Friday, February 15, 2008


It has been a month or so since I last wrote. Life has a way of quickly getting out of control and we, or at least I, have to start letting go of anything that isn't really important. Blogging is nice, but it isn't nice enough that I want to sacrifice sleep or not get work done in order to accomplish it. If I can fit it in, great. But, if not, as has often been the case lately, well...then a blog can get very boring and stale.

But, it is time to refresh! I will separate the new posts around topics since it will be hard to make one cogent post about running, work, and daycare. First, on the running front...

My training was going very well. I had a pretty crappy race back on 12/31 in which I didn't feel or run very well. It was a 5K double loop race around the GMU campus and it shouldn't have been too bad. But, it started late in the day and I guess I hadn't prepared very well. In any case, I was tired and I had a really nagging pain in my left thigh, which didn't really disappear during the race. The crowd was thick and I had to work hard to get around a number of folks only to then need to use more energy to climb a few hills. I did pick up some speed on the downhill section of the course, but it wasn't enough. My neighbor ran the race with me, caught me on the downhill, and took off with about half a mile to go. He ran out of gas and cruised at the end, but I also ran out as I tried to catch up to him and just couldn't. So, in the end, it was rather disappointing. I don't mind losing to my neighbor, though. He is skinny and has more speed than me - the guy claims he ran a 4:xx mile in high school. And, I know I can kill him at long distance since he has no aerobic base at all. But, it isn't even about that. It is about the fact that these 5Ks have all been disappointments. I ran a great 5K last September and had a very nice PR and have done nothing but fall further and further from that mark in every race since. It makes me question whether I have any idea what I am doing and whether I have any talent for this whatsoever. I can do the work, but I sometimes wonder if I'll ever see the results. I try to tell myself that I am running so much right now that my body isn't going to be able to perform for any races until the end of this cycle. I keep reminding myself that I am training for a marathon, not a 5K, and that I will do well once I've done the training and let myself taper properly. But, I also know that when I last trained for a marathon, I had a few days and a few races in which I beat my expectations and felt very confident that I was on the right track. Not so this time around, which has been very disheartening. Most runs are a chore and I feel tired before, during, and after. Once in a while I do have a good run and come back feeling like I am where I need to be, but those are too few to be a strong source of motivation. I guess the only thing that keeps me going right now is that I believe that the training will bear fruit if I just keep working at it.

I was working at it too. I was hitting 50+ miles per week and then hit 60+ miles a week with a high of 66 not too long ago. I was doing speedwork and strides and long runs and the whole bit. Then, I dropped a 20 mile run this past Sunday because my head was killing me. I don't know if it was a sinus headache or stress related, but I felt like hell all day. I figured I could make it up this coming weekend and I didn't feel too bad since I'd still run 45 miles last week. I didn't run Monday for a number of reasons, but I did get good runs in on Tuesday and Wednesday at the gym. And then, during the commute home, I realized that my left ankle was really bothering me. The pain increased throughout the evening, although I had no swelling of any kind. It was sharp and my ankle was stiff, but the pain was localized in the front and hurt more for certain movements. I took Aleve to reduce any inflammation and I haven't run once since. I am concerned that I may have tendonitis, but at least that is easily cured with rest. I am not happy that the wheels have come off my training this week, but I am hopeful I can get it back on track soon. Maybe a light week is really all I need. Wish me luck.