It's Saturday, and for me that means my day of rest. I used to actually approach these days with a mixture of anticipation and a bit of dread - happy to have earned a good day off but sad too because I was so into my routine of exercise and activity that having nothing to do seemed a bit daunting.
Today, if I have either of those feelings, they are directed not towards my rest day today but my long run tomorrow. Having taken so much time off the past couple of weeks for my hip/hamstring, I am very excited to be able to go out and run long - give it another try after last week's no-go. But, I am dreading too what it will mean if I fall short. Originally, I had it down that I would run 18 miles tomorrow, but now my hope is to head out and just run three hours. If I get to 18, great; if I get to 15, good. Mainly, I just want to be doing something for a long time, and I know I will beat myself up if I have to call it quits again after eight or nine miles.
So many long run fails in a row would definitely make me start to think. Should I rethink The Plan, such as it is? What would that look like? Would I have to take time off? Would it be me and the couch for a couple of weeks while I try to get this hamstring under control?
Will it be a frustrating journey of discovery as I try to find some sort of cross-training that doesn't aggravate the injury, when in fact there aren't too many cross-training options open to me that would fit into my tight, strangled summer schedule?
Mainly, though, I think ahead to the BIG GOAL in September - the Jungfrau Marathon in Switzerland. You know? The one where I run up an Alp?
Every fiber of my running/racing/anticipating being is focused on that event. It's not a goal I can revise. It's not the Kalamazoo Marathon where I can just say oh well, not going to work for me this year and then downgrade to the Half. There is no Half. There is only the Marathon. And it is in Switzerland. I won't be getting back there anytime soon to make up for this year's loss if I don't do it.
I ask myself why I care really? I mean, when I signed Hubby and me up for this thing, it was really more for him. I only signed myself up on a whim, fully knowing that there was a good chance I wouldn't be able to make the 6.5-hour cutoff to the finish. I accepted that, telling myself if nothing else it would make a good tale to tell. After all, I am sure it would be as equally amusing/fascinating/whatever to talk about how I got XX miles and then was yanked off the course as it would be to report how I finished in a triumphant feat of endurance and agony. But, the truth is, now that I am into the training program, and hell - probably even as I was signing up - I have come to the realization that I WANT to finish this event. I WANT to do well. I want to cross the finish line a bona fide finisher of a tough, kickass race.
So, what to do? Where does that leave me? On principle, I am generally against taking time off from running when injured. Why? Because it has never done much for me in the past. There is one injury that I can remember where I HAD to take time off because I could not physically stand to run on it. That was a patellar strain last year. I took two weeks off and then picked up the pieces again. But, for me, that is the exception. Mostly, when I have taken time off - once even for TWO MONTHS - I come back and feel really none the better for it. So, instead I have taken the run-through-your-injuries road, and that has worked for me. I may not run as fast. I may do a run/walk. But I am still moving and getting things done.
But is that right this time? The truth is that I don't know. With being so focused on this BIG GOAL race, I feel I would just about do anything I needed to to finish it. Take a month off? Okay. Run every day three times? Okay. Whatever it takes. The problem is that I just don't know. I can't tell the future, and unfortunately my history of injury and recovery doesn't really give me a clear roadmap to go by.
|The Magic 8 Ball isn't much help. Although I did ask it|
if I would have a good long run tomorrow. Here's the
answer I got:
|MOST LIKELY. I like that answer. Unfortunately, I had|
to shake the 8 Ball a couple of times to get an answer I did like.