Here WE go again.....The VOICES have spoken and it's time to roll. It was less than 3 weeks ago that I ran the Dogwood Canyon 50k. Seems like longer but that's what it was. I pushed it pretty hard that day and finished in 4:26:10. A decent time considering the pink tutu. One week later it was on to the Bass Pro Marathon where I managed to pull off a PR despite a hamstring problem. Obviously, it was not the smartest plan to run my first sub 3 hour marathon a week after a 50k. My hamstring "injury" became noticeably worse in the following days. I had to scale WAY back on my training since but I think it is time to get back on track.
Last Friday, I forced myself to run a 12 miler and there was some pain but when it was over, I knew that things would be okay. A few days of rest and then three solid runs at a faster pace this week has left me feeling confident that the upcoming marathon on Saturday will be another good one. I am hoping for another sub 3 and shooting for a new PR. It is the White River Marathon (formerly Mtn. Home Marathon for Kenya) in Cotter, Arkansas. The course is supposed to be flat and fast- (aren't they all advertised that way?) and if things go right, it should be a good day.
I have ran this marathon the last 2 years but the course has been changed. It was a pretty tough and hilly course that left me for dead both times. The first year, I should have stayed home. I had a bad cold with a lot of chest congestion AND it was raining with freezing monster winds. My wife warned me not to run and even said that she wasn't coming to visit me in the hospital when I ended up with pneumonia. I think she probably would have.... probably. I struggled that day- and ended up coming in at 3:23.
Last year was a mess too. Worse even. The weather was perfect but I was not. This was another one that I should have skipped but didn't. I had a slight calf strain going in and by mile one it was much more than slight. It HURT. BAD. I actually stopped and debated dropping out. Probably should have. My over-inflated ego wouldn't hear it and I hobbled and limped the next 25 miles. I finished that day just over 3:30 in pain and disgusted with myself. Both of these finishing times are decent but not what I had hoped for and that eats at me.
I'm a little disappointed about the course change because I would like to redeem myself on the hills. I have legitimate reasons for the bad races but they still seem like pathetic excuses in my head. At the same time, I am excited at the prospect of another sub 3 if the day goes as planned. The hamstring is almost 100% and I rubbed some dirt on it.... should be fine.
The VOICES have been telling me that 13 days is long enough. I agree. 13 days is long enough to hold on to that PR- time for a new one.
This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........