Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Are We Having Fun Yet...?

Well, another month has come and gone, and my blog updating hasn't improved. Sorry about that.

To be honest, I've sort of been in a dark place for the last month personally, and my ongoing battle in dealing with my calf strain (and other issues) has really put a damper on my training for the upcoming marathon. After some really good months of training in July & August with an average of 165+ miles per month, September was down to just a bit over 100 miles.

A great deal of this I have to attribute to the calf strain that started in the middle of August, although I was also sick for a while as well. I was able to run only 13 days out of the month of September, which was also the last full month prior to my next marathon. In less than four days now. I would like to say that the remaining 17 days (at least most of them) involved other forms of cross-training...but that wouldn't be truthful.

Right or wrong, I felt like the calf strain was not specific to running, and that simply switching to cycling, walking, or an elliptical wouldn't provide the recovery it needed. Was I right...who knows, but it is what it is at this point. In any event, those 17 days were days when I did absolutely nothing aerobically. In fact, on 10 of those days I did nothing at all, with the remaining days only including some core work.

My longest run since the last day of August was 11.64 miles. Since September 1st, I've averaged 3.48 miles per day. In that period, I was also sick for two, three day periods with no activity. I'm currently on day four of a round of antibiotics for a sinus infection. Oh, and the calf strain is STILL not healed completely.

Are we having fun yet...?

With all this joy and sunshine, what surprises me the most is the fact that I'm still looking forward to the marathon this Sunday. Of course, this was never intended to be a race in which I had PR was always just a race in which I wanted to say I had participated and finished. And that is really my only goal. I want to do well of course, but given my current level of preparation and health I think I also need to be realistic. In some ways, the fact that I have a few strikes against me makes it a bit more fun. When the first few things go awry, it tends to aggravate and infuriate, but when it just keeps piling on, it gets kind of comical.

One bright spot at this point is that it looks like the weather will cooperate a bit. Saturday night there is a 60 percent chance of rain with a low of 57, but the chance of rain drops to zero on Sunday with sunshine and a high of 77. Since the race starts at 7:30, I should have a range of 57 to probably 70 for the run. Not ideal marathon conditions by any stretch, but not all that bad. After all....what could possibly go wrong.... ;-)

Of course one of the things I'm VERY excited and upbeat about, is my friend Bill's upcoming ING Hartford Marathon that will happen this Saturday. Bill, over at Impossible Is Nothing, has had a couple of pretty challenged marathons as far as mother nature is concerned, with the latest being one of the hottest Boston Marathons ever, and the other being the Bay State Marathon in 2009 where he was dealt a Nor' Easter with 35 degree temps, high wind, and pouring rain. Let's just say he is due to have a fair shake in the weather department. While he hasn't got in the training he might have liked, he had a very successful 20 miler a few weeks ago, in addition to a summer of solid training, and he is READY. Drop in on him if you have the time and read all about it.

My personal 100 Days Without Soda challenge was completed on October 2nd, and went well. I had thought I might celebrate with a soda, but I've yet to indulge. A bit perplexing really, since I have always been pretty hooked on sodas, and routinely drank four or five (or more) a day for years and years. I probably still have my head in the sand on this front, but I still don't believe they are bad for least not the diet sodas I've been drinking since the late 80's. I don't "feel better" because I'm not drinking them, and although I spend less on drinks, it isn't like I have a pot of new-found money. Of all the challenges I've tackled this year, this one is probably one of the least satisfying at this point. Oh well, probably just a bit more of my "dark place" that I'm still coming out of.

The 100x Challenge, which started in January and set out a challenge per month, was discontinued by the blog author due to poor participation. I did manage the 100 minutes of planks for September, although I was one of only two others updating the spreadsheet, and the only one to complete that challenge. The challenges did help me introduce some core work into the routines, so it certainly wasn't a waste. I'll just need to ensure that I continue to make that a part of my ongoing fitness regimen.

Stay tuned, and Happy Running Everyone.....things are bound to start getting better, and if they get worse, we'll have something to talk about !!!


  1. aw shucks......

    Thanks for the shout-out, Michael......and the same right back to you. I'm glad you're forging ahead and running one of the coolest marathons out there (believe me, it's on my list....3 states in one day!) even if you feel you aren't at 100%.....I don't know about you, but those are the times I crank out some of my best runs!

    So here's to you, my friend.....nothing but cool temps and tailwinds on Sunday. I'll be cheering for ya.....FROM THE COUCH! :>)

    Seriously, though....have a great time, stay within yourself, and I'll be waiting for the write-up!

  2. Good luck with the marathon -- hope you can just take it all in and enjoy the experience!

  3. HI Michael...oh man so sorry to hear about all the problems you've been having. Good luck with your marathon!

  4. Thanks everyone for the kind thoughts. I'm looking forward to having a fun and challenging time at the marathon, and will share all the glory (or shame) next post. :-)

  5. Feel free to keep logging your workouts in the spreadsheet. I still look at it almost daily :)

    I hope you feel better very soon and good luck on Sunday!!!

  6. I'm sorry you've been in a dark place-I've been there before yet it had nothing to with running and everything to do with that teenage girl of mine. Sigh. So I do know about dark places, sometimes a little light gets let in and hopefully the sun will be shining down brightly again one day. Maybe on that pristine beach along the southern border of the US that I created in my classroom. :)

    Good luck on your marathon this Sunday. Tell your calf strains to go to hell. :) (I can't say stuff like that on my own blog!)


  7. I hear plantar fascitis won't go away too....frustrating as hell. I feel like the KT tape spokesperson. Good luck at the marathon! I hope you can enjoy it :)

  8. Thinking of you this morning.... hope it went well, that the day was what it could be, and that you were able to "Savor the run".

  9. Hope you had a great day today.....and I'm looking forward to reading about it later!

  10. Just a quick comment now that I'm back home. I'll put up a recap later. Wow...what an experience. I just ran out of gas about mile 15, interspersing walk breaks each mile. At 17 I started having muscle spasms in my calves and thighs after running very short distances, and had to walk them off. At 23 my body gave me a choice....either I could walk exclusively, or be on the ground in pain with cramps. I chose to walk exclusively...the other option just didn't seem appealing.

    It was the first time I ever literally walked across a finish line...but I FINISHED !!!!!! :-))) There were 11 guys in my 5 year age bracket, and I placed 4th (missed 3rd place by less than 5 minutes :-). I was the 52nd person across the line, with 156 finishers total.

    It may not have been pretty, and I did a LOT of walking, but it felt like such an amazing accomplishment. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy !

  11. Oh..forgot to mention the finishing time.


    More to come later. :-)

  12. Way to gut it out, had me concerned when you didn't report in! Sorry to hear you had to walk, but you still did great! You DA MAN!!!