So...I've decided to start a blog, more even for my personal reference than for anything else (if anyone actually will ever read this)! I secretly stalk blogs every now and then, so if there's anyone else out there like me, welcome, I will not judge you for your enjoyment of wasting time reading about someone else's inconsequential life. Actually, I've come to realize that these last few years have been filled with so many events and changes personally, athletically, and professionally that I'd just like a way to remember how things felt, and what I thought at different times (although I will still always love my handwritten running log first and foremost).
With that said, the big event coming up right now will (hopefully) be my first marathon next weekend, the Casino Niagara Marathon. It's been a long time goal of mine, and somewhat of the "monkey on my back" as a runner for some time now. I always thought I would start training for one shortly after finishing my collegiate running days, but tendon after tendon (and the occasional bone) kept that from happening. After the most serious blow, which was an "avulsion-type fracture of the ischial tuberosity" (basically, a broken left ass) combined with a likely right tibial stress fracture 15 months ago, I took up the whole triathlon thing as a way to stay both healthy, fit, and strong. I couldn't have asked for more promising results from it this year, but completing a half ironman this summer and placing well solely thanks to my run only made me want to try for a marathon even more (plus, I will never, ever be as comfortable in the water or on the bike as I am on the run course). So, despite some lingering injury-type stuff, I decided (less than a month ago) that now would be as good of a time as any to go with the aerobic base I've got from a summer of triathlon training and see if I could convert it into running 26.2 miles. My training for this has been pretty non-traditional- I've only been running about 30-35mi/week, tops, on 2-3 runs, with a whole bunch of swimming and biking thrown in there. We'll see what happens.
So, this weekend marked what should be the last hard efforts for me. Yesterday was the Run for Hospice 5k. It's a race I've done every year since college graduation (which is impressive with my injury record, knock on wood), always well put on, and for a great cause. Well, minus one little hiccup yesterday- they changed parking at the park where it's held, so when I was returning from my perfectly timed warmup, I found out that both races (there's also a ten miler) were being delayed for 15min due to traffic concerns. Awesome. I spent the extra time doing some combination of slowly and aimlessly jogging and hanging out in the bathroom line (which, I would like to say, always goes WAY too slowly for me. In and out, people). When the race finally started, I did my usual "going out too hard because a 5k just sounds so short", and felt pretty gaspy and tired early on. I also had pulled up the sleeves on my shirt at the starting line, and as a result, cut off the circulation to my arms. Once I decided that was a pretty lame thing to dwell on, I managed to push through the race and finished in 18:13. Wasn't quite as fast as I had been hoping for, but in retrospect, I've only run faster than that twice, and wasn't feeling super strong. So, I'll take it (plus, I got a nice little payday :) ).
After yesterday's race, today would entail my last kind of long (compared to the past few weekends) run. I really wanted to take it easy, because my rational brain tells me I can only harm myself at this point. So, I planned on running a 14mi route that takes me through Seneca Park and across the Genessee Riverway Trail and boardwalk-a favorite route of mine that, as anticipated, proved gorgeous this time of year. I took Dave with me to give me a reason to keep the pace easy, but by the time we got 45min or so in, he was starting to fall back. I was feeling pretty decent by that point and started to push a bit. I still kept it semi-controlled, but definitely ran harder than I should have for the last couple of miles. I ended up leaving myself with the sore, crampy right quad that was plaguing me at the end of last Saturday's 23 miler. Ugh. Hopefully, a relatively easy week will have it feeling better again by the big event. The rest of the week will involve me doing a bunch of slacking. Tapering is always good for me physically, but just hard mentally- I know that I won't lose any fitness if I don't push almost daily, but when I get into a workout, sometimes it's hard to convince myself of that (see today's run). But, I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes!