If you are running I hope your training is going well and that you have avoided illness and injury. So many runners get sick or injured while training for a marathon. In the Northeast, I think this is caused by the bad weather, running in darkness, and the bad roads.
As you increase your miles you have more opportunity to get hurt and more exposure to the elements. It has not been an easy winter here in the Northeast. All of this extra strain on your system can also make you more susceptible to germs.
It’s important to get as much sleep as possible and take your rest days as rest days. I try to wear gloves on my way to work to help reduce my exposure to germs left on doors and elevator buttons. I’m also trying to eat more fruit as a natural source of vitamins.
On Wednesday the BAA sent out another email for runners to keep us up-to-date. The new policies need to be followed and the BAA is working to make sure all runners know what is expected.
Marathon Day Tip
I did trade email with a BAA official about wearing clear trash bags. As long as you are wearing the bag it should be okay. You CANNOT have ANY bag larger than 5x5x15. If your trash bag doesn’t have holes then it is too big and they will make you throw it away. ANY bag that can hold things and is larger than 5x5x15 is NOT allowed.
Officials reserve the right to change their policies at any time. As runners we know how to adapt to our environment and still run the hills. As runners we are even-tempered and can endure much.
It’s going to be a great race, a special race and a day that is sure to move you in ways you may not expect. Embrace the moment.
Here is my first installment of State by State Marathons and Half Marathons for 2014.
This time of year not too many people are thinking about races in Maine, unless you are a race director. Even a modest race takes many hours and days of planning. There are meetings to organize the committee or core group that is organizing the race. There are meetings with public safety officials and donations and sponsorships to be arranged.
Even the smallest race at the end of a gravel road took a considerable effort by someone to make happen. While you are looking at your race calendar for the summer and fall, I hope you will consider some of these races.
Changes from last year
To help with formatting I have combined the columns for Medal and Expo. Now I will just list Y or N. If a medal is given just to half marathon runners I will specify with “1/2”. I have 2014 dates for most races, but not all.
You know it’s the dead of winter when anything above 32F feels, pretty good. I know that I have fully adjusted to the ice locker we call New England! In July if it gets into the 70s we start thinking about October. In March, 40F has us dreaming of July and heat.
Sunday I have a 20 mile Sunday Long Ron with my running, The Melrose Running Club.
For Sunday I’m thinking of using the walk/run strategy. I plan to use the 5K on Saturday as a speed workout and I’m shooting for 22 minutes or less.
I feel healthy, nothing hurts so it’s time to stop being a cupcake. Sunday is about slogging the long miles. I need to get in a good 20 mile run as part of my marathon training. Speed is not a consideration.
Once again, I’ll be running the longest distance since October. It feels good to be able to go out and do it again. No physical ailments to hold me back. It’s all me and my head now.
I managed a 7.91 mile run on Sunday and it felt pretty good. Somewhere along the way I managed to pick up a stomach bug and spent all of Monday on the sofa doing nothing. Just getting up for a glass of water was a challenge.
I took Tuesday off to take the cat to the vet and go to my last PT session. It was a good thing. I felt better Tuesday than I did on Monday, but was still a mess. My first meal in almost two days was a small supper last night. Monday night I had a slice of toast that I had to force my self to swallow. I’ve lost three pounds in two days.
Going through the routine at the PT office yesterday was a challenge. They usually push you to see where you need work. Between my mental state and the lack of glycogen in my body everything was a challenge. But I made it. We discussed my training plan and how I should approach the Half At The Hamptons. No time goals, just try to finish un-injured.
Today I’m feeling about 40%, even after two cups of coffee. I know I’m getting better because my appetite is back. With a half marathon in four days, I have a lot of carbo loading to do!
Today the plan is to drink as much tea as possible. I need the caffeine and I need to re-hydrate. I’m pretty sure where I picked up this bug, but that’s a post for another day.
I had my second appointment with my physical therapist and she said I could start running again! She had me run on the treadmill for about 10 minutes and I didn’t have any pain.
While I was running and walking at various speeds she checked my cadence and my arm swing. My cadence is around 80 foot strikes per minutes and I should be doing 90. The theory being that the less time I spend with a foot on the ground the less impact there is on that leg.
I was surprised to learn that some people have an asymmetrical cadence. This means that they spend more time on one foot than the other. They may end up with a cadence of 85 left and 80 right. I found this hard to comprehend at first but it does make sense. My cadence was even so I don’t have to worry about that.
In addition to my one legged squats she gave me some additional leg exercises to help with my leg alignment.
Tomorrow I will start with 10 minutes on the treadmill at a reasonable pace, probably my marathon pace of 9 minute miles. Then I will go on the elliptical for 30 minutes and do some core work.
I have a half marathon in 12 days. I may be able to get a few 5Ks in before then, but nothing close to 13.1 miles. I’ll have to use the next twelve days to build up my miles slowly. My Half PR is 1:45, but I will hope for a 2 hour half and no knee pain.
I’m hoping that my work on the elliptical has helped to maintain some of my strength and cardio. I’ll start doing my squats and lunges again and maybe some burpees. I’ve got to be careful.
My marathon training program is totally shot now. Even figuring in my elliptical miles, I am so far off from where I should be right now. It would not be safe to try and make up for lost time and miles, so I have to re-adjust my goals: I have to be flexible.
I had hoped to push hard and go for a Boston PR of 3:45. With my training scaled back considerably and the need for caution during the marathon I’m probably looking at a 5 hour marathon. Probably lots of walking.
This marathon will be more of a celebration of the race. My only goal will be to finish, be healthy and enjoy the experience.
Being flexible was the theme of BAA’s recent Clinic
Many runners sustain injuries while training for a marathon, especially their first marathon. At the Boston Athletic Association’s recent Runner’s Clinic they discussed the importance of being flexible with your training plan and your race goal.
It’s not always an injury that forces us to be flexible. Life gets in the way of training quite often. Regardless of the reason for you to modify your training program you cannot ignore a change in your circumstance. Piling on extra miles to make up for a missed run is not a good idea. Thinking you can still shoot for an aggressive goal even after an injury or significant reduction in your training is also not a good idea.
You need to be flexible
Injuries need to be addressed. Continuing to run with a persistent pain is foolish. While you “tough it out” and run through the pain you may be causing additional and significant damage that may reduce or eliminate your future running. Is it really worth it?
I always say it is better to survive and run another day than it is to be a hero. Or stupid. You need to listen to your body and stuff your ego.
Life is about living and running is just a part of that. Work obligations need to be attended to. Your family needs you to be involved and engaged. If you have to travel or work extra hours for work, then you need to plan your training around that. Guess how you pay for running?
Like time, family time can never be repeated. Once your child’s birthday party is over, it is over. Don’t sacrifice important time with your family to run. If you are really that dedicated you will skip the cake and ice cream and go for your run after you help clean up from the party.
Since my knee injury about two weeks ago, I’ve had to be very flexible with my training. I didn’t do anything leg related for 10 days. I went to the gym a few times but only did core and upper body work. This helped me feel like I was still doing something and not turning into a blob.
I’ve seen a nurse practitioner who advised me to continue taking ibuprofen, ice my knee and not run any races. So far so good. Next week I have an appointment with a physical therapist. The PT I chose is a runner and several people in my club have used her and had great results.
This week I started using the Elliptical thingy at work. Every time I am on one of these machines I feel like I’m learning to walk again. It’s such an odd and un-natural movement. During my third session this week I started to feel comfortable.
A guy I run with once trained for a marathon using only the elliptical and stationary bike. That race is still his 3rd best PR. This was really encouraging to hear.
I’m being flexible with my goals: I’m not looking for a marathon or a Boston PR. All I want to do is get to Hopkinton in good health and be able to cross the finish line. If I have to use alternative methods of training to achieve this, that’s what I’ll do.
In my mind I’m even reshaping what this race will mean to me, what it will be all about. I’ve run Boston a few times. In prior years I’ve trained hardly at all out of ignorance and other years I’ve trained hard with a goal in mind.
I’m past the date on the calendar where a good program would set me on course for a PR. I also can’t jump back into training and push extra hard to make up for lost time. When my PT gives me the green light I will be following her plan. To avoid re-injury, I have no doubt that my miles on the road will be reduced. I’m hoping she will be okay with me piling on the miles on the elliptical and bike.
This year Boston may be more about having a good time than achieving a goal. I always enjoy the crowd. By the time I get to Brookline I’m as altered as the drunks yelling to me from the curb. We have a good time.