Monday, May 31, 2010

Thanks, Apologies, and Saying No to Buffalo

My, oh my, has it been a week already?!

Thanks to all of you for all your encouragement, comments and compliments on my performance in the Brooklyn Half. In many many ways, it wasn't the race that D and I expected and from now on, I will always remember that experience every time I run by those hills in Prospect Park. For me at least, Brooklyn will always serve as a poignant reminder that there's no guarantees in racing, no matter how much you plan and how prepared you think you might be prior to race day.

I'd also like to apologize for my absence from the blogosphere the past week. I've been dealing with a lot of personal and professional issues of late and it's been taking a toll on my running and my blogging. Sometimes, things in the real world just doesn't pan out as well as we'd like and we all need time to think things through, recharge our batteries and come up with an appropriate action plan.

Towards that end, I finally decided to skip out on running the Buffalo Marathon. If you know me, then you know that was a somewhat painful decision to make. It marks the first time I've not run a marathon that I registered for. (I'm not counting Jersey earlier this month because I was sick and at least suffered through the half in that one.) It will also be the first time that I went through a whole 16-week marathon training cycle and yet not run a goal marathon. I think I could have probably suffered through one if I wanted to. But after talking to Flyers and friends and objectively assessing my current level of fitness, I realized that to NOT run a marathon right now is the best decision for me. Why? Well, for starters, my stamina and endurance took a big dip after my week long illness at the beginning of the month and after a few weeks it still hasn't returned to the level I thought it would be. It was a bit of a physical struggle to run 1:30 in Brooklyn a week ago so practically speaking, a sub-3 wasn't likely to happen. This means that I'd just be running the marathon just for fun, and not for a time. This would be fine, except that my right knees/ankles/feet are not 100% right now and I wouldn't be enjoying running if my entire right lower extremity is screaming at me to stop.

Furthermore, Chicago Marathon training starts in two weeks (Yikes!), which means I would have no time for recovery if I were to run a marathon this weekend. So for everyone who wanted me to run, I'd have to say Thanks, but no thanks. I'm going to save my body for marathon #10 on 10/10/10. (Besides, it has a nice ring to it doesn't it?)

So for the next couple of weeks, I'm going to ease off the miles a bit and focus on the shorter stuff. I have a 4M race this coming weekend that I'm itching to PR in (my previous 4M PR is more than a year and half old!) and a 5M race at the end of the June to keep me motivated. I also got a brand new pair of the Saucony Kinvaras that are light, fast, and yet very comfortable to run in. They are my new loves this summer! I've been hitting the track pretty regularly with them in hopes that my 400s and 800s will translate to some better race times in the short distances. After focusing on long runs and long tempo work for so long, I've forgotten how much fun it is to run fast again! Here's to rediscovering some of that racing magic from yesteryear! Summer of Speed version 2010 commence!

Happy Memorial Day to all of you out there! It's a hot one today so be careful and hydrate extra if you're running, biking or doing any type of outdoor activity. Oh, and a little sunscreen on all of the exposed areas wouldn't hurt either!


Anonymous said...

love the doctor mode of the last few sentences :)

and as much as it kills you to give up buffalo you sound like youre making the right choice. sometimes it can be really hard when the heart wants something the brain knows isn't the best choice. your body will totally thank you and you will ROCK chicago

J said...

ok so your 10th marathon on 10/10/10! that is so cool! It was super hot in Buffalo this weekend - may not have been a fun race with the heat. Probably a good decision to skip! Plus now you will be ready for the 4M this weekend!

Running and living said...

Great decision, Lam! For you, it is about the sub 3, not about just running another marathon. I fully get it. I am curious about your plan. I feel I may be getting into the more miles bandwagon after I finish my triathlon in August. I think that for Boston 2011 I'd like to hit 75 miles for a few weeks:)

EZEthan said...

I really hope that this first half of 2010 turns out to be a blessing in disguise for you... with all the miles you've put in already, the speed work, the extra training cycle, and a cool (knock on wood) flat course in Chicago I'm predicting that you smash through the 3 hour mark!

nyflygirl said...

Like I said to you before-I know you made the right choice. I can't wait for you to rock Chi-town!! :)

Anonymous said...

This is the right decision. I'm sure it's not a fun one to make, it's the right one. You are going to do great in Chicago and all that training and muscle memory is only going to contribute. Well done.

Plus, you're about to crush that 4M PR :)

The Laminator said...

Thanks all! Will try something new and respond to inquiries in my comments as they come. Here goes:

marathonmaiden - Thanks. You're right. My heart and brain is at odds and ends right now. They need to be in sync and get with the program pronto!

J - Yeah, I heard. Buffalo was super hot today. I guess it wouldn't have mattered if I had gone anyway.

Running and living - Thanks. I'm glad you get it too. I haven't thought much about my plan yet but I'm going to change too much and keep at about mid-50s average and peak of upper 60s. I don't want to go overboard with mileage yet because I still want to see what time 50+ mpw will need to. I haven't yet figured that out. Maybe next year I will try the 70 mpw plan. Haha!

EZEthan - Thanks man. I hope so true although I'm not sure extra training weeks equates to better performance. We shall see!

nyflygirl - Yes, I know. You were one of the people who convinced me after Bklyn that Buffalo wouldn't be a good idea. So I listened. Thanks for that, by the way.

runningcommentaries - Definitely not a fun decision, but it's one I can live with. If I run, get injured and/or get crappy time, I think my confidence would be shot. This way, I can still run some short races and start planning my strategy for Chicago!

Xenia said...

Sorry about Buffalo, but at least there's still Chicago! I envy you that race. I'd like to run it someday myself.

Good luck with training and the trials and tribulations of everyday life. :)

Deb said...

I've run Buffalo three times now, and I honestly have to say that the very best thing about it is the meatballs at the pre-race pasta pig out. It's generally hot as hell and not a super great time. I'm sure you made the right decision.

Jamie said...

Just made it to your Buffalo report. I know it's not the race either of you wanted but seriously way to come back and finish strong. That takes a lot mentally to be able to do that!

Also, I'm a bit jealous you get to run #10 in Chicago on 10/10/10. I'm out of town for a wedding that weekend :( but if you need any recommendations on where to go let me know!

The Laminator said...

Xenia - Yeah, missing Buffalo was a bummer but honestly, it was really hot there anyway this weekend, so I wasn't missing much. I'm already praying that Chicago will cooperate weather-wise.

Deb - You've run Buffalo 3 times? Wow...that's quite an achievement in itself. I didn't know it has a reputation for being hot. I thought this year was just an anomaly. Hmmm...good to know.

Jamie - Thanks! It's too bad you won't be in town when I come for Chicago, but I'll have to get some recs on places to visit and things to see when the date gets closer!

lindsay said...

well when you put it that way... it definitely sounds best to get over this past round of training and look ahead to the next. it is certainly a tough decision to make and feel ok about, but i'm sure in a week or so you won't even be bothered by it anymore. that's how i tend to operate anyway!

we all get busy with real life. no worries on that end! :)

Julie said...

Hi Lam,
I hope that everything in your life balances out and that you will be feeling both physically and emotionally well:) I know how hard it is to keep a steady schedule blogging when there are so many things going on in our lives.

Darn it! I missed to dead line for Chicago but had the opportunity to run it for charity. I just could not commit to the $2,000 that I needed to raise:( I would of loved to run in it knowing that I would have a chance to meet you! I know that there are also so many other bloggers running Chicago. I have heard so many positive tings about that marathon:) Jealous! Maybe next year I will have to make sure that I sign up way in advance!

Lam, take care of yourself! I am sending you smiles and cheer! I hope that you enjoy the rest of your week:)

aron said...

sounds like you made the exact right decision for you... now onto the next thing! i find it SO nice when the decisions have been made and the date passes, now you don't have to think about it anymore.

i do like the ring to #10 on 10/10/10, i mean its kind of meant to be :)

The Happy Runner said...

Yes, #10 on 10/10/10 has a great ring to it!

The Laminator said...

Lindsay - I like how you operate. I hope i won't be bothered by it in a week. I really, really hope so =)

Julie - Thanks. I am bummed that you can't run Chicago even though you want to. It would have been awesome to meet up prior to the race! Chicago tends to be a popular marathon so definitely sign up way in advance next year!

Aron - True. I do have a certain peace about it now that the decision has been made and the time has passed. Time to move on!

The Happy Runner - I think so too! Now I just have to make sure it's a marathon to remember rather than one to forget. Haha!

runner26 said...

great decision lam!! i know it's hard, but you will not regret it. Chicago is your goal race--and the choice to skip buffalo will only help you (think of passing it up as a really tough speed workout--like really tough!). anyway, hope things are going more smoothly for you--can't wait to see you and catch up!

The Laminator said...

Runner26 - Thanks for the encouragement. I know it was tough, which is why I'm doubly impressed and doubly jealous of your accomplishment! I can't get over how you did 2 marys this month and I did zero! How did THAT happen? I can't wait to see you too and hear about what could have been my story with my own ears!

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