6 Weeks Out

Hoping my road to Boston leads through Virginia Beach

With about 6 weeks to go until the Shamrock Marathon, I’m nearing the homestretch of my 16-week training camp.  And while I approach the Shamrock Marathon with a lot of optimism, I also have reason to be concerned.

My training, for the most part, has been going extremely well.  I reached the 50-miles-in-one-week plateau several weeks ago.  I have consistently run well under my goal marathon pace of 7:39/mile in speed and tempo workouts, and I ran significantly under 7:00/mile pace as I placed in my age group in both 2010 races (a 5K and a 3.2-miler) I’ve run so far.

But then Mother Nature, that old hag, exacted her revenge.  She and I exchanged words a while back and I think she’s held a grudge ever since.  About a month ago, it started raining, sleeting, and snowing and with the exception of a few brief interludes of sunshine, it hasn’t stopped since.

I normally like to do the vast majority of my running on soft surfaces, primarily dirt and crushed gravel trails.  I’ve been one of those injury prone runners and in an attempt to avoid subjecting my joints to too much hard pounding, I’ve mostly stuck to running on the forgiving softness of trails.  But all this precipitation of late has reduced the local trails to something more akin to a place for pigs to wallow. My running options have been reduced to asphault or treadmill.

Recently, after upping my weekly mileage to 50+ miles a week, my right foot started hurting.  A nagging little ache persits, running from just beyond the base of my second toe down the length of my foot and up into my shin.  And Mother Nature just chuckles away as she continues to send precipitation to the Carolinas.

I’m no stranger to injury avoidance.  I started my old tried-and-true method of icing and ibuprofen to try and prevent this nagging little annoyance from becoming a full-blown now-I-can’t-run-at-all injury.  I took a couple of extra days off this week to try and speed up the healing process (and I may take a third day off today or at least jump on the elliptical instead).  And so far so good as the pain hasn’t occurred during running (it  hurts afterwards). 

I feel like my training has progressed well enough to this point that I could PR (3:34) today.  I’m not sure if I could run a Boston qualifying 3:20, but I think I could get close.

So bring it Mother Nature – I’m not done yet.  I just have to stave off the injury bug for about 6 more weeks.  Ice and ibuprofen appear to be the biggest allies in my quest.  And if I have to run every last training mile on a treadmill and/or wet asphault, so be it.

*Latest Weight Stats
Date: 2/05/2010 
Weight :162.6
Body Fat: 15.7%

* Damn it –  gained over a pound in the last week!  Took a couple extra days off from running this week but continued to eat as if I was still running 50+miles.  Now it becomes a balancing act between running enough mileage to stave off weight gain and to increase (or at least maintain) fitness level, but not so much as to exacerbate this potential injury.

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