Monday, April 1, 2013

Let's Get This 26.2 Mile Party Started

It has been awhile since I have written on here.  Since my last race back in November 2012 the road has been a little interesting.

During that 5k in November I tied my personal best time.  It was a great way to head into the off season in preparation for my first marathon in April 2013.  However, the day after the race my hamstring was really sore.  I did the normal RICE method and nothing seemed to help.  After a couple of weeks of being stubborn I finally went to get a free consult at a local athletic rehab center.  They told me I pulled my hammy and that Astym would be the best treatment for the injury.  I agreed because my wife had success with Astym on her past injuries.  The only problem was that I had to get a referral from my doctor.  Well since I haven't seen my doctor in over 7 years I was no longer a patient of his and he couldn't see patients until mid January 2013.  That would not work at all because marathon training started January 7th.  Needless to say I found a doctor with an immediate opening to get me the referral I needed for physical therapy.  

Therapy consisted of about two sessions per week for about 4 weeks.  The main treatment was Astym along with strength and conditioning.  The best part about Astym treatment is that you are encouraged to run after treatments.  Score!  At this point my marathon training plan would remain intact and I proceeded with caution.

By the time I started my 16 week marathon training program I was on the tail end of my physical therapy.  The first couple of weeks of training were rough because I lost some of my base after the hammy injury and was a little timid and babied the hammy.  Once I got over that mental hurdle  my runs started getting better.

Weeks 1 through 8 were nothing unusual because the distances I ran during those weeks were nothing I have never done before while training for a half marathon.  It wasn't until week 9 (16 mile run) that I realized how crucial my diet is before these long runs.  I am learning what nutrition works and what does not work in the days leading up to a long run as well as during the run.  GI issues are absolutely the worst thing that can happen during any kind of run.  I can typically run through soreness and pain, but any GI issues will bring me to my knees.  

My best week of running was in week 11.  That was spring break and our family went to SW Florida for a week.  It was nice to run without having to wear all kinds of cold weather gear and was nice to run on very flat roads.  The change of "venue" was mentally refreshing.

I am currently in week 13 of 16 and I am up to 18 miles.  Back in January I signed up for a half marathon on April 6th, 2013.  The date of this half marathon didn't jive that well with my marathon schedule but I found a way to do it.  So, this weekend I've got my first race of the year.  I am looking forward to race day even if I am just classifying as an assisted training run.  I have a goal time for this half marathon of 1:45 which is tad slower than my anticipated marathon pace.  I really am going to try and stick to that plan and not get too competitive.

Once that race is over I have one more long run which will be a 20 miler.  I am looking forward to the taper after that.

Marathon race day is fast approaching and this is the first time I have really sat here and reflected on my journey thus far.  The mental battles that I have had to overcome, the good runs, the bad runs, the bone chilling temperatures, and the soreness have all been apart of the ride.  The biggest thing is the time commitment it takes to pull this off and the sacrifice it takes.  Thankfully, my wife is very tolerant and understanding of my goal to finish this marathon.  Anyone that has trained for a marathon or Ironman can tell you that support of your family is crucial and I appreciate my wife and kids having patience with me.

It's an exciting time of year.  The start of the racing season, temperatures getting warmer, days are getting longer, and my daughter will compete in her first State gymnastics meet.  As a parent it is very rewarding to see your children succeed.  Speaking of her State meet, it's the same weekend as the Illinois Marathon.  Let's just hope her session is not on that Saturday morning.
I don't know how the next 4 weeks will transpire or what curve balls will come my way. All I can do is enjoy the journey one day at a time and be thankful for being able to do what I am doing.

Train.  Race.  Repeat.   

1 comment:

  1. Mike! I will be at Lincoln Half this weekend. I am the 3;00 pacer sweeper and hope to attempt to dress up like Mary Todd Lincoln (the asian version :)

    Say hi if you see me. would love a pic for the site. Also, let me know if you are interested in being featured as a tri-friend as you are ramping up for a killer 2013 season!