Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Frustrating Day and Life After Boston

I’m not gonna lie. Today was a craptastic day for me from beginning to end. First I got to work late because of subway issues. Then everyone at the office had “favors” for me to do, which meant doing extra work to cover for colleagues who weren’t around for one reason or another. Afternoon clinic was mayhem because a lot of kids were off for Spring Break and coincidentally needed to see me ASAP. Yet, in spite of all that, I was efficient and on a roll. I was about to get out at a reasonable hour (so I could sneak in a good run before dark) when suddenly, a complicated patient who is normally cared for by a colleague of mine who is out on maternity leave drops by for a routine visit (not realizing her doctor was out) and I had the pleasure of reviewing all of his records and seeing him on the fly, which pretty much killed any hopes I had of running before dark. And then, as I was finally leaving the hospital, contemplating of maybe doing 12 miles even in the dark because I had been resting since the weekend and hadn’t run at all, it started to rain. Great! Eventually, I chalked up the day as a loss, ate dinner and did six uncomfortable miles on the treadmill. The good news was that my friend the Achilles’ has forgiven me. The bad news? There is now a new pain in my right knee that I’d never noticed before. Sigh! Such is the life of a marathoner on the taper…

If you take a look at the right lower sidebar, you’d see that I’ve already begun planning for life after Boston. I’ve signed up for a bunch of races, including two half-marathons that will tie me over until training starts anew for the next marathon, the New York City Marathon on November 1st. After much deliberation and research, I’ve decided to NOT run a summer marathon this year but instead focus on improving my efficiency and time in half-marathons. In an effort to rededicate myself to that distance and making 2009, the year of the half marathons, I’m participating in as many of those locally as I could fine. Currently, I’m scheduled to run ten for the year, but with a little planning and persistence, I think I can make it an even dozen. I also want to set a new PR at that distance with a goal of eventually running one in under 1:25 by year’s end,

It’s weird to not think of Boston as the be-all and end-all race as it’s been on my mind everyday for the last 3 months of training. But as I was running on the treadmill today, trying to be as oblivious to the miles and the time as humanly possible, I realize that I’ve been taking this training cycle a bit too seriously. I’ve allowed some arbitrary time goal to become a bit of an obsession more than as a simple focus for training. Perhaps that’s why my body is rebelling at every turn, with weird pains in weird places that I’m not accustomed to. But oh well, there’s not much I can do about it now. The training’s been done. It’s out of my hands. I will taper the best way I know how and let whatever happens in Boston happen. I will run my best and see if it’s good enough. If it is, I will be happy. If it’s not, I’ll still be happy knowing I had a positive experience in my first Boston and shoot for it again in November in my hometown course. Either way, life will go own and there will be other races and other Boston’s left for me to run.

20 comments:

D10 said...

You may not have gotten in the 12 you had hoped, but after a long day to fit in 6 on the TM is really good.

I beat your body will enjoy the little break not running a summer marathon will give it.

J said...

You are running BOSTON!! No matter what happens it will be an experience of a lifetime!! You will do great!

Running and living said...

Lam, this is exactly what I have been pondering!I, too, feel like this marathon has become the center of my life. It is always on my mind, no matter what I am doing. It's a bit ridiculos for me, since it is my first marathon and regardless of my time, it is going to be a PR. I agree with you, there will be other marathons, other Boston marathons. I know you are going to do great, but if something happens (as it can with Boston...snow storm, heavy winds, 80 degrees, a bad day) you are going to remain an inspirational runner! You don't need a sub 3 for that! Ana-Maria

Ansky said...

Lam,
I just saw that you are running the Long Branch 1/2 on May 3. I'm running the full. Perhaps we can meet up. Good luck in Boston.

aron said...

no matter what happens in boston, you are THERE and you are running it and will always be such an amazing runner. you are such an inspiration to us all :) thank you for that!

i think its great you have all those races lined up for post marathon. i know i go through the post marathon blues after big races, so its nice to have something else to focus on soon after.

i am sure the legs are happy for the little break after a busy day and a tough training cycle!

Ms. V. said...

Well, you know, your patient was probably very grateful you reviewed all of the chart...So that was a good thing!

I like your attitude. Good luck in Boston!!! Can we follow you online?

joyRuN said...

Boston's a premier tough race - I can't blame you for being so focused on it.

I'm surprised I've enjoyed this marathon training cycle this much - I was beginning to think I should just focus on efforts on HM's after Philly, but so far, training for NJM has worked out beautifully. Who knows - I might completely bonk/die/crawl at NJM, but at least I can say I had fun getting there!

The Happy Runner said...

Are you kidding me? Your best is going to be awesome! AWESOME!

Spike said...

12 is a lot of halfs, but what an awesome goal! I like the slogan "year of the half" even though you have two full in there. I think all marathoners can identify with the obsession and focus on making the race we have been training for a great race--we can get tunnel vision. how can we not, we spend month preparing for something and we only really get one shot at it. just take the race out of Boston and replace it with desire to run hard.

X-Country2 said...

I hate when a day gets killed like that.

Good luck kicking butt on halfs this year.

Chic Runner said...

six on the mill is close to my mill record. Boston is my end all be all race. And the lam.. being to serious? :) Just kidding!

Vava said...

Good luck with that knee, and all of those half-marathons. What did Spinal Tap say about perspective as they stood in front of Elvis' grave at Graceland? Perhaps not applicable, but I always think of that scene whenever I hear (read) the word.

May I ask why runners don't like to run in the rain? Is it a danger factor, or simply not liking getting wet? I don't mind it, but then again I am not training as much or for as important a goal as the Boston Marathon.

Anne said...

I've read you for a while, but haven't before commented. I think of what you write often when I'm out, running alongside the road. Thanks for sharing everything you do.

Also, I just wanted to say that I'm a big fan of your power song of the week.

Susan said...

I think that a lot of people put Boston up on a pedestal, when it really is just another marathon. Yes, you have to qualify for it (well...not technically...charity runners!), but you've already done that! It will be an awesome experience either way, no matter if you run your best time at Boston or at New York in the fall.

I'm definitely impressed that 2009 is the year of the half marathon, even with two full marathons scheduled! Amazing.

All that being said, you're going to rock Boston!

Jamie said...

After a day like that congrats on getting any miles done! That is a feat in itself.

Good for you in committing to all those races and having a post Boston plan!

Cowboy Hazel said...

I think it's good that you're starting to look at life past Boston. It's important to be focused on the big race, but not too focused. It sounds to me like you have the right approach now.

lindsay said...

seriously, after a day like that i would've plopped my happy butt on the couch with some sort of not-so-great-for-me food. it takes a lot to make yourself hop on the tm, especially after such a long day!

you reminded me that earlier this year i was making plans and goals for half-marathon pr(s), and boy how far have i fallen behind. thanks for the reminder, i need to find a race and start training.

i think it's good that you are going to take some time off in between boston and nyc for 'just' half-mara training. i know it's still a beast in itself, but i think the break will be good for the legs.

Michelle said...

Great attitude Lam!! Once again, I believe in you and your training! You done good and will do great in Boston!

Run For Life said...

Sounds like a good way to end a hard day even though it wasn't as many miles as you hoped for.

Irish Cream said...

Sorry to hear you had such a craptastic day, Lam. I think it's great that you still squeezed 6 in on the TM even though your original plans got ruined. I think a lot of people would have skipped the run altogether had their plans fallen through like yours did. So you should be really proud of yourself!

As always, I think you have a great attitude about Boston (and life thereafter), and I'm excited to see what's in store for you! :)

 
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