Thursday, April 30, 2009

Internal Struggle

Internal Struggle
April 30, 2009

I have spent the last two weeks in a transitional state between recovering from the Boston Marathon and tapering for Strolling Jim 40. I have confused my body by minimizing the recovery time and moving right into a full week of training. Starting on Monday, which is the normal start of my training week, and ending the following Sunday, I logged 91 miles including the marathon. I continued to run every day, still not having rested since December 27, 2008. It was quite a week, with temperatures ranging from the low 40’s in Massachusetts, to the high 80’s in Alabama, which provided the first warm weather running that I have done this year. The goal for this first week was to start with some easy recovery runs and lots of walking to flush away any lingering pain in my legs and to end with a long run on Sunday. I modified the plan slightly by pacing Laura in the County Music Half Marathon on Saturday, which added to the mileage, albeit at a slow pace. Somehow I needed to have make a smooth transition from another peak week, into a taper week in preparation for running five to six hours on the roads in Southern Tennessee. This would be on a mere 12 days after a near personal record marathon time, on a personal record marathon effort.

Not only is my body struggling with what I am trying to do, my mind is also running wild on how I can accomplish this feat. It certainly is not the first time that it has been done in history, as Dink Taylor actually ran the Boston-Big Sur-Strolling Jim triple last year. I personally have run back to back marathon/ultras on three weeks of rest, but never on 12 days. Having to bounce back on little rest has become more than physical and is now a mental challenge for me. Add in the fact that I had to travel to eastern Connecticut for business, which has thrown me off of my sleep, training, fueling/hydration planning, and I have had very little time to reflect back on my experience in Boston. At the moment I am completely consumed with how to tackle 80 degree temperatures, rolling hills and running 15 miles further on the road than I have ever run before. Running the 50km at Delano Park in March and later that day coming back to run 12 more miles pacing Jamie Donaldson gave me the confidence that I could cover the distance in slightly longer than my projected SJ40 time of six hours, but sandwiched in between the race and the pacing was five hours of recovery.

The bottom line is that right now I feel like I need to focus on the impending race this weekend. I need to spend my time and energy developing a race strategy, planning on how to be successful, and resting as much as possible to complete my recovery and tapering to achieve the best results as a Strolling Jim rookie. So I am reading through my training material, studying the course, working on my hydration plan, and concentrating on the next adventure, while not forgetting about the previous one. This means, that for the time being, I am going to put my full Boston Marathon race report on hold. I know that this may be disappointing for those of you who are waiting on it, but I’ve never faced a challenge like this and if I get distracted, I won’t be on top of my game when the conch is blown on Saturday morning. I will not forget the details from Patriot’s Day in Boston and as soon as time permits, I will work on putting them together. For now, it full steam ahead toward Strolling Jim. My body will know what to do once I lace up my shoes on Saturday, I just need to get my head there too.

In the end, I will be ready and I will be fast; that I can assure you.