Saturday, April 2, 2011

A hint (or 10) from the universe?

It is 2 am and I've just woken up from my fatigue induced coma (and a terrible nightmare) and after sitting here listening to all the creepy sounds my house makes in the middle of the night, I've realized that I'm really scared! But wait! I'm not talking about the "wanna-climb-in-my-momma's-bed" kind of scared (well, maybe just a little if I'm being completely honest) but more so it's an alarming "am-I-doing-the-right-thing" kind of scared.  You see, when I signed up for the Salt Lake City Marathon back in January, it seemed like a brilliant idea. "This marathon will be for me," I thought, "This one will prove that I can go it alone. Feed the angry beast that is marathon training and do it all by myself." I was determined that it was gut-check time I was going to have to put-up or shut-up.Well, go time is t-minus 14 days now and it has been an eventful couple of months. Let me tell you a little bit about how my training has gone...

A. I switched over from half to full marathon training at the end of January just after the St. George Half. I was feeling a bit pudgy but overall running my pace and feeling strong. I was mentally ready for marathon training.

B. I was running my butt off the first couple of weeks and it felt great! I ran an 8 mile tempo run (my longest ever) and was flying high when...dun, dun, DUUUNNNN! (<---for dramatic effect) I GOT THE FLU!  Yup, the very next morning after this fabulous tempo run. I couldn't believed it! It hit like a ton of bricks and I never saw it coming! After visiting the doctor twice, taking Tamiflu that didn't help and antibiotics that did, I had been sick for 2 weeks before I finally started to come out of it. I had never had the flu before so I was apparently paying for my good fortune in one lump sum. I have NEVER been so sick. Ever.

C. So, here I was at the end of February and I was finally starting to pull myself together. I was still fatigued and I knew I had lost considerable amounts of conditioning from being laid out for 2 weeks. And to add insult to injury (more like injury to illness) I had popped a rib while I was sick from coughing so dang much. Yep, I rarely ever get injured from running but coughing? It's got my number! Geesh! I was so frustrated at this point because I was finally able to start running again and I couldn't run without pain in my ribs that I feared wouldn't get better as long as I continued to run. Ya dig?

D. So what do I do? What any sane person would do. I found a running gait that worked! Yep. Normal people rest and recover. But not me! "Imma trainin' for a marathon!" So, I ran with my upper body as still and straight as I could get it, ran super slow (a glorified walk is more like it) and increased my foot fall ten fold so I was taking quick tiny baby steps. I'm pretty sure the people who saw me run this way wouldn't call it running. But to me, I was makin' it happen.

E. With the flu injury finally somewhat squared away and about 5 weeks left 'til marathon time, I devised a plan. Then I devised another plan that was realistic. I would run a semi-long run one weekend then a super long one the next and then taper and just cross my fingers that it was enough.

F. So, here I am 1 week post super long (but really only 18) miler and I've continued to recover. My speed is non-existent but I've been covering some good miles. I'm still feeling completely undertrained and have been planning to just run it undertrained. I know it would be a painful 26.2 but I would make it, I'm sure of that much. Well, until last night that is. You see, I started to feel some heart palpitations last night which means that I've been over doing it a little. They are not dangerous and I've dealt with them a lot but usually when they come I'm forced to slow down a little and let my body get back to some sort of homeostasis. Did I mention that they also bring along their friends, fatigue and muscle weakness. So not cool, heart palps.

So, here I am at the tail end if training, if you could even call it that, and I've dealt with illness, injury, and illness again. I have no way of picking up my packet since I'll be on vacation until the night before the marathon (no race morning pick up) and I'm feeling like the universe is trying to tell me something. Is it just me?  Have the obstacles I've encountered made me a stronger runner? I'd say ABSOLUTELY! Does that mean that I'm ready to run a marathon? Not necessarily. Do I do it anyhow?? That's the million dollar question, I guess.

What would you do??

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  1. Hey girl long time no see!
    Especially since you've already done one, i say do this one too. Your body will know what to do. Yes your training hasn't been perfect but it's not horrible either. The key will be in backing off your pace so you don't suffer too much. You can do this! : )

  2. I say do it! I would recommend not stressing the pace and just taking it easy and doing the best you can (especially early on) and listen to your body. You have done a lot of training and paid for the race, so I would say do it and just enjoy it. Plus, after two weeks of taper you may just feel awesome !:)

    I would be MORE than happy to pick up your race packet for you... I am going to be in SLC on Friday morning and staying over through Sunday afternoon, so if you want to sign something and send me a copy of your ID or whatever I need, I would gladly pick it up for you and arrange to get it to you Saturday morning. :)

  3. I think running is something like golf. You enjoy it at first and your expectations are low.Then you learn more and you become more competative and if you are not getting better you think you are failing or at least just spinning your wheels. I say forget about records or PB's and just have fun with this one.

  4. I'd say do it...You are so strong mentally and physically you can carry yourself through and just trust the training you have done.

  5. I would say do it! You have endured so much to get where you are! Go for it! You can just go with an open mind to enjoy the race!

    Oh and welcome back! I'm sorry that your winter has been so bad!

  6. I would analyze my motivations for doing the race. If I find that they're worth sacrificing for, I'd push myself and complete the race. If, on the other hand, I found I was doing the race because I didn't want to waste the race money or let my friends or family or myself down or whatever, I'd give the whole thing a good second thought. You are not the races you complete. You don't have to ignore your body's signals to be hard core. In fact, I think listening to your body, and working together with it to complete your fitness goals in a healthy way is way harder than just pushing it to perform no matter what. You could always just show up and start running, and then bow out if your body tells you to, if you think you could do that with out feeling like a failure for not finishing. Again, listening to your body is never a failure-it's one of the greatest skills an athlete can develop! Just my thoughts. Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

  7. I really don't know what I would do. I probably wouldn't decide until the night before, knowing me. Whatever you decide will be the right thing for you!!

  8. Well, there are a ton of red flags here ... running with an altered gait is a good way to injure yourself, plus realistically you're probably a bit undertrained and unable to really go after whatever time you originally wanted. I think it would all depend on what you want from the race. If you can mentally lock into just enjoying the run and not worrying too much about what you get out of yourself, then I think you should go for it, because you'll enjoy the run, plus you'll feel a nice sense of accomplishment since you really had to fight through adversity to make it on this one. But if your time is really important to you, I wouldn't do it. I had a ton of races last year where I wasn't physically able to do what I knew I was capable of and it was incredibly frustrating.

  9. I really don't know what I would do. I probably wouldn't decide until the night before, knowing me. Whatever you decide will be the right thing for you!!