Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wait and see approach...

I am nearly 5 weeks from the big race... my training has been a little bit up and down over the past 2 weeks or so. 2 weeks ago when I went down to the Downtown area to run with the Blue Sharks, I rolled my ankle inward when I turned a corner, and "jammed" my ankle.... which at the time didn't hurt because I was at mile 4, but I happened to run 20 that day, so I continued to aggravate it throughout the run (even though I didn't feel it), and I really struggled after I got home that day. I was only able to run 30 miles for the week last week, which was 20 miles less than I was supposed to do. This is the time that I really need to be in full intense workouts, and I have had to taper it back quite a bit, because the ankle continues to nag me... so I decided to go from a 5 to a 3 day/week program, so that my ankle/foot can rest up and get back to normal. I continue to have good and bad days with the foot.... and this morning was no different.
I started to run at 5 am, and when I took my first 50 steps, I felt like my foot was on the verge of doing something very strange... almost like something was going to "pop".... as I was deciding whether or not to shut it down, my foot stopped hurting (this all was in the first 1/2 mile) and it gave me no other problems throughout the run. Go figure. When I got home, no problems with the foot, and all day I have been fine... until now when it is starting to ache a bit.... so it's a wait and see thing for me each day. I have just come to terms with the fact that I might be able to run only 3 days/week until the race.... at this point, I'll take it. The marathon means so much more to me than just having an "ideal" time... because from what I hear, the Chicago marathon is just such an incredible experience, that I want to just be there and soak it all in.. and I know that I'll have a great time. With that said, I feel as though I can continue to put in the fitness gains that I need to on 3 days/week of running.

So here is my plan as I lead up to the race:
I have 3 more challenging long runs, starting this Saturday, when I have to do 17 miles, with 14 of them at 8:00/mile pace (or at least that's the plan). This will give me a good idea as to what pace I want to attempt to hold throughout the race.
Next Saturday, I will do a 17 mile run, with the last 8 miles getting faster and faster (hopefully I will be running around 7:30/mile by the last mile)
The following Saturday, I will attempt to do the same thing but I will do 20 miles instead.... that will be my last "long run" before the race. I will be ready to taper at that time.

Somewhere in between now and September 20th, I will do a time trial of some sorts, probably a 10-15k, and that will give me additional information on what pace I should try to hold for Chicago. Just writing about it is getting me psyched up!!!!