Monday, May 19, 2008

The Final Push

Though there's been no apparent link between blogging and my hip issues, as I skipped 4 days of running last week, I felt that there was not much to write. As I type this, there remain less than 6 full days until the gun sounds at the Keybank Vermont City Marathon in Burlington, Vermont. I am excited, nervous, resigned and frustrated. Here's a recap of the last week, and a preview of the next few days.

After struggling a bit through 16 miles on Sunday, May 10th, I decided that I would take it easy last week. I did 15 minutes on the elliptical on Monday, and nearly an hour on Tuesday, but I was still sore afterwards. I took Wednesday off completely, saw my Physical Therapist on Thursday, and ran 5 miles on Friday evening during a break at an office retreat one state over. That run left me feeling pretty down about how things were going to go over the course of 26.2 miles, as my hips were stiff and sore, and my heart rate was much higher than it should have been for running an 8:35 pace. As I tried to finish fast, the hip simply did not allow me to run under a 7:30 pace. Maybe that's a blessing in disguise, in that I won't physically be able to go out too fast, since my hips won't permit it.

I took Saturday off, despite it being a beautiful day, with the trails calling out for an easy 5 miles. In order to feel like I am actually doing something, I have been icing, stretching, using Hammer Balm and arnica cream, foam rolling and even praying in an effort to get to the starting line with as little pain and as much range of motion as possible.

Yesterday, I decided I would do the final "long" run of 12 miles, and I am pretty pleased with the way it went. I ran a comfortable sub-9:00 pace, and felt like I had plenty of energy left (I know, it wasn't even half the marathon distance) when I was done. It got warm towards the end (mid-70's), and the weather forecast is calling for a similar day on Sunday in Burlington, which is not great. All told, though, it was a good run, with no need to stop for a stretch, my NB 903's feeling like they will be a good marathon shoe and my hips just a bit stiff/sore afterwards, but not too bad.

This week's running schedule will be (no cross-training and no weights or core work):
  • Tuesday - 7 miles with 2 at marathon pace
  • Thursday - 5-6 miles easy
  • Saturday - possible 2-3 miles, really easy, perhaps on the race course's one significant hill

The more involved schedule this week is the body work plan:

  • Monday - physical therapy
  • Tuesday - Chiropractor
  • Wednesday - Massage
  • Thursday - Physical Therapy
  • Friday - Chiropractor

I'm feeling a bit like Humpty Dumpty with the king's men (and women) and horses trying to put me together again.

As I replied to my one of forumites when asked if my hips would let me race on Sunday: "Run, yes. Race, I don't know."

Despite everything, I am eager to run, thinking positively, and looking forward to it being over so that I may rest, go back to base maintenance running for a few weeks and then start the Chicago buildup in good health, with the idea that I will make new and different mistakes this time, as opposed to repeating the same stupid ones from the past two training cycles.


1 comment:

Sarah said...

From RW it sounds like there are a bunch of us dealing with Taper Hypochondria! Try not to worry too much and take it easy this week!!! I haven't been following your training the entire time, but knowing that you are using Pfitz I know you are well him and his program!!

I chose to ride my bike instead of do my last 12 mile "long run" this weekend to give my shins a break. Planning to run Wednesday and Friday...couple easy miles (maybe with 2 MP miles thrown in for fun!).

With 6 days left all we have to do is start doing the weather dance :)