Friday, April 25, 2008

Nothing Is Hard

In order to understand the title of this post, you have to read with the correct inflection. That would be either, (A) Nothing IS hard, or (B) NOTHING is hard [follow with a short sigh]. By "nothing", I mean doing nothing.

Those around me surely realize that I've been a bit of a crank for the past three days. That's due to some general life stress, trying to keep kosher for passover (mostly) despite poor planning and forcing myself to take three days off from all exercise to rest my hurting hips/glutes. Another reason it's been tough is because the weather has been so beautiful. When I resume running tomorrow (Saturday), it's supposed to get cool and cloudy. That's still fine, but it's been gorgeous and sunny every day this week, even if we still can go from 30's in the early morning to 80 at midday. Yesterday after my son's baseball practice, it was around 60, the sun was setting and the woods beckoned. My wife even gave me the green light, but I stood (the key word) firm and stayed in.

So, with my hips feeling better, I'll venture out for 5-6 easy miles on the trails tomorrow, and then try the 17-miler with 14 at goal marathon pace on Sunday. Still wrestling with the decision about which shoes to wear (I sound like I'm dressing for a formal event): the tried and true but heavy Asics Kayano stability trainers or the new lightweight New Balance 903's (which I happened to try once on the day that my hips finally had had enough, so I now have a negative association with them; like the time I had a pre-existing stomach bug, but ate Indian food and made that causal connection, resulting in no Indian food for about a year). I may plan an 8+-mile loop near home, wear the NB's and decide whether to change shoes mid-stream.

It's been weird not to run, lift or cross-train for three days (I've done easy stretching), which is the first time I've done that (other than having the flu) since the days after the Chicago Marathon last fall. I hope to feel tomorrow & on Sunday that it's been worth (it), which I know it has.

I'll post again after Sunday's run. The Big Man offered to join me (maybe) on Sunday, but I really don't want company on this particular run, since I want to focus almost exclusively on feeling and holding the right pace. I'm looking for the flattest (or at least the least hilly) options near home, so I can work on finding the pace and holding it. I'm telling myself that I can't lose, since it'll either work out fine and boost my pre-marathon confidence or will be a total struggle and tell me to relax my goal a bit.

Still telling myself that anything under 3:35 is okay, under 3:30 very good, under 3:25 fantastic. I have to eradicate that annoying little voice which says, "Pssssssst, buddy, go for the BQ; you can do it." That would be a colossal error in judgment, which I'd like to avoid on this go-round. Chicago is where it started last year, and Chicago is where I hope to cross the finish line having earned a "ticket" (self-funded, of course) to Boston.


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