Thursday, April 28, 2011
The Road to Boston: It was paved with cobblestones . . .
In general, I don't like to talk about the suckage or a lack of control. I don't even like to pretend it exists. It is one thing for things to be crappy and out of control in reality but then to talk about them too? I guess for me to actually have to see the suckage in writing makes it real. Unwritten it feels like there is a chance it might just be bad mythology.
I know maybe it was a little superstitious but I thought maybe if I really just shutted up (that's a word, right) and just ran then maybe I would actually make it to the finish line at Boston.
That was a huge turning point mentally for me. I was excited again everyday to go out and run. I am not kidding. Every run I ran with a smile and sometimes there were tears of happiness. I was definitely the only person on the treadmill at the gym with a big fat smile on my face. I LOVED running again! It was awesomeness and deliciousness. Even sang as I ran at times.
Prior to February 6th I had so much anxiety about every run because it might hurt and I might not be able to finish the run, or worse would have to walk. I love running and love loving running but it is difficult to love something that continues to cause you pain. It really wears you down and it had got exceedingly difficult to be enthusiastic about doing something that I knew might really cause me some serious pain. Worse though, I was committed to 3 races. The biggest and the most awesome and longest sought after was the Boston marathon. It just loomed like an anvil over my psyche. I felt like I was letting running down. That probably makes no sense but truly, I felt guilty and sad about it. Honestly, I don't really know how to describe it right but just know this: it was a really negative bad all consuming feeling and I couldn't rid myself of it-- no matter how much sense it didn't make to feel like that.
Maybe that is depression. I don't know. I just know I didn't like it at all. It hurt me and it was ruining my quality of life. I am not purposely being dramatic or trying to illicit sympathy. I don't care for either. I just don't want to feel like that again. It sucked. Okay?
Originally, I had planned to start Boston training in December. December and January were going to be build months. February and March I was going to drop the hammer and pick up the pace. I had planned to have all weeks from mid December on to be over 50 miles with the occasional cut back to 40 and several peaks at 65 miles. A trail race on February 6th would be an A race and the Georgia marathon on March 20th I was planning to run as a 3:45 training run.
The reality was that in December and January I couldn't get my mileage over 40 miles without aggravating my hip. It would be okay and then out of no where the pain would flare and I would be limping. It didn't hurt when biked, swam, did yoga or weights. Only when I ran. And not every run. I still don't know what the problem is but switching to from neutral shoes to motion control shoes made a huge difference. But I didn't do that until the first week in February.
In January I couldn't run more than 40 miles a week without aggravating my hip. After my 11.5 trail race on Feb 6th--that ended up only being a training run--I logged my first 50+ mile week since October. I was able to run 54, 57, 60 the following 3 weeks too. I managed an 18 mile run and 3 21 mile runs during that time. I did a mid length run every week too that ranged 12 to 16 miles. I did 3-4 other runs every week too--1 treadmill of 4-7 miles, 1to2 6 mile easy hill runs and a 5 mile hilly trail run. I rode the bike/trainer twice a week. Yoga and strength training once a week too. My hip would still ache every now and again but everyday I woke up able to go out and run and completed every single workout I started. It was awesome and made me so happy.
In March it was time to cut back for the Georgia marathon. I ran 45ish with a 12 mid length and an 18 mile long run, then 40 miles the next week with two 14 mile runs and then 30 the week before the Ga marathon. At least I think it was something like that. My hip never hurt during the marathon and that was a huge confidence builder. 5 days after the marathon (where I ran 3:55 having dialed back the original goal of 3:45 to just sub 4) I ran 18.5 miles and finished the week with a peak of 65 miles. Then I began my taper for Boston and just hoped for the best.
I know this was probably a little boring and certainly self indulgent but when I write my Boston marathon recap I don't want to have to go into a lengthy explanation of my training.
Just consider this the preface to the novel.