Hey gang. My apologies for disappearing… AGAIN. Let’s catch up, shall we?
When last we talked a little over a month ago, I was struggling to come back from an illness. Since then, apparently the running gods didn’t think I was facing enough adversity. So they made sure I got sick again, this time with the flu, the full-fledged variety, which included a 102.6 temperature, weakness, nausea – you know the drill. I was so weak that I couldn’t drive myself to the doctor – I had to rope Laura into doing it for me.
“How bad was it?” I hear you asking. It was so bad that in the doctor’s office, when the nurse came to get me from the waiting room, I had to sit down for a moment during the walk from the waiting room to the examination room. Yeah, if you’re a marathoner, you might want to consider such a development as problematic – it does not bode well for your upcoming 26.2 mile race if you can’t walk 20 meters without taking a break.
So I went another six days without running a step. For those of you keeping up with the numbers at home, here is the weekly mileage of my last 10 weeks of training: 60, 50, 16, 9, 40, 55, 50, 6, 57, 40. Those three weeks of sickness put quite a damper on things.
But the running gods weren’t done with me just yet. After the flu, I tried to jump in right where I left off. The training plan called for 60 miles that week, so that’s what I set out to do.
Here’s the thing when you miss a significant amount of training – your fitness level and your body’s ability to run tend not to be exactly where you left them. If you think of fitness as a ladder, when you miss enough time, you will slide down a few rungs. If you try to rush back up the ladder too fast, you will slip and fall off completely.
First my right Achilles started hurting. Then my right glute and hip. Suddenly every run was a painful endeavor. I woke up limping the days after workouts. I started taking more days off. Finally, I realized I was losing control of the situation and that if I didn’t take the appropriate action, I was going to end up with a full-blown, show-stopping (meaning “No Boston for you, idiot!”) injury. So I went to see the miracle worker, Mike Danenberg. Now playing the role of Humpty Dumpty will be Allen Strickland. Playing the role of all the king’s horses and all the king’s men will be Mike Danenberg.
Mike worked me over good. The hip/glute pain was completely gone the next morning and the Achilles pain was considerably lessened.
Now I’m back on that oh-so-very-familiar tightrope walk between marathon fitness and injury. After a very gimpy <4-mile walk/jog at Triple C on Thursday, I took Friday completely off. This allowed the Achilles to heal/recover enough so that I miraculously was able to manage a 15+ mile run yesterday. I’m afraid my last five weeks of training before Boston are all going to be strikingly similar to this.
I am now 0 for 3 in races in 2015. I have DNS’d (that means Did Not Start for you acronym-challenged) in every race I’ve signed up for. I hope that changes soon, with Cooper River and Boston looming large.
In Other News
In the meantime, Laura, usually the more fragile athlete in this relationship (in the past, I have affectionately referred to her as the crystal chandelier) is FIT. Capital F, capital I, capital T. And putting in the work to stay that way and maybe even continue to get fitter. Expect a PR from her in Boston – knock on wood!
Oh did I mention that Laura and I got married? Yes, to each other. Can you believe I was able to trick, er, convince, her to marry me? What was she thinking?!? We even got featured on Redshirt Running, the site where I ordered my tuxedo singlet:
The good news is that I found someone who loves me and is willing to be my partner in crime, I mean love, forever. The bad news is that I’m afraid I will no longer be the top Strickland finisher in the Boston marathon. Luckily, I think this is worth the tradeoff.
That’s it. You’re all caught up. Stay tuned as I limp my way into the Boston field and desperately try not to embarrass myself. It’s looking like another JITFO finish in Boston for ol’ Allen.