My one word to describe this week in advanced marathon training :: Sick.
I am sick and tired of being cold, sick and tired.
Every training season that I’ve coached a handful of people get sick and miss a week of running. I always tell them that it is far better to miss a few days of running than it is to limp through a few weeks of running because you are too stubborn to rest. This week, it was time for me to have a taste of my own medicine.
Sunday (2/4) :: 18 miles w/ 6 miles at Marathon Pace (“MP”). This was my longest run since my last marathon; my first run on ice ever; and the first time that many of the people in my group had run in a week. After being shut indoors for nearly one full week and spending days worrying that we would have to make up an 18-mile long run on the treadmill, no one cared about the crazy snow and ice still on the ground. We were thrilled just to be running outside. If any us didn’t believe in the benefits of “the taper” before race day, I’m confident we all do now because it seemed like everyone had a great run — myself included. My heart rate was so low and steady that I actually had trouble getting my legs to turn over fast enough to stay in Zone 3. When I saw splits at sub-8 min/mile, I knew something crazy was happening! I’d like to think that I’m just adapting that quickly, but only time will tell. And, it did just that on Tuesday…
Monday (2/5) :: Rest day. The one reason that I always love Mondays. Sometimes there are others, but this one is consistent.
Tuesday (2/6) :: 9 miles w/4 in Zone 2. Today was the complete opposite of Sunday. My HR was high even during the warm-up. My pace during the 4 miles in Zone 2 was pitiful. But, I stuck with it, and got it done. I finished hoping that I’d gotten my one crappy run out of the way early this week.
Then, sickness set in. By the end of the workday, I felt like I’d been hit by a Hummer.
Wednesday morning, I awoke to more snow and a trip to the nearest urgent care clinic. Two hours, a dramatic blood draw (I’d like to strangle whomever thought that cellphones needed a video camera!), and lots of tests later, I was told they couldn’t do a darn thing. It wasn’t an infection so antibiotics wouldn’t work. I tested negative for the flu so Tamiflu was probably pointless. I left with a prescription for more rest and lots of fluids. Lucky me.
I felt so awful on Wednesday and Thursday that I didn’t even care about having missed my runs. Yes, folks, it was that bad. Due to the weather, class was canceled on Thursday anyway. But, I assure you, I would have preferred to be running in a parking garage than laying in bed listlessly.
Saturday (2/12) :: 4 super-slow miles. I finally got out for a short, easy run to shake out my legs and see if I could survive the next day (a whopping 20-mile long run on the schedule!). It wasn’t a great run, but I did it, and felt good enough to at least give my long run a try.
In the end, I didn’t take off a full 7-10 days like the doctor ordered; that’s just crazy talk, if you ask me! But, I did have three full days of absolutely nothing. I’ve gotten a ridiculous amount of sleep, though I still feel like I could use more. And, I’m crossing my fingers that the worst is behind me for the rest of the season.
Here’s hoping for a much improved Week 7!