Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Friday, May 09, 2008


Feeling Old & Crusty
Originally uploaded by tallasiandude.

So, I'm bagging the half-marathon tomorrow.

I've spent the last two weeks going back and forth over it.

Should I run?
I should run.
No, I shouldn't run.
Well, maybe I should run.
Should I run?
I should run.
No, I shouldn't run.

Ah, the circles. I grow dizzy. (Probably shouldn't run.)

At this point, it may be more my brain than my body, but either way, it's probably the right thing to do. Or rather, the decision to run it would probably be for all the wrong reasons.

Two weeks ago, I did the last scheduled long run before the race. The longest I've run since the last time I trained for this race 3 years ago. 15 miles. It wasn't too bad through the first 10*, but I got clobbered by a particularly nasty patch of annoyingly steep paths in Weston (alongside a more tamely graded road). I managed to recover a bit during some flatter sections, but I was pretty spent, and the last 2 miles were a real struggle. I probably should have stopped at that point and walked the rest of the way, but I was working on my "mental toughness." (This is also know as "being stupid.")

End of run. Spent. Crusty. (the photo doesn't do it justice -- there were lines of salts all down my face, around my eyes and in my hair.) Feeling old.

...and feeling broken.

My lower back on the left side, which actually turned out to be my upper butt once palpated (gluteus maximus attachment into the iliac crest) didn't feel so awesome after that. I skipped Sunday (although we did some work in the garden), and when it still bothered me during my frisbee game Monday night, I got a little concerned. The right hamstring thing that's been bothering me all year wasn't feeling so great either, so I put myself on the DL, hoping some time off would take care of things.

Things felt a bit better that Thursday -- I ran 3 miles and then went to practice. But the weekend "long run" (8 miles, which turned out to be only 7.5) didn't show much sign of improvement. The soreness persisted (started to notice it as early as mile 2), even with a new hydration pack.

Anyway, all this week, it was evaluation. How's it feeling today? Better? Worse? Hamstring? Ok. Gluts -- better... no, still the same. And on and on and on.

And then I looked into the start time of the race: 9am, registration at 7. No problem. And a quick check of the directions... and somehow I had forgotten that it was a 2 hour drive to the race.

Um, whoops?

I forgot that we stayed with a friend in Portsmouth, so we only had to drive half the distance. So now I had to get up even more wicked early, drive 2 hours, pick up my registration stuff, then run the race that I wasn't sure I was ready to run. That, or get a hotel room and deal with registrations, and check-ins and check-outs...

And then there was the threat of rain. It actually looks like it'll be pretty good racing conditions tomorrow, but looking at it earlier this week, it looked like a pretty good chance of rain along with the wind in the mid-40s at race time. And I remember being so cold from the rain and wind the last time I ran this race, that at the finish I couldn't untie my shoelace to get the timing chip off my shoe.

Yes, I'm psyching myself out.

I actually felt alright yesterday. People were asking about the race. I got some encouragement. I felt pretty good after my run and during the subsequent frisbee game last night.

I was still on the fence.

Until around 1:30am, when I still hadn't fallen asleep.

So no race tomorrow.

I'm still going to run tomorrow morning. But I'll do it around here, after a good night's sleep. Or after more sleep, at least. And we'll have some time to do some more work in the garden. I'll get a massage. Watch the Celtics game. Get ready for the Tri on Sunday. (I'm volunteering, giving post-race massages.)

And I'll heal up, and hopefully still be on track to run one of those marathons in October.

* part of that distance is sketchy, since there seems to be some sort of Lincoln Mystery Spot where the GPS gets all wonky. The GPS tells me one thing, but GoogleMaps and, more importantly, my feets tell me different. I'm not a great judge of pace, but I'm pretty confident that I can tell when I'm running sub 6-minute-miles and over 15-minute-miles, and I didn't hit either of those paces, irregardless of what that little piece of technology strapped to my wrist was telling me.