Tuesday, February 24, 2009

9 weeks

Now that I’m on the backside of most of my problems I’m laying out my plan to get to a respectable time for the Memorial Marathon. I’ve got 9 weeks, including this one, to get back in marathon running form. That’s not enough. I know this. I’ll do the best I can with what I’ve got though and honestly I'll be happy if I can just run the marathon without a hint of knee pain. That's all I really want.

My first step on this journey is to get some miles under my belt. Nice, easy, slow miles just to get my body used to running for 3-4 hours again. I’ve planned a week (this one) of nothing but easy 4-5 mile runs, some on the treadmill and some on the Elliptical, just to get reacquainted with long running. (“Hello Mr. Fatigue, I’m Willie, nice to see you again, how’s the family?”) I’m also doing this to give my knee one more week of easy running just to put some icing on that whole injury recovery cake. I’ll finish off the week with a long run at the Beacon on the Bay 25K this Saturday. See below for my oath

I, insert name, Oops I mean, Willie, do hereby solemnly swear NOT to race the Beacon on the Bay. I vow to use this as a training run and not push myself risking further injury and therefore subjecting the poor readers of this blog to further wimpy whining, moaning, and crying like a little school girl. So help me running Gods

Next week I will throw in some moderate Tempo runs to gently stretch out the legs. Nothing extreme, maybe just some 1-2 mile pick-ups during one of my easy runs. I would like to get another good week of solid mileage, finishing off the week by running MOST of the 20 miler planned for the training group.

The third week of my plan and beyond, I hope to be back on my normal schedule of Tuesday Speedwork, Thursday Tempo, Friday Easy, Sunday Long run. I’ll continue this with some minor variations until my final 20 miler (which I may turn into a 26 miler) on April 5th. If you remember last year, April 5th was the last 20 miler for the training group and was also the date of the Red Bud Classic 10k which starts in the afternoon. I did both last year and it was an amazing challenge and a great way to “peak” marathon training before the taper begins. Those dates have aligned again this year so I’ll be tempted again. Damn stars! Why must they align like that?

So that’s it, that’s the extent of my ability to plan. Will it happen like this? Probably not, OK, definitely not! If I’ve learned anything about myself over the years, it’s that as soon as I plan something, I can be sure that it will NOT happen like the plan. But that’s also what makes me tick and keeps my fire burning. I know it’s important to plan but I also think it’s important not to plan yourself out of enjoying the roller coaster that life’s going to throw at you. I’m not a religious man but I believe that the creator didn’t intend for us to worry our lives away or for us to spend our lives planning every detail. I like to think God has an adventurous side and he gave us the ability to adapt and overcome because he knows how much fun it is! Otherwise why didn’t he give us a Rand McNally roadmap and a Microsoft* Project Gantt chart when we came into begin?

Here’s a question I throw out to cyberspace, If someone had the ability to tell you when all the bad things that are going to happen to you throughout the rest of your life, would you want them to tell you? What about all the good things? I don't think there is a wrong answer to this. It's your own style and your own choice.

*Yes I’m aware that Microsoft and our heavenly father are on opposite ends of the spectrum. I don't think Apple makes a project-like application so I didn't have a heavenly-approved application to reference.

Update: Here's my progress so far on this plan. I'm pretty proud of this, BTW, I'm 3 days in and I haven't deviated from it yet. Yea me!

Sunday - 4 miles on the treadmill @ 8:30 pace

Monday - 45 Minutes on the Elliptical

Tuesday - 4 miles on the streets @ 8:20 pace.

I'm trying to ice and stretch after each workout and this seems to make the following day's workout less painful. I won't say my knee isn't bothering me but it isn't hurting either. The ice really helps reduce the pain. I have noticed that downhills really aggravate it so I've avoided them at all cost. I even walked down a small incline near my house tonight. Pretty damn proud of that, thank you very much! Who says I'm stubborn? Ha! I laugh in your general direction.

Thanks for listening


Calyx Meredith said...

I'm glad your knee is doing well. I'm sure you'll be back in marathon form in no time! I think it sounds like you have a great plan all worked out. What is that quote, "No plan survives first contact with the enemy"? :D So - good luck not "racing" that race - but um, yeah - good luck with that!

Southbay Girl said...

Please keep tabs on your knee!!! Don't over due it stubborn man!!! But I'm glad you have a plan set in motion!

JenZen said...

Sounds like a great plan! You still suck b/c 8:30 is a slow and easy run for you. Ha! Way to get back in slowly. Hope the knee pain stays away.

Mike G said...

Yes ice helps. I read in runners world that Olympic medalist Deena Kantor sits in an ice water bath for 10 minutes after every long workout. I tried it and only lasted 5 minutes, but it did feel great afterwards.

Sarah said...

In answer to your question in the post, nope, I wouldn't want to know when the bad things are going to happen. I'd much rather maintain being an optimist and then dealing wit the bad when it happens. My husband would have a different answer, I think. He's more of a pessimist planner. :)

Glad the knee is feeling better! I think you have a great plan on "easing" the knee back into perfect running marathon shape. I don't think you have to worry about messing up your plan- your knee will tell you when you've messed up!

RYC: Yea, it does seem like forever on the bootcamp, huh?! It's only been 7 weeks. Strange. Anyway, I have one week of BC left and then it's back to running. However, I do think I'm going to join Crossfit to supplement my running. I'm going to be in killer shape for the summer and the marathon! :) Thanks for the props, you always make me feel so proud of myself. Silly, but true.

middle-of-the-pack girl aka Terri said...

I don't think I'd want to know about all the bad stuff, definitely not that. It'd make me worry too much. And I like to be surprised by the pleasant stuff.

Willie, I think you are being smart by taking it a bit light right now. Last year when my running partner got hurt (shin splints), I kept saying to her, is it more important to do a long run thsi weekend or the marathon in 6 weeks? And she finally saw the light.

Make sure you ONLY do part of that long 20 miler, please!!

And by the way, thank you very much for your email earlier this week about pacing Reese. It all made a lot of sense.