Sunday, May 26, 2013

(Semi-Injured) Week in Review

45 miles
3 days off
75 mins. hot yoga
6x10 mins. core 
30 min. massage
2 days in Vermont

This week was pretty much a bust no matter how you slice it. I mentioned in recent entries that I've been dealing with a nagging shin/soleus issue ever since returning from Italy, and this week I'm disappointed to inform you that it's getting worse instead of better. Whereas last week I was able to run hard several days in a row, this time I spent most of Thursday limping around after a hard workout Wednesday evening. This is particularly frustrating because the workout itself--5x3 mins. hard on a hilly road loop around the Beverly High School campus, plus 2x uphill strides--went great, and I actually ran a comparable pace to when I did something similar right after the BAA 5k a month ago. So, the fitness isn't completely gone, but it's hard to build any momentum when each step forward necessitates two gimpy steps back. The obvious solution is to take some substantial time completely off, but with the US Half Champs a mere month away I simply can't afford to do so. I'm aware that I'm riding a very fine line right now, but I'm trying to be as smart as I can about doing all the little things to keep this situation in check.

But enough about me for the time being. This weekend was meant to be about Jordan and my boss, Eric, both of whom were racing the Vermont City Marathon in Burlington. When I'd originally agreed to tag along for the holiday weekend, I'd envisioned myself sunbathing beside the water--Burlington sits on Lake Champlain--or poolside at the Hilton. This seasonally appropriate dream was squashed midweek when the weather forecast turned downright wintry. Sure enough, as I sat crammed in the way way back of Eric's family's SUV driving northbound on Saturday morning--Jordan having already been in Burlington for over 24 hours to work the expo--I could only shake my head and chuckle as seemingly angry snowflakes mixed with an incessant and insistent rain pelted our windshield. What a beautiful winter we're having this summer!

Unfortunately, conditions were not much improved come race morning. If anything, they were slightly worse. Light rain isn't necessarily inclement, but a steady downpour accompanied by 40-degree temperatures and a 20 mph wind is unpleasant to say the least. For Eric, who was embarking on his first attempt at 26.2, and Jordan, who was hoping for a respectable sub-2:30 finish in his first marathon since winning Thunder Road in 2010, the weather did little to assuage their nerves. Ultimately, the result would be a mixed bag. Jordan never settled into a groove and ended up reluctantly pulling the plug just past 15 miles, while Eric persevered through some dark late-game miles to finish just under his 3:30 stretch goal in a remarkable 3:29:45. If he starts running more than three days a week, I predict a Boston qualifier in his future!

The two leaders, Chris Zablocki and Matt Pelletier, grinding up the monster hill at mile 15. They would go on to finish in astounding times considering the conditions, 2:18:24 and 2:19:02 respectively. Not coincidentally, I'm standing in the exact spot where Jordan would decide to call it a day a few minutes later. 

As for my own future, I have no choice but to stay the course and hope things improve next week. I've got enough time to put some decent training together before the half, but only just. Fingers and toes crossed that the proverbial tides (and this weather!) turn by the end of May!