Sometime last week when I was in the depths of sickness and losing all reasonable hope of running the New Jersey Marathon, I began contacting friends and making arrangements to run the Buffalo Marathon at the end of May. At the time this seemed like a reasonable thing to do given the fact that I had physically trained and was mentally prepared to run a marathon before I got really sick. Conventional wisdom suggested that if I gave myself a week of full recovery, two full weeks of training and a final week to taper, I should be ready to tackle a marathon.
Unfortunately though, I underestimated the full impact this superbug would have on my physical conditioning and endurance. I'm telling you, people, it's been about a week since I've recovered fully from my illness but my speed and endurance are no where to be found. Just this weekend, I went on a slow 15 mile jog around town, and by the time I got to mile 14 or 15, I was in such bad shape - miserable, exhausted, and tachycardic. I couldn't imagine having to push through another 10, 11, or 12 more miles. This worried me considerably because I didn't expect myself to struggle so mightily before the heavy duty long mileage miles. Not only so, but I just felt "out of it", almost if my physical body was inhabited by someone else, someone who I don't recognize and who's not used to running.
So now, I'm back to square one, not knowing if I should still drag this body to Buffalo on Memorial Weekend, or surrender to the inevitable and rest and recover for shorter summer races instead. On the one hand, I know I should run one, if not for time (which at this point is most likely the case) then to have practice running the distance and to have closure on my spring training cycle. On the other hand though, I know I still have some injury concerns in my knees and feet and know that rest/recovery may be the best use of my time now before I crank up the mileage again to prepare for Chicago on 10.10.10. Yet, I still feel as if I have unfinished business with the spring season and should run a marathon just to welcome summer into my life. What to do, what to do?
Truth be told that I've been thinking about this all weekend and still can't come up with an adequate solution or a list of reasons FOR/AGAINST running another marathon this spring. I think this will turn out to be another race week decision for me. My plan for the rest of this month is to run Ragnar Relay this coming weekend (More details to come), than do a 20+ miler a day or two later as a dress rehearsal. If the mileage seems comfortable to me, I will proceed with the marathon plan. If not, I will not chance injury and stay home instead. I suspect this week and the next will go a long way to determining whether the backup plan is feasible or not. I hope I am ready.