Thursday, February 25, 2016

First marathon of the year coming up too soon

My first marathon of the year - the Trailbreaker Marathon in Waukesha - is coming up in just over five weeks, and the build-up to it sure has not gone according to plan. By now, I should have had a couple of 20-milers behind me, but as it is I have only managed one 14-miler and that was several weeks ago. Remarkably, I am quite calm about this state of affairs, although I couldn't say exactly why.

I guess it helps that I have an ultra hubby who keeps reminding me to not lose sight of the big goal - my 100-miler in August. It helps, too, to have ultra friends who encourage me to be patient and remind me there is still plenty of time to train.  

Keep calm and carry on.

That hasn't been my official motto or anything, but it sums up my mindset nicely. Of course, if things don't turn around soon, that unofficial motto could very well turn into Panic now and lose all hope.

As it is, running got off to a rocky start this past week. I had had such high hopes of doing a longer run last weekend, but I really just wasn't feeling it. I was tired and my quad was still sore from pulling it a bit last Thursday, so I opted out. It's not an easy choice when you decide to just scrap a run, especially with a race looming on the calendar. However, what good would it do me to push myself when I am not ready? Chances are good I would just hurt myself worse. I need to keep reminding myself to listen to my body and not try to "make up" any lost runs. What's gone is gone. Time to focus on the future, and for me that really means the 100-Miler.

Don't get me wrong! I had been looking forward to running the Trailbreaker Marathon for its own merits, but now that it is obvious that this first marathon is not going to allow for my best effort, I need to keep it in perspective. It is just the first in a long series of races that I am using for training runs, designed to get me across the finish line of my 100-mile event in August. That's all. So, so what if the marathon doesn't go well? In fact, it won't go well in the classic sense. I can't race it. I'm in no shape to do that.

My current best-case scenario has me doing a pain-free 10-12 miler this weekend, which I would then follow up with a 14-miler and then a 16-miler... and that is where I will most likely stall before the marathon. And, that's if nothing else goes wrong! And something could go wrong. Unfortunately, I found out this week that I have to have some skin excised from the top of my left foot (result of my dermatology visit last week), and that will require stitches. On top of my foot. Ugh. I am not sure what that will do to my training, but I hope little to nothing.

Honestly, Trailbreaker has the potential of being my least-trained-for marathon EVER. So be it. I need to be patient and never lose sight of that ultimate goal of the 100-miler. With that in mind, I will muddle through the Trailbreaker as best I can, get the time on my feet and the practice power hiking, and move on. I guess there is something to be said for that. Right? RIGHT?

So, how do things look for this weekend's long run? Well, at this point, I am cautiously optimistic. I have managed two one-hour-long treadmill runs this week, and my legs have felt great - both during the run and in recovery. Also this week I have used the rowing machine a couple of times and attended two yoga classes. I still feel some lingering tightness, but I am walking well up and down stairs and generally just feel ready to try something longer. Like I said, cautiously optimistic.

Facebook update, so to speak

I am now two weeks into my Lenten challenge of giving up Facebook, and I am not going to lie. I miss the easy contact with people. As a means of forming friendships, Facebook may be kind of like throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks, but for an introvert like myself that's not all bad. The truth is, I get all befuddled when it comes to making friends and Facebook has made it very easy for me these past few years. Without it, I feel a bit lost. Oh well, only three and a half more weeks to go. I can do this.

Because I don't have enough races on the calendar

So, this goes to show how greedy I am. I went to our running club's volunteer appreciation dinner last night, and in previewing the door prizes available I scoped out the one I really, really wanted. I told my husband that if I am called first (because I saw this as a high-value prize, I was going to scoop it up). Well, as it turns out, I was called second and that was good enough. So, I now find myself the proud possessor of a free entry into the North Face Endurance Challenge - Madison ... any distance. Now I am going to have to think this through carefully, because I need another ultra on the calendar like a hole in my head, but I just couldn't help myself. The NEC 50-Mile was my first race of that distance, and I loved it. But, it is also just a scant six weeks after my 100-Mile event, so..... I guess more on that later. 

Because I am loving the signs of Spring...

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