A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A change of plans...




I think I know why I don't plan my workouts. Because the plan always changes!

As of Sunday night, my Boston plan has changed a bit. I talked to my friend Anne... you know, wonderful Anne who I ran 50 miles with? Anyway, she is very wise, an extremely accomplished runner, and I trust her advice/opinion. Based off a conversation I had with her, I have tweaked my Boston plan a bit!

This Saturday will not be a 15 mile run. It will be 18-20 miles... 20 minutes running, then 5 minutes walking. This should take me a little less than three and a half hours. The reasoning to walk/run is to preserve and stretch out my knee and work different muscles. The reason to do it this coming weekend is to give everything a good 3 weeks before the race to repair and for my knee to have another 3 weeks to get stronger.

My goal is to find someone to do this crazy run with me, but if I can't (which is likely), I shall just download a shit ton of pod casts and enjoy a long, warm trek on the rail trail all by my little lonesome.

I've done many long runs solo, but I haven't done any lately. I guess the last one would have been my 21 mile training run for the Harrisburg Marathon way back in November, 2012. Sheesh! That was a long time ago.

That was definitely the longest training run I did solo. I've run a lot of races solo... one of the longest would have been the last two legs of a 70 miler relay through the beautiful Laurel Highlands. I ran about 24 miles solo with no headphones. I naively thought there would be other runners around to talk to. Boy was I wrong. By that point in the relay, everyone was all spread out, and while I passed people from time to time, there was no one to run with.

I'm still wondering about Boston. People are either telling me, "You are being so smart and careful!" or they are telling me, "Be careful not to push yourself too hard, you just had surgery." My brain is giving me conflicting messages as well. One minute I'll be up, the next minute I'll be down.

There is one thing I know for sure. This was definitely not how I envisioned this spring going for me. I thought I'd be healthy and looking forward to the marathon. I thought I'd be basking in all the pre-Boston glory. I thought I'd be enjoying the hell out of my reward for BQ'ing. Instead, I am worrying, second guessing myself, and wondering if my ego is what is driving me to try to run this thing and not my brain.

Is running Boston even going to be worth it? Would I be happier if I just canned the idea now so I would no longer have to worry about it? I know these are questions I have to answer for myself, but I do not know the answers!
What's the longest you have ever run by yourself?
Do you find yourself constantly changing training plans or do you stick to the schedule?

26 comments:

  1. I think this sounds solid. You've gotten good advice from your seasoned veteran Anne! It might feel tedious to walk so much; just remind you're it's for a good reason! I can't answer if Boston is "worth it", but I know conquering a race after multiple setbacks, like I did last Nov., is the best feeling ever.

    My longest run EVER was 15 miles...it was on the TM, so I was "alone" but not ALONE. I've run 9 miles alone, but all my other long runs I try to meet up with someone for at least part of it.

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    1. 15 miles on a treadmill- that is huge! What made you decide to do that?

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    2. Summer heat in Florida ;o) I was training for my would-be full, but slept through my long run alarm clock...so I had to get it done, but couldn't do it in 100 degrees!

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  2. I did my 19 mile New York City Marathon long training run alone. I do not wear earbuds but I did put my Iphone in a mesh pouch and play music. Not a really big issue for me so I am sure you will do just fine. I do hope you find someone to run with you because a long run with a buddy is just better:) Your plan is worth the effort but not worth it if you re-injure your knee. Problem is...you have absolutely no way of knowing how that is going to go so you just have to go on your instincts. It really does not matter what everyone else would do because you are the one training. those of us that have run Marathons know that some seem so "easy" and some just suck. Keep soaking up the good karma of your friends and family and just go with it. I think it will become clearer to you as it gets closer. The key is probably that you do not want to start a race as wonderful as Boston with your main thought being..."is my knee going to hold ?" You have to clear your head of those thoughts at some point. I know it is hard(ie my ankle) but......

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    1. THIS: "Your plan is worth the effort but not worth it if you re-injure your knee. Problem is...you have absolutely no way of knowing how that is going to go so you just have to go on your instincts." I need to write that on an index card and read it during my walk/run on Saturday!!!

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    2. Thank you for your always wonderful advice and insight, Donna!!

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  3. I stick to training plans, but I'll swap runs if a hard workout falls on a rainy day or something so I can do the easy run on that day and the hard one in good weather. I do all my runs alone and always have, I think I'm just comfortable going crazy with my own thoughts haha.

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    1. It's definitely good to enjoy your own company!

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  4. I don't think there's anything wrong with going for it. As long is if you do feel fatigued or your knee starts bothering you, you reassess your goals. :-)

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    1. Reassess, reassess... I feel like I do that every hour of every day! Hehe

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  5. I think it sounds like you really want to do it no matter what, so I'd stay stick with it if it's making you happy. I always run alone because I'm so slow. :)

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    1. That's the problem I'm not happy! hehe

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  6. My longest solo-run is 13.1. That's because that's the furthest I've ever run. I have a mental block when it comes to running farther. I would love to do your 20-miler with you. Too bad we're about 3000 miles apart! I'm still sending healing vibes your way!

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    1. I have a feeling we'd laugh the whole way! :)

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  7. The longest run I've ever done by myself was a half marathon and even then there was other racers around me. I can't imagine running any more than that by myself. I love having someone to talk to- it makes the run go by so much faster!!

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  8. I know everyone is really meaning well with their advice, but I personally would tune everyone out (except your doctors of course). You should only listen to your own body and what it's telling you regarding IF you should run or not. Of course Anne's training advice sound incredibly solid and taking training advice from her sounds like a good idea.

    I think after this weekend's walk/run you'll be able to make a really good evaluation about Boston. 20 miles is a lot and if your knee can hold up and feel good during and especially after -- then you'll know a lot about how you'll feel on race day.

    I have no doubt that once you're 100% back to form you'll be able to BQ again, so I wouldn't worry too much about ruining the Boston experience. I'm sure you'll be able to race it someday!

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    1. You are so right. I think I need to tune out the positive comments as well because it means nothing. If my knee hurts it doesn't matter if someone says "You can rock it girl!". That doesn't make my knee not hurt!

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  9. Is your goal to just "finish" Boston for the sake of being there, running it, and completing it? Or do you have a time goal in mind? I think you are more than capable of completing it and should do it as long as you are taking those walk breaks. Heck you could probably walk the whole course and still finish in the time limit allowed. I know how you feel though because I have just come to the realization that my Spring Marathon is not gonna happen. I thought about just doing it and walking lots of it but with all the hills and the time limit being so slim I just don't know if I could do it.

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    1. Goal is just to do the race and experience it :) No time in mind. The first time I ran Boston we took our good old time and finished in 4.5 hours because we stopped and took pictures. It was a blast! I am sorry to hear your spring marathon might not happen. It's so frustrating. :( I'm right there with ya sister.

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  10. I am totally rigid and stick to my plan like glue! Unless of course I'm sick/injured. This may be my psychotic 'runner brain' talking, but if I felt fit enough, I'd totally go for it with Boston. I'm not saying race all balls out so you can never have a functioning knee again, but I'd do the course run/walk if I could for sure---it's Boston! (See, crazy runner mentality speaking). :)

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  11. I came here to see what was up based on your FB post earlier.

    This is tough. Really tough. The most important question, I think, is "How do you feel?" Are you in pain? Is there any reason (aside from just knowing that you had surgery) for you to think that your knee can't take it? I know it's not the same thing at all, but with my vertigo, I understand the feeling of foreboding. That feeling that disaster could strike at any moment. For me (and I'm not saying it's the same for you, just sharing in case you can relate on some level), it's fear. When I'm prepared, when I'm not prepared, it's the same. It's a fear that I have to just get through.

    I honestly think that if you don't TRY to get there, you'll feel a level of regret about that. Despite it being this nagging worry that is constantly with you. If you have to drop out a week before the race? So be it. You'll know you tried.

    I like the plan that Anne has recommended. It's solid. I think it's doable.

    To answer your question, 20+ is the longest I've run solo. When I lived in NC, I trained for 2 marathons completely on my own. No headphones. No people. Just me and the road. I'm sure it sucked ass at the time. But looking back, those were good runs. They were memorable because I got in touch with myself and with the run. I can recall such odd little things about those runs. Signs I saw or places I visited. I was, in a way, exploring and absorbing. I miss that. There aren't as many fun places to run here (I KNOW, it's CO, there should be). Most are really rough trails, too boring, or too overpopulated. But, I have to find some new places soon. I'll be starting training again, solo.

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    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts, Kim. I definitely agree- I have to try. If I don't, I will regret it. Luckily, my big "try" is only 2 days away. I feel like I will have a clearer answer after I walk/run that 20 on the Conewago. If I can do that, I can do Boston, I know it. Even if I am sore for a few days after... oh well. People are sore after marathons all the time! I just don't want to be INJURED. Oh well, I could talk about it forever. Saturday is when I will know for sure.

      I am impressed that you trained for 2 marathons alone WITH NO HEADPHONES. You know looking back at the Laurel Highlands experience running 24 miles in the woods alone... I was really pissed after 2 miles when I realized I had 4 more hours of loneliness. But I got through it! And I do have fond memories of that run.

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  12. I am just commenting now {I'm so behind on blogs}.
    I hope you chose what your heart and gut told you to do. I know this is a very difficult decision to make but there is always a plan b. You could run it next year. I want you to be healthy and happy. I hope your long run went well and you enjoyed it! I ran all of my double digit distance runs solo. When I started training for my first half marathon, I was training with my friends who are husband and wife. Our schedules got busy and we had to start doing our long runs alone. I always ran alone and enjoyed it. It was just me and my music. My running buddy had to run her 11 miler all by herself and she complimented me and told me she didn't know how I did it! I loved my alone time!

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    1. Oh thank you so much, Heather! Alone time is GREAT. And it's nice to know you can do it alone if you have to. I mental thing.

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