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Damage Control

February 17, 2009

That was the order of the day last week.

Altogether new legs would have been appreciated, but the Creator doesn’t work that way. When we don’t take care of what He has given us, many times we have to live with that, though He graciously doles out mercy on us.

Bad week of running last week, as evidenced by the low mileage and poor pace. I made the conscious decision to take it easy and not hammer through the prescribed workouts. I ran 0-3-6-6-0, instead of 9-9-6-8-4 as planned. My pace was snail-slow, and the running accomplished only by disassociating from the pain by running with music the entire week. On Saturday, long run day, I had 12 on the schedule and planned to run 10. Due to the slowness of my pace and the general fatigue of my limbs, I got in 8 and had to be satisfied.

I was of two minds about the whole thing, or maybe even three.

  1. I knew my fatigue was grounded in a long run that had been run too fast, basically at race pace. It was a stupid, rookie mistake, but one I could not take back and could only learn and recover from.
  2. Having been made just three weeks before M Day, the mistake might have been a critical one, and ruined my chances of running a good time at Gasparilla. I didn’t know if I had enough time to recover from it. It’s why, originally, I had the 23-miler scheduled, not as my fourth and final long run, but my third, giving me one final long run to practice race pace before taper. (Why don’t I stick to my own plans?)
  3. Coming off that race-pace insane long run, I had three weeks to recover. Continuing to ignore said fatigue, push through the soreness, and pretend nothing was wrong would probably do more damage than good. Having done the damage, the best thing to do was to acknowledge the mistake and try to salvage what I could.

So, that’s what I spent my week thinking through. These three weeks (two, now) will have to be a true recovery period. I ran another eight yesterday, discovering with glee that I did have a bit of my legs back–the 8 yesterday felt much easier than the 8 just two days before. But following that, I plan to run nothing longer than 5 the rest of the week. There’s another 8 on the schedule Saturday, my last “long” run before the marathon, but whether I get it in may be a matter of scheduling as I have some church obligations that morning.

Next week, mostly three-milers, with one tempo six-miler thrown in. Hopefully my legs will continue to heal and rest. I have confidence in my ability to finish, if nothing else due to sheer stubborness, but I would like to finish at my prescribed 10-minute pace. It’s what I trained for, and I’d like to be able to salvage it in spite of my training mistakes.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. run4change permalink
    February 17, 2009 7:36 pm

    you are awesome. Just awesome. You really put the miles in. great job and it seems that you are gaining more and more wisdom in running. Wonderful work.

  2. February 18, 2009 6:14 am

    The taper is (I think) the hardest part of the training. But if you follow it to the letter, you can really prep your body for race day. Trust that your body will right itself over the next couple of weeks, and that it will answer “yes” when you ask it “10-minute miles, please?” on race day.

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