Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Every mushroom cloud has a silver lining

So I decided to start my training for the Tucson Marathon. How do most marathon training plans start? One week of easy-ish running leading up to the first "long run". For stock beginner and intermediate training plans we're talking about a first long run of 8-10 miles. What does this mean? It means that you go through a week of training before your first real test. In fact, that first day of training is likely a rest day. What?! So you're telling me my first day of training is a day of rest? These days I come up with my own wacky plans...

So what do you do on your first day of marathon training? A long run. Yeah, that's right. Why beat around the bush and put off any real test for at least six days? A typical long run for me these days of 10-11 miles. Let's make it marathon training! The night before: a six-pack, too much fiber for dinner, and little sleep. So what happened? The last 6 miles felt literally like the last 6 marathon miles (if you've been there you know what I'm talking about). Zero energy. Everything hurts. Where is the next porta potty? Anyway, I made it through...BUT, suddenly pain in my left knee. Pain like I haven't felt since my last marathon training four years ago. OUCH!

I think my body was telling me something:
Do you know what you're in for?
Do you remember the LOOOOONG runs?
Do you remember having to run 5-6 days a week with aches and pains?
Running takes over your life. What about that?
Are you ready to sacrifice?
When you are in pain, will you force yourself to take a day off despite what's on the schedule?

So, I took several days off. Started jogging to try it out. Pain=turning around and walking 1/4-mile back home. That hurts the pride for sure.

Six days later a 2.5-mile run. No issues, so let's race! Labor day was the Saguaro National Park 8-miler on the east side of Tucson. A nice jog in the park. Well, except for that 800' incline between miles 3.5 and 5. I decided to go for it!

One mile in, I found myself way too close to Sam McGlone. I must have started too hard. 6:24. Oops! Yes, too hard. Knee pain around mile 3. It's nothing. All in your head. Made the climb to mile 5. On goal pace. Awesome! Then rolling hills. OUCH! My knee says "that's it". Crap, first DNF. Let me tell you, on an eight-mile loop, walking the last 3 miles takes a long time... Watching everyone pass. People saying "you're almost there". No, I'm not. I'm done for today. In fact I'm done for a while.

On the positive side, my brother in law raced and did awesome! First running race ever, and ran 8:30s on a very tough course! Pretty awesome. I'm excited for him and his Tucson Marathon.

Not sure what this means for my Tucson Marathon plans. Will have to take a couple weeks off running (knee feels fine cycling and swimming) and go from there. Two tris coming up in October, so it's healing time. Hopefully I'll be back up to speed soon. Maybe even in time to chase after my Boston dreams...

No comments: