I guess I should take a break from the Africa talk and actually talk about running for a moment or two…
This appears to have been the year of, “Hey! I signed up to run ______, and I have really big, awesome goals for it….but…wait….now I’m not running at all.” Newsflash: Things haven’t changed. It hurt so much to finally admit that I wasn’t going to run Boston this year. It upsetting because I had a big goal to run Boston with Lauren and rip apart our PRs. (She didn’t run either…thanks, injuries.)
From start to finish on my back pain, it took about six months before I was finally ready to run like a normal person again. The only problem is…running what most people think is normal and what I think is normal are two very different things. So I ran what was normal for me and did the San Francisco Half Marathon…when I probably should have been running maybe three miles or something. Or more like ten minutes. Trust me, I know these things…but I was just so frustrated that I decided to try to run. It ended up working out, but I know it could have gone horribly.
The problem with races these days is that for many of them, you have to sign up months upon months in advance. Way before you’d even think about starting to train for them, and possibly while you’re still training for a completely different race. So earlier this year, I signed up for the NYC Marathon, convinced that I’d be ready to go for training by the time it actually rolled around. Newsflash: I wasn’t. I would have been starting from scratch and hoping for the best. Even with that, it would have been a scramble to become marathon ready in fourteen weeks.
In marathon terms, with absolutely no base, that’s not a lot of time. I knew this. In the back of my mind, I knew I wouldn’t be running NYC this year. Or any marathons this year, as a matter of fact. One of the reasons why I had been putting off heading Africa for so long is that I’m always in some sort of training, and taking out three weeks from training isn’t the greatest idea. When I realized that I wouldn’t be in marathon race shape this year, I went ahead and booked the trip to Africa and didn’t even bother packing my running shoes.
Also, I needed a little bit of a reset button. I never blogged about it, but the week before I left for Africa, I ran fifteen miles. On a really, hot humid day. I completed it fine with a solid pace, but I was trashed. Abbe invited me out for drinks, to which I said something like, “I’m going to take a nap first…” then I fell asleep at 6pm and woke up at 3:30am. NOT GOOD, SUSAN. I was exhausted from that run. My legs weren’t particularly happy.
Just because I theoretically can run that far, doesn’t mean that I should. So Africa was a bit of a reset button for myself. Where was I going with this post? Oh yeah, I’m not running the NYC marathon this year. Shocker, I know. I’m sure no one here is surprised. The NYC Marathon is one of my favorite days of the year here (I read this pump-up post from last year a bit too often…), and I would love to be running it…but I know it’s not a good idea. Plus, since I’ve been out from training and they changed the guaranteed entry times for next year, I don’t have a guaranteed entry for next year. Even more reason to defer. So I did.
So basically, I’m REALLY excited to cheer for all of you. Abbe and I (and others…) will be at mile 23.5 along Fifth Ave, ready to take those awesome “Okay, this really hurts now” pictures of all of you. This shirt may also make an appearance:
and speaking of boston…
Yep, I registered for 2013. Might as well go back to the scene of the crime, hm? My other highly considered option was Eugene, but heaven forbid I get injured again, I wouldn’t be out a plane ticket if I couldn’t run. Plus, Marathon Monday is definitely one of my favorite days, and I have yet to run it not injured. If I get injured again, then I’ll call it quits on Boston. But for now, I get to see Amy again and take a trip out of Hopkinton. My favorite running nurse is also in, so that’s a plus. And speedy friends from across the country.
So what’s the plan? What about that reset button? Basically, I’m starting from scratch. I have about ten weeks to build a base for a sixteen week training program. I haven’t started from scratch in a long, long time…when I had IT band issues a few years ago, swimming and biking were options that I utilized, unlike with my back when I couldn’t really do anything. So we’re going back to basics. Kicking it back to some low mileage and building up from there. Hal Higdon has been nice to me in the past, so I’m going to be basing my base training more or less on the Novice marathon training program. Instead of cross training, I’ll do a short run. Maybe some strength training thrown in on those shorter days? (I’m horrible at sticking to strength training, hopefully this time around it’ll stick…)
I used Hal for my first marathon, Marine Corps 2006…taking it back.
Thanks to Sara for the picture!
(Yes, I ran in a cotton shirt, ha)
This will get me up to about 35-40-ish miles in time for marathon training to start. All of these miles will be slow. I know I can run fast (see: Hood to Coast 2012), but I don’t need to run fast now, I need to run fast in April. Even then, I might not be in PR shape, but I feel like I can at least be in solid racing shape.
I’ve been doing some shorter runs ever since I got back from Africa, and while I would love to say they feel awesome and leave me feeling ready to go…they don’t. Three miles has always been more of a warm up for me. (I also think I came down with some sort of Africa’s revenge and/or the effects of a trans-Atlantic flight because I have more or less been sleeping for 48 hours straight…and unable to sit upright…and unable to eat, it’s been fun.) So maybe it’s the sickness or the complete lack of training that makes me feel like three miles is a marathon.
I’m excited to be a beginner again because every milestone will be something new again…and honestly, I can’t remember what it’s like to start from scratch, to be a beginner runner. I’m lucky in that I have years of knowledge tucked in my back pocket, and that hopefully my legs will quickly remember how to run again. But mostly, I’m excited to get back to the point where 7:30’s feel easy and 6:20 is mile repeat pace. And that sub-3:10 marathon? It will be mine. More or less, I’m excited to be doing more running talk and much, much less “my back hurts and I don’t know what’s wrong” talk. Thanks to everyone who stuck with me through injury, I promise we’ll be back to regularly scheduled running talk after this Africa business is over.
So tell me…do I get to cheer for you in NYC? Let me know if you’re running? Will I see you in Boston??