Wednesday, February 18, 2009

quasi-grateful to the marathon

Training for this marathon (my first) has been an arduous and laborious task. Each weekend has been filled with hours on my feet. The nights before filled with much eating and little drinking. During the week, my mind is consumed presently (and into the future) with thoughts about when I am going to run, where and for how long. And, of course - each day - is it a rest or a run day (usually the latter)? From all the aforementioned statements, one can deduce that the marathon training has consumed my life and my thoughts. This conclusion is accurate. Then, accordingly, one could conclude that there may be resentment for this loss of freedom and choice. Again, this conclusion is accurate, but with footnotes. I will drop them below.

A brief ode to the marathon:
I have learned to love being on my feet for 2 days in a row for 2 hrs at a time. (This allows for much needed woods sight seeing). I have learned to consume alcohol in more moderation, but food in more extreme. (gorge the night before with anything and everything - from pasta to brownies and ice cream). I have learned the enjoyment of getting into really, really, really good shape to where I can slide up a mountain side and then stop at the top and enjoy the scenery without wondering if my legs and lungs were going to explode.

Ah to the marathon - in a week and 1/2 I may return to resentment, but - one can reminisce.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pain Lessening & Pain Lessons

Marathon training has reiterated so many lessons:
1. Don't wear shoes that do not fit correctly on a long run - you will be in PAIN
2. If you are in pain from shoes that fit incorrectly, ice your legs the day of! -->
3. Take an anti-inflammatory after you run (while icing your knees)
(There are other lessons - but I know you smart readers do not need to be reminded of them - Me on the other hand, I am a slow learner)

Today, my legs have finally recovered after yesterday's torture and stiffness. I am angry because I wore some bad shoes on Saturday, and since then, my knees have felt swollen and sore; my hamstrings too tight (yet I still ran 10+ on trails on Sunday). Yesterday, while working, if I was sitting on a leg, and then I tried to stand up, my leg was too stiff and it became stuck in a bend and took at least 30 seconds (if not more) to unbend.

Needless to say, I need new shoes before the epic adventure in < 2 weeks

Monday, February 16, 2009

ambivalence lessening

Since the holiday sickness, I have become more ambivalent towards the marathon. The drive to fill my weekends with long runs declined.

This weekend provided a much needed change. (well the 18 miles in Asheville the weekend before really was the much needed change, but that was accompanied by the feeling of not being to breathe on top of several ridges; this weekend was less painful)

On Saturday, I started with some runners at Fleet feet, but their pace quickly sped up, and mine did not, so I broke off from the group to run the remaining 9 miles by myself. I headed towards North Main Street and some hills. The hills were rolling, the sidewalks were confusing, but the lack of cars was welcoming. When North Main ended, I contemplated running to Paris Mountain, but my lack of supplies and time crunch prevented this adventure. Instead, I headed around town, through Cleveland Park and around the Augusta Road area before finishing with 2 hours on my watch.

Sunday was supposed to be a recovery run, but ended up as very much enjoyable 10 mile adventure through the national forest. My legs started cramped and tired, but as the miles continued they loosened up and enjoyed the climbing.

As the marathon countdown begins, I have realized that I do enjoy running the 20+ mile weekends... Not sure if I enjoy the days over 15 miles still..

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Attempt at weekend binge - can someone define binge?

To start: does 13+ miles one day and 6 miles the next = a binge? I am leaning towards no; however, my legs are trying to "argue the other side." [here is where, if the software would allow me, I would drop a footnote explaining my quote, but lucky for you readers - you are saved from this].

First day was spent running in a north Georgia state park - a favorite 6 mile loop - a couple of times; we mixed in some side trails, said hello to mellow hikers, and tried to keep Grendel from harassing the other law abiding citizens who kept their dogs on a leash. We clocked around 2 hrs of fun, which may sound short this late in the training session to Mr. Higdon; however, my recent (is it still?) bout with bronchitis and the flu has kept my mileage lower and shorter than ideal.

Second day was spent only with grendel as my companion on Curahee Mtn. I have not been there in a while, and it was lovely, as usual. The sun was high; it was quiet (ie there were no gun shots), and the mountain was steep. My only complaint was that there were too many cars - but the rock climbers have to reach their summit first by car, right? [here I would drop another footnote explaining this passage because I was a loyal rock climber for many years before returning to the South]. This second day, my legs were tireder, and the mountain felt steeper than it had in a while. Usually, on this mountain, I will set the legs into cruise and slowly sail up. However, today, they felt heavy and unresponsive. I guess the lack of nap and too much post-run activity on Saturday did not help the healing process.

So, what is the verdict - did I attain the "binge" goal, or do I have many more miles to go ("before I sleep")?