Friday, May 2, 2008

A Shot in the Arm

Assuming that May 25th turns out to be a successful day of marathon racing, I'll look back on today as a watershed moment in the training program. Having nursed sore hips for over two weeks now, I decided after last Sunday that I am only sore and that I could "run through" this particular speed bump. The schedule called for 10 miles today, and my son took ill yesterday, coming home early from school with a fever and spent the night in our bed (turns out he has strep; crossing my fingers about not getting it). I eventually moved into his bed, and fell asleep after midnight, with the alarm set for 4:30.

I shot out of bed like rocket, and did all the things I do to get ready to go out before the sun rises (e.g., take a caffeinated gel, drink water, make the day's iPod playlist, check the weather, stretch, stretch and stretch, try to go to the bathroom, etc.). At about 4:55, I was on the road, starting out slowly, but with noticeably less pain in my hips (not no pain, but less). I still stopped to stretch a few times (it seems to help, though I hope not to have to do this on race day) and had one bathroom break (bless the town ball fields and the newly-arrived port-o-johns). I managed a slow 9:00+ minute overall pace, but my aching hips stayed under control, and I was able to run the last stretch at MP and faster with no increase in pain.

The Garmin weirdly froze after one stretching stop at around mile 7 (the auto-pause didn't restart automatically), and ended up recording about 9.7 miles for the run, which seemed short to me (this was a new variation of a known route). The MotionBased software "fixed" it, and it turned out to have been nearly a mile more, for a total of 10.65 miles in a hair over 1:35.

As I type this, the lack of sleep is catching up with me (and we have a work-related dinner party for some of my wife's "people" tonight), but the hips feel much better. Not sure if it's due to yesterday's massage, the switch from ibuprofen to naproxen sodium, or just my body and I making peace as it heals itself.

Tomorrow calls for 5 easy miles on the trails (early due to a hugely packed day), with Sunday's 22-miler the crescendo of the training plan, followed by a very civilized taper (though I may add a few miles here and there). I do hope to be able to throw some "easy" intervals and/or tempo runs into the mix before the big day, but I think that if I line up healthy, the aerobic base will carry me to my sub-3:30 goal.


No comments: