My friend Matias Palavecino, who I frequently seek counsel from in all things running, said it best - "enjoy the taper". It's a very simply statement, but it's also brilliant. The taper is like a vacation. You work and work and work and slave away at your job so that you can eventually enjoy some much needed time off. I work so that I can vacation, just like a run so that I can rest. The taper enables me to go home at the end of a work day and turn on the tube in lieu of my standard 10 mile run...or head out to happy hour, see a friend...or do ANY of those things you normally can't do because you are usually running.
My non-running friends are always asking me to come out and do such-and-such. My normal response is "I'd love to go out to that party where there will be free food, beer and (insert other vices here), but I have to...run...instead". If you take a step back and think about it you'll realize it's pretty damn lame...while at the same time pretty damn necessary.
I definitely enjoy my taper. The lack of running helps me mentally in addition to physically. I feel more rested, therefore I am more rested. Last night I had to keep slowing myself down as to make sure I took it easy...it's really a great problem to have. Last spring on the Sunday long run before the marathon, Matias declared to our group "you should all be locked in cages" as to suggest we were all running too fast due to the fact we weren't running that much mileage. During his taper, Matias forced himself to run on a treadmill so that a machine dictated how fast he would run. Brilliant!
By the end of this post readers will think I have a man-crush on Matias...that is simply not true. I like red heads.