Monday, August 07, 2006

Hesitation

After a period of internal debate I've now registered for the Saint John marathon which is this Sunday and which means that I've only got 5 days to prepare and taper for it! Actually my Pfitzinger plan had me down for a 24 mile long run this weekend and so the thought was, why not register in a full marathon and treat it as a training run with all the amenites and crowds to pull me along. The only x-factor is to run very-very easily and not get drawn out any faster than 8:00 min/mile pace.

The other 'issue' will be running the Calais International 5 miler the day before and the plan here is again not to 'race' but to use it as a tempo pace run and to help check my fitness level. I know that it will be very difficult to hold back on the throttle with both Andrew and Marc coming down but if I don't, there will be a serious price to pay on Sunday!

The final little hesitation factor was my sore achilles lately and if it was going to keep acting up then there would be little point in pushing it now and hurting my chances in October. I can recover from a few hard runs in 7 weeks but don't want to get injured and not make it to the start. However, the 16 mile long run on Sunday went well (as far as the foot goes) and so I decided to give marathon got the green light.

Sunday's long run however, went poorly for a short (16 miles) long run but on reflection the 5 hour drive from PEI, followed by a quick and perhaps inadequate lunch, then running in the heat of the day (such as it is) paid the toll. It started out badly with my running belt breaking in the 1st mile which then required carrying the water bottle for the duration. It's just a little thing but it throws off your stride a bit and your arms do get tired after awhile (esp. my skinny ones). The run was mostly around town along shaded paths and streets that could be found with a water stop at the Town Square and the pace was good (about 8:00/mi) for the 1st 10 miles. Made a quick stop at home for more gatorade and finished the run along the highway, perhaps appropriately along the Ghost Road where it was a real struggle to keep the feet moving. So much for the end of my 'rest' week! Finished in a slow 2:10 and was very happy to get in with the fish for a quick dip.

Moral of the story. Didn't pay attention to the small stuff like fueling, rest, water, time of day and as a result a 'little' long run can still grab you demanding a full refund. The little details will be of prime concern for the remainder of this week and with that it is now time for some stretching and achilles exercises, to be followed of course by a bagel and/or ice-cream!

6 comments:

robtherunner said...

As you know I enjoy using marathons and ultras as training runs. It's a great way to get a long run done and be able to have people pamper you along the way. Good luck on holding the pace in check.

Phil said...

Mike ... great idea for a long run, as long as your ego doesn't get in the way and you start speeding up with the excitement of the race. I'm sure you can run your race and just enjoy yourself.

Hope that achilles heals quickly and doesn't bother you any longer.

Marc said...

Don't worry about the 5 miler, come out for the social aspect and leave the racing to the rakish banker. Of course we will have to have some ice cream afterwards.

Andrew said...

No no. I'm running with you guys. Unless of course you turn on the turbo.

Thomas said...

I won't ever run a marathon as a training run, because I know me. I would not be able to hold back. As soon as the first guy overtakes me, my animal instincts take over.

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