Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Backup Plan

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.

13 comments:

Jamie said...

Sounds like a good plan! I hope you can rebound these next weeks and be ready for a spring marathon at the end of the month.

matpedw said...

I say go run Buffalo! Just don't make it sub 3 or bust.
I've always been a believer that you don't get pick your marathon pace (unless you run way too slow). It is what it is on marathon day.
Go to Buffalo and run. You'll do great or you won't. I don't think you'll hurt yourself unless you do something out of character. I just can't see you having any regrets afterwards. Go have fun

Running and living said...

It's a personal decision, Lam. I think it is great you got into Chicago (I was to late) and that will be your sub 3 ticket, I think! Whatever you decide to do, the training during the last cycle is "in you" and you will be able to benefit from that during Chicago training!

marathonmaiden said...

i think it's a good plan you have laid out. i think youll be up for buffalo and it'll be a good way to finish up the spring season. i also think that youll likely go into it with less pressure which may help you race a good race

runner26 said...

you're going to do what you're going to do but if you want my honest opinion -- don't do another spring one! you're in bad shape right now (not your fault) and you NEED to rest and get better. i can honestly tell you i know EXACTLY how you feel right now about wanting revenge (you don't know the half of it) but i still think you're in a different place than I. we should talk more thurs (after a few drinks)-- and i will do my best not to "yell" at you ;) I have your best interests at heart though--i really do.

John said...

So bag Buffalo and come to Rochester and run the Rochester Marathon on Sept 20. You have plenty of time to get ready! I'm hoping to be ready for the half... (will still be building my base and not sure I can be ready for the full marathon.)

jb24 said...

Hey Lam- I know this must be frustrating for you. You feel like you have some unfinished business that needs to be taken care. While your mind wants to attack a marathon distance, your body seems like it is sending you clear signs to the contrary. As we've talked about in the past, sometimes the harder call is making the decision not to run. As tough as it may be, you have to decide if it is in your best interest to run a marathon if your body hasn't fully recovered - which it seems like it hasn't. For you to write that you are not feeling well, you must be having a tough time.

nyflygirl said...

big picture, dude. you're not 100% right now. and chicago needs you ;-)

CSURamFan said...

Can you run a marathon at a sub-maximal effort? Are you willing to go out and run just for fun? Take a camera and give at least 100 high fives along the way. Or find someone running Buffalo who needs a 4:00 pacer and give back.

I think the 20 miler is a great plan, run it like race day, taking it easy and see how it goes. If it doesn't I say bail, if you have fun I say run.

aron said...

sounds like you have a good plan in place. i think its really hard though to not be in complete marathon zone mentally and try to go run a big goal race. as it gets closer and you are deciding on what you are going to do, maybe just alter your goals based on how you are feeling mentally. we all know that is a HUGE part of any goal race, and it sounds like this might not be THE one. good luck, i hope your physical self gets back to normal soon too!

J said...

Good idea to just see how it goes. weird how the sickness can really affect you and your running! hope you are back to normal soon!

kevin f forde said...

A wise man once said and I quote"listen to what your body is telling you"
Any marathon right now could be detremental to you long term as you're recovering from illness,does it suck to have put in all that training and mileage and no marathon to show for it....sure.
Bigger picture you've already built a base of mileage so whenever you begin to prep for Chicago you've got those miles in the bank,one less 26.2 race might equate to a sub 3 in Chicago,it's a fast course to begin w/.....something to ponder?

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...

I would run Lam :) I've gotten sick before marathons. One week is not enough recovery time for you to get back to normal. Keep running and your body will recover and then you can run the race. If you feel crappy at mile 5 then just run it for "fun" and if you feel great then go for it. I've had some of my best races after feeling "crappy" for weeks prior. My two cents teammate :)

 
Clicky Web Analytics