The 20 that didn't happen

When I have found success in things, I have always found it hard to put into words. The same can be said when things don't go my way.

Today's planned 20-mile run simply didn't go like it should have. Things started off pretty well and by mile 5 things were going very smoothly. It was nice and cool and my pace was very, very comfortable. I stopped around mile 8 to refill my water and when I restarted things just didn't feel right. My knees (yes, that's plural) started hurting a bit. I figured I'd get to mile 10, then walk a little bit and see how things were going. So I walked for about 5 minutes at mile 10, then started running again. Things felt OK for about half a mile, then my knees started hurting again. I finished off a mile, all the while thinking of a game plan to attempt to get mileage in this weekend. The pain wasn't very intense -- just kind of annoying. But annoying enough to make me not push myself. With three weeks to go, now is not the weekend to hurt myself and not be able to run at all. It didn't feel anything like my pain from last summer -- that was killer. This was like "I'm tired don't screw with me today." I came home and iced both knees and now a few hours later things feel OK.

So what now? First off, my No. 1 goal coming into marathon training was to not hurt myself. I have three weeks to get rested up, put in some quality miles and go out and finish my first ever 26.2 mile event. As for this weekend, I'm giving myself a 36-hour break and will head out tomorrow evening for an attempt at 10 miles or so. That may be a test as to whether this is fatigue or whether something else is going on. I feel OK and feel like going out and running right now. But I'm not stupid (well...) and I don't want to ruin the rest of my running career. I've said before that I wasn't making marathon plans until after this one was over, but you may take a hint from my future plans with me signing up for the Shamrock Half Marathon in March. Much more on that after Nov. 10.

It's tough to hold my head up after a morning like this, but I think maybe my body was ready for the taper before my mind was. There's still a lot of weekend left and a lot of running to do -- it's just the 20 miler isn't happening all at once.


Jason said...

Hey man, I'm the last one to give advice and you have a bunch more experience running than I do, but I think this kind of things happens to all of us. Don't get too down. We all have good days and bad ones. It just happens that this one was a bad one. No worries. I'm sure you'll still kick my butt on marathon day :)

Emily said...

The important thing is that you didn't push so hard you hurt yourself. I was at this crazy-long triathlon writing a story a couple of weeks ago, and this ultramarathoner said to me, "I don't want to do anything today that's going to keep me from running tomorrow." Seems like good advice.

Anonymous said...

Our bodies always knows when its time for a break. It's good that you listened to what yours was saying.

Anonymous said...

You inspire me. here i am complaining about Fear; and you are out there doing it, and not complaining. I just need to get out there. Thanks. I appreciate you keeping up on me, and your blog. I still feel like a baby learning to walk all over again with this running thing; but Fear is whats holding me back? and you are getting ready to run a marathon? what AM i complaining about???? cheers, laura