Sunday, November 10, 2013

Richmond Marathon Is Bullying Me

Two turtles at Bass Pro Shops last weekend, the fellow on the right is the boss
I think I'm being bullied by an inanimate object, or even worse, an event.  Because the Richmond Marathon next weekend has forced me to do things that I didn't really want to do ... and now my legs are two lifeless sticks hanging from my hips.  I look forward to most marathons, and indeed this one will be a blast, but I think my goal time is in serious jeopardy.

I was fortunate only four weeks ago, to run my fastest marathon ever at Chicago.  My 3:14:48 topped my previous best by over five minutes, and qualified me for Boston for the fourth time in my running career.  But to be honest, I really felt like I should have been under 3:10 that day.  And after the race, I knew it was a long shot, but I intended to take a run at 3:10 in Richmond, which was only five weeks later.  But at this point, I just don't think it was enough time to recover and prepare like I needed to.

I took most of the week off after the Chicago Marathon, and didn't have any injuries or lingering pain at all.  And I gradually started to build a little strength back with slow running and light workouts.  But after that, I felt compelled to really push it more than usual.  The looming November 16th date was right around the corner and most of my workouts were built around sharpening and strengthening.  I incorporated my normal rest days, but all of the runs were pretty intense.  And last weekend, in my "infinite wisdom" and keeping with this "over-training/under resting" theme, I ran a near PR 5K on Sunday ... and then 18 miles, with 15 of them near marathon pace on Monday.  Monday was a mistake!  I usually like to have a last long run two weeks before the marathon, with a significant number of the miles at an up-tempo pace.  But the hard 18, only a day after a fairly hard 5K was a little too much.  And I think I might have toasted my legs.

So yesterday I ran my typical "weekend before the marathon" run of 12 miles, with 5 of them at marathon pace.  The good news is I was able to reach and hold marathon pace without a lot of trouble ... the bad news is I just felt wobbly, weak, dead-legged, and worst of all my butt and upper hamstring tendinitis issues that have plagued me in the past started to flair up a little again. When this happens, I've learned it's simply a product of too much & too fast.  And typically the only remedy is a lot of rest and reduced mileage ... not a marathon.

So basically I'll rest more than usual this week and hope for the best.  I'm so relieved that I ran a good time at Chicago so there is absolutely no pressure at Richmond ... none at all!  If I feel good on Saturday, I'll go out hard and push my pace.  But if I can't hold it ... I'll have a lot of quit in me - ha.  We'll just see how it goes.  But at this point I think 3:10 is a definite "probably not gonna happen".
... be great today!
(as for the title of this blog ... yes, I obviously realize that many children and some adults endure real bullying everyday with threats, verbal abuse, and sadly much worse.  I'm in no way trying to make light of their struggle - it's simply a literary parallel and not intended to offend anyone)


  1. My advice: Just rest this week, tons of light foam rolling, eat good-quality protein, a few 3-mile easy runs. Wear compression if you have any.

  2. Don't push it and end up hurting yourself. I say don't even wear a watch. Run it based on feel and enjoy the experience. Just some friendly advice from a fellow much, much slower than you. I hope it's well received.

  3. Be really kind to yourself this week Jim. Eat really well - lots of anti-oxidant fruit and vegies. Drink lots of water. And try and get a massage if you can. And don't worry about running. You won't forget how to do it between now and Sunday. Good luck!

  4. That's a tough one. Like everyone already said- Relax this week, foam roll, get enough sleep and I think you'll do good come marathon day regardless if you get a 3:10 or not.

  5. Ditto what Gracie said! Drink that beet juice for vasodilation, tart cherry juice for muscle soreness, and food with omega-3 for inflammation. Good luck!

  6. Well, I would NEVER try to do anything like push too hard in training for the pursuit of a marathon time. That's just silly. ;)
    Sounds like you've had a tough time holding back, but with some good rest and light running, anything is possible. You already have a super PR this year, anything else is icing on the cake. I hope you get it!

  7. I definitely think you have a 3:10 marathon in you - maybe just think of it as a long training run?

    I've been reading about college football conference rankings - I saw somewhere that the best division is SEC West, followed by Pac12 North, Pac12 South, and then SEC East. Pac12 has a lot of teams who are very good to average, even Utah who lost to Arizona State by 1, and Oregon State by 3.

    I still do think Oregon is a really good team, they likely will win out and go to the Fiesta Bowl, and likely win that game. They could beat most of the SEC I think. Stanford just has Oregon's number since they have an awesome O line, and Oregon's D line isn't as big.

    That Missouri loss to South Carolina was tough to watch - you guys had it. I really hope you beat A&M and go to the SEC title game, I can't stand Johnny Manziel. A&M defense is absolutely horrible.

    Stanford is basically locked into playing Ohio State in Rose Bowl, unless something crazy happens.

    As for the Stanford loss to Utah, that was probably the most frustrating game I've ever watched. Every break, good play, or otherwise lucky bounce went Utah's way. Stanford also had 2 turnovers. Also, Stanford had the ball on the Utah 6, 3rd and 2, and they threw it twice - both times incomplete to end the game. I was pleading for them to run the ball. So really to me the loss is on the coach David Shaw for awful play calling.

  8. Here is the link I was talking about that has the SEC West, Pac12 north, pac12 south and SEC East as hardest divisions in football to play in


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