Tapering sucks. That's what they say.
Finishing that monster workout on Monday led me to some big celebrations in my mind - the hardest part of the training is done, you are almost there, it is all downhill from here, etc. However, as I come back to reality I must face the fact that I do still have 3 weeks of work ahead of me and this is not the time to slack off. When you get to mile 23 in a marathon it's easy to start thinking "woohoo! I am almost there!!"... well those last 3 miles are the hardest and 3 miles is not nothing. Mile 23 is too early to start celebrating, as is the first day of an Ironman taper. Yesterday I celebrated, and today I was hit with the reality of the fact that I still have some hard workouts left and need to stay consistent.
The beginning of the taper freed up my mind just enough to see a sliver of the light of day and make some realizations about my state of being. Right now I am exhausted from all this work. I am stripped down physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have no energy to do the simplest basic things in life other than the absolute essentials to maintain the training. For example, essentials are wash workout clothes, buy groceries to fuel self, get gas in car so I can drive to workouts, go to work. Non essentials are things like mow lawn, vacuum floor, clean bathroom, replace burned out lightbulbs, balance checkbook, keep in touch with friends. Small things become extra annoying and hard. This is the real-life equivalent of mile 18 of the Ironman run. It's hard and I want to stop but I can't give up now. I won't.
When I woke up today it was pouring rain so I couldn't do my ride. I decided I would go to work early and then do both my ride and swim after work. Well, after work I needed a nap and after my nap I couldn't get myself motivated to go do the workouts so they didn't happen. I beat up myself for a while about this and then changed perspective to get mindful about it all. One extra rest day is not a big deal as long as I get back on it tomorrow. Key point: I am not starting my celebration until I cross the finish line. If this were easy I wouldn't be doing it.