Sunday, April 18, 2010

After Boston, one year later...

Okay, so this feels a bit wierd.

While the rest of the running world (at least to me) is making plans and getting excited for race day, Boston Marathon style, I'm trying to stay as far away from running and racing as possible as I prepare to enter my taper for the New Jersey Marathon coming up in 2 weeks. It's hard to believe that it was only one short year ago when I boarded that yellow school bus in the wee hours of the morning for the ride out to Hopkinton. It's even harder for me to believe that that was the last time I ran a "good" marathon with a 3:02:21 (you can re-read my race report here), 1 second off my PR from New York six months earlier.

When I compare how I'm training now (for NJ) as compared to how I trained for Boston, it's easy to see how much I've grown as a runner. For example, back then, in 16 weeks of training, I ran 4 days a week at an average of 42 miles-per-week, with one peak week of 60.4 miles and one other week with 55.7 miles. This spring, in 14 weeks of training so far, I ran 5 days a week at an average of 51.1 miles-per-week, with a peak week of 62 miles and multiple others in the high 50s. Most of my runs last spring were done pretty fast as my average training pace for all my runs was 7:04 min/mi. This spring, I've adhered to the specificity of training and slowed down my general and recovery runs significantly so that my overall average pace is only 7:25 min/mi. Although I know I still have more work to do over the summer/fall as I would like to train myself to run 6 days a week with an average of 60+ miles-per-week, I'm encouraged that I am making some progress in adjusting to higher mileage training. It is surprising to me though that despite the low mileage, I was able to run pretty well in Boston and if it hadn't for a big hamstring cramp at mile 19, I likely would have PR'd if not go sub-3 right there and then. Therefore. I'm thinking that with more training, more endurance, and a flatter course, sub-3 should be attainable for me at NJ in two weeks.

Unfortunately, with all the good that the extra mileage has given me, there is also some bad as well. Along with mental fatigue and general lack of interest to run, my right knee has also been acting up of late, making me somewhat concerned that it won't hold up for the full duration of the 26.2. I've never as yet DNF'ed a race, much less a marathon, but if it's blown up by the first half and I find myself limping or running in all kinds of pain, I might opt to drop out after the first lap. I'm hoping it won't come to be but I'm making contingency plans just in case it does. It's funny to me how injury just never came to mind while tapering and preparing for Boston last year and now it's all I can think about even though I know nothing will be settled until race day. Have I really become even more of a hypochondriac than I already was just in this one year alone?

Forget this. I really should not think about this. Instead, as I prepare to watch the race unfold online, in between patients, tomorrow, I will pretend I'm just that kid again, taking that crowded yellow school bus, embarking on a mysteriously wonderful journey, unaware yet full of hope for what the future may bring.

16 comments:

marathonmaiden said...

i don't think youre a hypochondriac, you just don't want a repeat performance. i totally am going to be wicked paranoid about any ache in my shins for awhile but i think that it makes us smart not hypochondriacs ;)

and thanks for your support in all my boston training. it's really meant a lot to me!!

EZEthan said...

Man... your taper just started and you're already obsessing about potential injuries! Hopefully, the taper is exactly what you need to let the knee calm down a little.

kevin f forde said...

Lam,
looking at your training for Boston last year and this years marathon I'd say you're on your way to a sub 3{no hill in Jersey like the Newton Hills also!!}
Make sure you do what you have to w/ the knee,preventative measures can nip a problem in the bud.
Also it's not being a hypochondriac,I know a bunch of runners myself included who right b4 a major race "suddenly"feel a twinge,a tweak,a niggle,it goes w/ the territory.
Enjoy the taper....will there be a Taper Top Ten list??

Jamie said...

You've come a long way over the last year! I'm sure this taper is exactly what your body needs to get you that sub-3 marathon at NJ!

The Happy Runner said...

Interesting contrast from last year to this. I'll be rooting for your sub-3 at the NJM!

I hope the taper helps your knee :-)

Brandon Wood said...

I think you're going to have to do at LEAST 100 miles a week to be a better runner. I've already talked to your work and the rest of your life and they said it was cool if you took the next 5 years off.

You know you're going to crush it, you crazy ambassador for all things running, you!

;)

aron said...

oh stop with that nonsense Lam :) you are going to do GREAT. its all just the taper talking. get confident - LOOK AT THAT TRAINING, you are soooo ready!

misszippy said...

You have a great attitude going into NJ. I think it takes maturity to consider DNFing when facing a potential injury--many would just beat themselves into a pulp. That said, I wish you a great race--it will be interesting to see how the different approaches work for you.

Julie said...

Hi Lam,
Wow, you have two weeks before the New Jersey Marathon! This is exciting because it means I will get to read another one of your awesome race reports:) Repeat after me....I am going to enjoy my taper....I am not going to obsess...I am going to enjoy my taper:) Now you can smile:)

Christina said...

You probably already know this but when you go into taper all kinds of body aches, things you had never had before, come up. I don't know what it is but the body likes to play with your mind.

Running and living said...

I think it was v smart to change your training around and play with the variables speed and nr miles. The body needs to be challenged. The mental fatigue will go away (I guarantee!!) since you are going to run much less (right, right???) these 2 weeks. The knee will hopefully cooperate, taper usually takes care for things like this. You can help it out with lots and lots of ice (my favorite, pack of peas around the knee, kept in place by an elastic band). I don;t think there is anything wrong with DNFing, as long as you are all right with it. It is an individual decision, certainly a mature and smart one if you would otherwise jeopardize your health! If your goal is the sub 3, you are going to get it! If the stars align, it will be in 2 weeks! I'll cheer for you!

runner26 said...

you told me that aches and pains during taper phase are nothing to worry about. you told me that. that they disappear come race day. i'd like to tell you the same, but i don't have medical credentials. i hope your right knee feels better though!!

lindsay said...

you still have like 1.5 weeks right? calm down lam :) hope your knee is doing better with the tapering and i am starting to send positive, good-knee vibes your way already!

Morgan said...

Listen to you carrying on... you will be fine come race day and blow everyone's expectations out of the water! As I spectated I recalled your recap and thought I bet Spike is feeling all those same emotions now! Can't wait to see how you do in NJ!

Brian Morrissey said...

this is probably the taper talking. you'll come around for race day. hard training is always about going to the edge or injury. your extra miles are going to make all the difference in the world during the race, i'm sure of it.

X-Country2 said...

What a difference a year makes. :o)

 
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