Saturday, October 27, 2012

Know When to Fold 'Em...

Nearly 11 weeks ago, I started an ambitious journey to train for the Soaring Wings Half Marathon and White River Marathon for Kenya.  Both of these events are within 3 weeks of each other so I dubbed this training cycle as "Marathon Madness" for my dailymile tracking.  All in all, the training has gone much better than I could have expected.  For 9 weeks, I only missed 2 runs.  One of them for sickness and another one for just being exhausted after working all night.  I hate missing runs, but I hate really horrible runs even more.  I don't feel like I get much out of a run if my body just doesn't want to do it.  I firmly believe that if you listen to your body that it will respond much better for you than if you try to push it through aches and pains just to "log the miles".

Fast forward to this past week, week 10.  I had just run my peak long run for the White River Marathon training on Saturday (20 miles) which turned out to be a very good training run.  I felt good and kept it at the pace I needed.  I woke up on Monday morning and, despite my best recovery efforts on Saturday, felt extremely sore.  I normally wake up and can run my way past the soreness on Monday mornings, but this time was different.  I decided that my body needed another day of rest, especially with the Soaring Wings Half Marathon coming up on Saturday.  I woke up on Tuesday feeling much better and ready to get back to it.  I took off for my 5 mile run feeling pretty good... until mile 3.  It was then that the gastrointestinal monster hit.  The next 3 miles were the worst in my running history.  The entire time I am thinking about what Kevin would do in this situation and I refused to do it.  I don't do it on the backpacking trails and I sure wasn't going to do it in the woods of Conway AR.  I jogged back home, half the time doubled over.  Needless to say, this was one of the worst "runs" I had ever had.  Wednesday morning came and it was time for my mid-week long run and 10 miles were on the training plan for the day.  I got out of bed, got my running gear on, and took a couple more steps and realized really quickly something was wrong.  I was having SHARP pains shoot through my knee.  I tried to stretch, walk it off, and tell myself it wasn't a big deal.  I went outside and started to jog and almost fell down because of the shooting pain.  By now this FAIL of a week was really beginning to irritate me.  I really wanted to complete this 10 miles.  I sat there a minute thinking about my options.  I knew I had 13.1 coming up on Saturday and another 26.2 miles 3 weeks later so I hesitantly decided to shut it down for the week.

It is Saturday morning, Soaring Wings Half Marathon race day.  In approximately 1 1/2 hours the gun will go off and I will have started my 6th half marathon since my running journey began almost 3 years ago.  Over these last couple of years I have learned a lot when it comes to running.  The most important thing... listen to your body!  Most of the time your body is really trying to tell you something if it is hurting.  You will know the difference between just being sore and your body actually being hurt.  I've found that if I listen, my body usually responds well and I am good to go a few days later.  This week has reinforced this more than ever.  In 1 hour and 15 minutes the gun will go off and I feel great.

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