Monday, February 6, 2012

Last Ditch Effort - The Plan

Less than three weeks to go until the Hyannis Marathon on February 26th.

I've been resting, stretching, soaking, rolling, massaging, and ultrasound, um, 'ing my right calf and legs in general.  Tomorrow I will run 3 miles to assess whether or not it's healed up.  The next three weeks will looks something like this:

February 7th - Tuesday:

√ Run 3 miles.  If injury free, proceed to next step. If injured, I'm out.

February 8th 9th - Wednesday Thursday:

√Run 5 miles.  If injury free, proceed to next step.  If injured, I'm out.

February 11th - Saturday:

√Run 5-6 miles.  If injury free, proceed to next step.  If injured, I'm out.

February 12th - Sunday:

√Run 20 19.2 miles.  [With this run completed, the decision is to run on the 26th]

Assuming I make it to Sunday, I'll base my final decision on whether or not to running the Hyannis Marathon based on how this 20 mile run goes. Realistically, with two weeks of not running and just a handful of miles this week before this run, I might not be able to finish 20 miles.  If I'm wiped out at say 15 miles, then I'm not conditioned enough to run 26.2 miles.  If I only get to 17 or 18 miles, then I'll assess my overall performance and decide if I'm conditioned enough to complete the marathon.  If I complete the 20 miles, I'll most likely run the marathon regardless of how well the run went - I'll at least know I'll be able to finish it.

If everything works out, I'll follow the last two weeks of the training schedule.  If I get an injury at any point along the way, I'm out.  On race day my focus will be on finishing the race, which means slow and steady.

I've been back and forth over whether or not to run this race - to just call it and move on.  In the end, I decided that as long as there is a reasonable chance at completing this race, then I have to try, to not try just wouldn't sit well with me.  While not intended, the question that now keeps me going is: Can I successfully run 26.2 with less than ideal training?  For this to be what I would call successful, my overall performance has to be better than my first marathon.  There is a chance that during the run something else goes wrong.  I'm pushing myself, but I'm not going to kill myself.  If my calf muscle pulls at 18 miles, for instance, I'm not going to try and run or even walk on it for 8 miles.

This is a last ditch attempt to show up at the starting line on the 26th, and as is with all last ditch efforts, it's not a great plan, it wouldn't even make a good plan C much less a plan B, but it is a realistic plan......



  1. I feel for you. I've been reading and re-reading your previous post, and trying to figure out which way you might go. Your analysis makes all kinds of sense, but, as you say, it's "touch and go." Look forward to seeing what you decide (and wishing you well whatever happens).

  2. Hey - I'm so sorry you're going through this. The uncertainty is probably the worst right now. But I think you are doing great for sticking with this plan, and not giving up. Personally, I think if you remain injury-free, you will be able to finish (regardless of whether you are properly "conditioned"). I think the adrenalin of the day and your muscle memory from the last marathon will kick in. Just please take care of yourself... better to miss one marathon than push too hard and miss even more months of running (I know you know this...). I will be thinking of you!!

    1. Yes, you nailed it, the uncertainty is the worst. Finding the balance between moving forward and recovering has been a dynamic process since there's really no way to know whether or not I've fully recovered or if another injury will occurred. Regardless, this will play out within the next 19 days :) I really appreciate the support, thanks so much.