I constantly ping-pong on my feelings once I begin reducing my mileage before a race: There's definite relief, particularly this go 'round (I've logged 1,450 miles in my training since March, not including the 300 + miles leading up to the start of it), as my body is riding that fine line between "the best shape of my life" and "the utter destruction of my physical and mental being". Tapering off? Man, that sounds welcoming; like an old friend who convinces you to stay out a little later, have a few more beers, eat more unhealthily than you would normally...of course, when you wake up the following morning wondering where your pants are, and why everyone around you is speaking Latvian, you realize the double-edged sword such a relationship is.
I can guarantee I'll be a nervous ball of energy once my mileage begins dipping. Last go 'round at 100 miles during my taper, I broke down into tears in a mall parking garage (not that that's abnormal. But this time, it wasn't because The Gap didn't have a size Medium sweater vest that I liked). I awoke on several occasions convinced that I hadn't enough energy to run 10 miles, never mind 100. Phantom pains arrived and settled in bizarre places on my knees, ankles, and hips. Of course, every time I dive into a taper, I expect these feelings of anxiety, weird aches and mood shifts, and although I logically know it's not "real", pulling myself out of it is emotionally impossible. So I'm just gonna go with it, accept that it's part of the process, and keep my eye on the prize.
If you happen to see me blubbering in my car at a stoplight, or if, in conversation, I snap and tell you that the sound of your voice makes me want to pop my eardrums with a rusted screwdriver, please understand: It's nothing you've done. It's just The Taper talking.