Friday, April 15, 2011

Ready Or Not

I can't believe I am getting on a plane tomorrow for Boston.  It's already here and I have a lot of reservations about this race and my performance.  I have so many doubts about this race.  I am fairly confident I will finish and under 4hrs (which sounds, so slow to me), but the idea of running a PR feels like a stretch. 

When work started a little over a month ago, it really started to cut into my running and I struggled to get in the miles.  I did get in three 20-milers in prep for Boston, but I feel extremely run down and sluggish right now.  I worked about 46-47 hrs this week and the last two nights got home around 1-2 am.  I ran 2 times last week and 2 this week.  And then there was the crash...

Having not run at all until Saturday last week, I opted to go for a 25 mile bike ride on Sudnay with a short run after, but on my way back with only 2 miles to go I crashed.  There was medium traffic through a construction area and as I tried to navigate through it a nice sized pothole presented itself in my path.  I couldn't avoid it so I tried my best to bunny hop it, but I didn't get enough air and the tire just missed clearing the edge.  I flipped over the front end with my feet locked into the pedals.  I felt my right thigh slam into my aero bars and careened down the pavement on my right side.  I laid there for a few seconds stunned and then I got up fearing a driver may have thought I had killed myself.  I could tell I felt off, but the adrenaline and shock was minimizing most of the pain.  I fixed my back brake and assessed the damage.  It was rideable, so I headed home.  My right elbow was jacked up and throbbing really bad.  I was having a hard time straightening it and couldn't sit in the aero position at all.  I arrived home without any further mishaps and went in the house to assess the damage.

I had some road rash down my right arm and on my left butt cheek, but my right leg took the brunt of the damage.  I had a HUGE bruise on my right quad and a few small ones behind my leg, but the worst was my right shin.  It was swollen and had a greenish-blue hue to it.  I poured alcohol down my right arm and it felt like someone took a blow torch to it.  As for the shin and thigh, I could only ice it and hope for the best.  I have been pretty sore all week and when I run I feel pretty stiff, but it is doable, so I am hoping the discomfort will be minimal on Monday.  I have been taking some naprosyn, but truth is I just really need some rest. 

I almost slipped on the stairs and fell down them today too.  I am usually not this clumsy, but perhaps I have an unseen dark cloud following me.  I really hope it doesn't follow me to Boston and by some luck I can pull this off. 

I went for a little "pep talk run" today and although I felt like absolute crap I berated myself a little for being so scared and such a wuss.  I told myself "if you step up to the line, you better stop being such a cry baby and run like a motherf*cker or stay the F home."  I am still going to run hard.  It just might not reflect a PR.  I am going to try, but I never know what I am gonna get until race day itself.  The only thing I know is I will fight tooth and nail to the line, just like I do at every marathon.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Truffle Shuffle

For the last 5 years, I have been calling it running, but after Tuesday night's workout I have resolved to leave my river of denial.  It's a shuffle.  I admit I don't pick-up my feet as a runner should.  I can tell I lack the strength and muscle memory especially in my hip flexors as my feet barely clear a few inches of the ground below me.

"What's that a knee drive you say?  What the hell is that?"

Apparently, GA could see how awful it was and before he even explained the workout to everybody, he informed me that I would not be doing what everybody else would. 

At first I was a little hurt.  I knew I was the slowest (which I am used to), but I am steady and strong minded.  I knew, even if I wasn't finishing first I would never-the-less do the workout to the best of my effort.  He prescribed 5x1600 for the both groups (although it probably would have been ugly, I could have done it).  Instead I felt like I got off easy and was given 12x200 with 200 recovery with instructions to "pick-up my feet, get up on your toes and drive the knees up."  I didn't even have to run them hard.  I just had to run them with good form.  If I failed to use "good form" I would be dropped to 100s, running the straights and jogging the curves.  Now, I am not certain if he really had a chance to watch my form a whole lot because he was so busy with  8 other runners, but I managed to complete them all between 44-47 seconds with about 1:05-1:15 recovery jogs. 

I did not go all out, but I did go very hard trying to use my arms to drive me forward.  I felt like I could possibly topple over and snap an ankle at any second since I was prohibited from using my big flat footed hobbit feet to fully absorb the shock except for the balls and toes. 

After I finished, I was instructed to run a single 800 under 3:30.  I tried to slow myself the first 200, but by the 400 meter mark I could tell I had blown myself up a bit, "oh well to late now" I thought as I started the second lap.  I tried to focus on running the same form at a slower speed and cruising down the backside like Kara Goucher, but I am sure I looked more like an angry troll trotting along (I certainly had the spit and snot coming out of my nose and mouth).  I forgot to split my watch from my last recovery 200 recovery, so when I crossed the line and it said 4:28, I only had to laugh when GA asked "what did you get?"  I told him of the mishap and guessed I was probably somewhere in the 3:25-3:28 range. 

Stupid track workouts!!  Wait until I get the meatballs (NC and e-speed) and all the other fasties on the basketball court.  I will look like a darned Globetrotter!!!! 

Anyway, that's pretty much it for workouts before Boston.  Now, I just need to rest-up.  I definitely feel the 40+ hours of work on my feet and the 40-50 mpw.  Maybe A will suck it up and give me a few leg massages and with the ART I can pull off a miracle in about two weeks.  Either way, this chunk will certainly be enjoying some rocky road after the race!!!