It's been a good week after the disappointing run of the previous weekend.
I am relieved that I am getting back on track to cruising through the run in 3 weeks time.
After resting Monday to Wednesday, I took it easy at PCRG and whilst sore didn't feel I aggrevated my calf too much. Friday was even better taking it slow around Mt Coot-tha which has to be my favorite place in the whole world.
Saturday's 32K was simply the best, just to run with friends (Clairie and Gooner) and chat was something I have missed.
Another light run on Monday, with another lap of Coot-tha to keep an eye on Gooner. It's hard to watch him head towards an overuse injury. After expereinceing this and seeing so many others hit this stage after more than a year's running I wonder if there is some way to avoid it. Perhaps not?
It was one of those days on Sunday. Listening to the rain at 4:30 and thinking, "I don't want to do this".
The crew were on fire and I was starting to drift back within the first 5 k. At first, I thought there was something wrong with me (well on top of everything else that is wrong with me). My calf was holding but painful on every stride. I checked my watch as I lost sight of my running comrades (4:25 for the K).
Matt stood by my side after the break at 8K and by 15K I had decided to bail out and head for home. It was too painful and it didn't seem to make any sense to aggravate an injury. I was already dropping back to 5 min/K's. It got real ugly and my heart was gone once I was alone. I was running down to 6 min/K's and just wishing it was over.
23K's by the time I finished, cold and miserable.
Here's a nice song ... no explanation of what it means to me, but I hope you like it too.
Recently I was asked for some advice on marathon training. Here are my thoughts:
Sure there is a component of long runs, intervals, gradual increases in weekly mileage and some lighter weeks, etc. I think there are some other aspects that should be factored in like:
1. Make sure your schedule fits in with the rest of your life and most importantly those in it (sit down and talk this through)
2. Manage injuries before they happen (fortnightly massages for one)
3. Don't get obsessed with sticking to the schedule if your body tells you otherwise (work out what you'll do if you end up sore and predetermine how you can adapt the program)
4. Eat right
5. Sleep properly
6. Maintain motivation (a training partner doing your race)
Now I need to follow my own advice. My sights are set on Boston Revenge and I am about ready to get it on!!!
It's hard to write much of a race report when you can't remember much about it.
I do recall catching up with Matt around 36k and battling home. I cramped in my quads, in my calves and even in the chest whilst I tried to rub ice on my quads. We broke into a slow jog and stopped frequently as our bodies demanded. The crowd support was awesome and helped us home. There wasn't any smiles walking down the finish shute, it was the march of zombies. The medical people asked if we were ok, and to this we relied, No! Shock set in and we were pale for around 6 hours as we walked around aimlessly trying to get it back together. There was more cramping in numerous places, even under my feet, I haven't been sore, traumatised or beaten so badly. There were still a handful of people in hospital a few days later and 150 or so made the trip there. About 1000 marathon runners didn't make it home.
The course itself is magnificent, plenty of rolling hills and I thought how great it would be run one day.
So now I'm motivated to come back and make amends. It will strart with a qualifier in New York. I'm going to eat right and prepare properly.
The past 12 months of personal challenge is behind me. I'm going to do this!
Well beer looks like tea, right?
Matt and I made the epic flights to Boston arriving around midnight Friday. So that we could get on to local time we were up and managed a cruisey 7k around 9am before grabbing some breaky and heading to the expo to collect race packs and to do a little shopping.
In the evening we made our way up two blocks to the sports bar for a few quiet beers. We ran into E-Speed and met David and Barb. That was surreal, I couldn't believe she was real and we finally got to meet after such a long time commenting on blogs and running more than 20 marathons which were mostly at the same time. I guess that there was always going to be a point where we would cross paths and I realised how small the world really is. I came to the realisation that people who enjoy similar lifestyles have a very high chance they will meet and enjoy each other's company and experience many of the same things and it really isn't that random.
Ok so we had more than a few beers.
The weekend started to unfold into a great adventure, meeting people like Deeks, sometimes I have found you just get on a roll. We were on a roll.
Back home home Matt brought up the idea of hiring a car on the Sunday to keep off our feet. Sounded tame at the time, but like I said an adventure was unfolding.
The bar wasn't too busy, Matt and I spoke to Melisa who was looking after us, ensuring we had plenty of water with our beers. We asked her about what to do and somehow the conversation evolved into a plan to hire a mustang convertible and head up to Portsmouth and Maine for the day ... so we did. Lot's of singing and picked up a song that will always remind me of Boston.
We arrived back in time for our 5pm dinner with no time to change. Here we meet E-Speed's school friend Mylene. Pre-marathon dinners just aren't enjoyable for me, but the company and food was good.
By the end of dinner I was in marathon mode, anxious and worked up with anticipation for what the next day might be like. I had hydrated all day and felt like I was in good shape by morning despite Saturday night.
I didn't sleep that night.
Katy's support back home was tremendous and there was plenty of well wishes.
I was a mess by morning, really on edge as we made out way to the buses. I chatted like a blabbering fool, Matt was silent and distant.
The race details deserves another post so I'll get back to that one.
Let's skip ahead and the race is done, our bodies coming out of shock after 6 or more hours and we rehydrated with buckets loads of water and stumbled around to keep moving and avoid going to sleep. Around 8am we dropped into a bar and had a couple of beers before deciding to join the after race party.
What a party!
The second wind kicked in and we hit the dance floor.
We saw our friends home safely. Almost all of them. Last time I saw E-Speed she was challenging me to a race to run home to the hotel. "You know, I'm crazy enough to do it" she said.
On our final day in Boston we ventured down to Faneuil Hall, very sore and trying to piece together what happened in the race the day before and why. We walked into a shop and by chance saw Bill Rogers. Fittingly, he is famous for a line "The marathon can humble you".
Our adventure finished at the Union Oyster House where we stayed until closing having eaten Oysters, Lobster, Steamers and Chowdah whilst being entertained by Hollwwood and Jimmy.
I wish I had more K's under the belt, but I think this is always the case. I'm hanging on to the saying, Better to be underdone than overdone.
All of a sudden it seems close and when they posted Bib numbers I got excited ... excited to be catching up with some people ... excited to be particpating in a big marathon, excited because I anticipate a fun trip.
I am happy with pace and how most of my training runs have gone. Not so happy about having a sore calf. Things just got tight and I might have "pinged" a few fibres so will be off the speed work for a week.
I think the conversation with my traning buddy Matt sums it up ... Me: ".. calf was my good leg, but the other leg feels fine now (numerous things like Planter Frashy thing, hammy, calf, abductor ...) I reckon we must be traning close to our limits" ... Matt: "Yep we sure are pushing it pretty much to the upper limit."
I'm the one in front :)
A fair gauge of how I feel could be in the music I'm into ... off the old Radiohead, Creep and now into this ... and by the way, Sia is an Aussie girl, doing great things at the moment.
Monday: Easy. Tuesday: "Speed" 1.5 mile @ 6:50 with 90 sec recovery, 1 mile @ 6:45 with 2 min recovery, 1.5 miles @ 6:50. Wednesday and Friday: Easy miles @ 7:50 or slower, 6 x 30 sec strides on Friday. Thursday: "Tempo" 8 miles @ 7:10 Weekend: 10 miles @ 8:00 14 miles @ 8:20
How it is playing out
Monday - no run (how is Easy is that!) Tuesday time trial 3k in 10:54 = Marathon Equivalent 3:05 according to McMillan Wednesday 10k easy Thursday slept in Friday early brekky meeting so run looks doubtful Saturday swim with K, better squeeze in a 10k Sunday 29k with 19k at marathon pace