I realized just how terrible my idea was. For the training, you have to stay at the hotel where the training takes place. It started at 5:50PM Monday night, finishing at 4PM on Thursday night. I realized I would be at the mercy of other people when it comes to what and when I eat for almost 4 days. In preparation, I packed 8 bags of nuts and prayed for the best.

The first night, we had some extremely dry fish. I was able to sop it up in some sauce and swallow it without it getting stuck in my throat. I thought, “Ok, so far, so good.” This was a healthy meal option, and I should be good to go. After dinner when we went back to training, my muscles started hurting and I started to feel sick. That evening turned into a sleepless night filled with the worst food poisoning I can ever remember experiencing. As this was happening, I was thinking, “Of course this would happen the week before my marathon.” The next day, it took until after lunch before I could hold any food down.  The word to describe that day was ‘weak’.

The remainder of our days were filled with set meal times and lengths. I had 30 minutes max for every meal. It was a stomachless person’s nightmare. When you did get to a meal, you weren’t sure what the food quality was regardless of how much you could actually consume during the meal time. I only ran one day for 3.5 miles. You could call this the ultimate taper before marathon day.

Jump forward to today. I am recovering from my exhaustion and weakness. I have spent the past few days shoveling as much protein and water as possible into my body. My husband said I lost a noticeable amount of weight this past week.

So, this is it. The night before, I sit here and blog while eating a banana with peanut butter. Have I done enough to recover my body and mind so that I can race well tomorrow in the heat and humidity?

For me, tomorrow will answer whether mind can truly win over body. My training had gone well up until now. I’ve spent my last days recovering my body through food, fluid and rest. Will it be enough? We’ll see tomorrow.

If you’d like to track me, the race has the instructions here:

Here is where I representated #StomachlessRunner2017 on their graffiti wall

and me alongside the long 26.2 mile route ahead of me tomorrow morning.

8 thoughts on “The Unintentional Extreme Taper

  1. Hi Marne. Set times to eat on others schedule would have been very difficult; you did it! You are an inspiration to even train to do this marathon. Your body and mind will be working together for you; you will do great while practicing self care.

  2. Hi Marne
    I’m don from Ohio and i will have my stomach removed 3 weeks from today. I am extremely nervous, but have done endless hours of research. I have read your blog and have inspiration on how well you have done. Any tips you can give me on my prep or life right afterwards would be great. I have taken notes on what has worked for you. Have a great day.

    • Hi Don,

      Post total gastrectomy recovery is difficult. Stay as positive as possible. I went into it in full health, which i believe to be the source of success for me. Just be prepared to eat a healthy diet of small meals all the time. Meals will be frustrating at first since you have to adjust to chewing all the time. But over time, it all becomes second nature and your body adjusts.

      All my best,

      • Dear Marne, thanks for blog, I had my stomach removed 4 months ago, and having difficulty adjusting to food.
        Reading your story , and advice give a boost, hope I can surpass this period, going back for chemo in 2 weeks , in my country we can not offer chemo has to fly to South America, bogota Colombia.
        Again thanks for your advice


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