Crazy, stupid or both?

Things have been slowly returning to normal in my running life. Here’s how the last two weeks’ training has gone.

Purple is my jam right now!

Purple is my jam right now!

3/23          Rest. Day after the day after my half marathon and I needed some more recovery time.

3/24          3.55 miles. Still felt a little sore so this one was at an easy pace. 5 min walk to warm-up followed by 3 x 9 min intervals @ 8.49 min/mile pace with 1 min  walk break in between.

3/25          Bike commute. In March I started bike commuting to work and it is awesome. I think I’ll do a post about it next week. It can be a hard workout on the way (680 ft elevation gain in just under 4 miles) but free wheeling pretty much the whole way home.

3/26          4 miles. 5 min walk to warm up followed by 2 x 15 min intervals @ 9 min/mile pace with 1 min walk interval. Bike commute.

3/27          Strength workout.

3/28         15 mile long run at 9.15 min/mile pace.

3/29         Bike commute. Strength workout.

3/30         4 miles @ 8.36 min/mile (no more walk breaks!). Bike commute.

3/31          Bike commute.

4/1            4.65 miles @ 8.30 min/mile pace. First completely pain free run in forever.

4/2           3 miles @ 9.18 min/mile pace. First time running two days in a row since January!

4/3           Rest.

Somehow my total mileage for March ended up at 86.55 which is almost 4 times what I managed in February (23.4 miles) and a nice surprise when I did the math. The main things that I can take away from March are that I have managed to get my walk intervals down to zero, I had one (hopefully the first of many) pain-free run and I managed to run two days in a row without damaging myself. I think that I might be back to normal (fingers crossed!).

So what next for April? Well this is where things get a little shocking, and you can tell me whether you think that I am crazy, stupid or both.

You might notice that I ran a 15 mile run last weekend. One of the local running stores was hosting a teaser run on a running trail about 20 minutes from my house. Basically, they set up water and gatorade stations along a stretch of the Jordan River Parkway. I’ve never run here before (some of the areas can be a little sketchy if you are running by yourself) so I thought it would be the perfect time to check it out. Bonus: it’s probably the flattest place to run in SLC -> 50 ft of elevation gain in 15 miles. The run went pretty well. It took a while to warm up but I settled in at a comfortable 9ish minute pace and decided that I would run for 2 hours. At the turnaround point I stopped to take a Gu and was glad to be returning with a tailwind. Miles 8-11 felt amazing. I even managed to dip under 9 minutes for these miles. My car was parked at mile 13 but I decided I’d hit up the north end of the trail for a mile out and back. The last mile was pretty tough because (how do I say this politely?) of a runner emergency. Luckily I spied a bathroom in time. As I was leaving the stall I noticed a tiny little stall that turned out to be……….a urinal. Yes, in my desperation I failed to notice that I was in the mens bathroom. Luckily, nobody noticed my mistake and I headed back to my car for some chocolate milk. By this time it was 68F and I was feeling pretty warm. My calf was bothering me a little and my right hip flexor was a little tight (story of my life). By late afternoon I was totally fine (yay for recovery!).

My mileage for the last two months has looked like this:

2/16-2/22      11.3 miles

2/23-3/1        14.6 miles

3/2-3/8          13.5 miles

3/9-3/15         18 miles

3/16-3/22      21.2 miles

3/23-3/29      22.5 miles

3/30-4/5        estimated 27 miles

A nice steady increase, right? So where is it all leading? Well, some of you might remember that I signed up for a full marathon on May 16th. Back in February I was pretty sure that this was impossible for me. 26.2 miles that is insane. But now…….I managed a half marathon on basically no training. My 15 miler went surprising well and only about 20s/mile slower than during the summer. I’m wavering. I’m actually thinking about running it. I think I can get my long run up to 18 miles and this should be enough to get me to the finish line. And that is all I’m interested in right now. Not worried about time or pace or BQs. The course is flat or downhill (900 ft drop over the whole race), it’s near my house and my husband is running it. His thinking is that if he can run a 32 mile trail race with a 15 mile long run then I should be able to finish a marathon. My cardio has been maintained during my injury spell. I’ve done the distance before so I know how hard it will be but also how to pace myself to finish. I’ll obviously pull out if my injury comes back (or something else happens) but I’m feeling great right now. I know it’s not ideal but is it totally crazy, stupid or both?

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24 thoughts on “Crazy, stupid or both?

  1. I think that if you are feeling good you should go for it! You have almost 2 months until then and you have already done a pretty long run. However, you would need to be really careful! I don’t think you’re stupid OR crazy…you’re just a runner!

    • I love that third option – you’re not crazy, you’re just a runner! Sometimes I think we are slightly mad. I guess I just needed to put my thoughts together about whether this was a really terrible idea or just a potentially terrible idea.

  2. Martha B says:

    If you’re feeling it… I say go for it. Obviously set hard rules for yourself in terms of “if I feel this kind of pain during the race, bail no matter what,” but I totally think you can be ready for it. And if you change your mind closer to, what’s the harm? It gives you something to look forward to!

    • I think this is the best approach! Start training for it but don’t go crazy. And if it turns out that I can’t run it – it’s not really the end of the world. I can still pick up my $65 t-shirt LOL!

  3. It may be a little of both but it’s something I would do! If you are feeling good you should run it! Just listen to your body and adjust if things change. Sometimes the races where you expect nothing turn out to be the best! Congrats on the 15 miler.

    • Taking the pressure off definitely helps! My most enjoyable half marathon was one where I was returning from an injury (hmmmm that sounds all too familiar) and I had no expectations. I ended up getting a pretty decent run and actually having fun!

  4. Jane Likes to Run says:

    I think you should go for it! You definitely sound like you’re in the right mindset of what you can reasonably accomplish with coming back from injury. I would do the same thing. Hey, you paid for it! Might as well get through it however you can! Just take it nice and slow and get more of your moneys worth out of the scenery!

    • It’s funny we pay so much to run the race we should get our money’s worth by taking as long as possible! I just need to keep my sensible hat on and not get carried away. I think my race is the weekend after Eugene.

  5. I’m totally feeling you on this. Rock started marathon training and he’s getting ready to head out for an 18 miler. It has me researching which one I will do next year. The Hanson’s have a very successful plan they use for many elite runners and many others use it. Their longest run is 18 miles. I believe their theory in a nutshell is that you are prepared after 18 miles and your body won’t reach that level of exhaustion brought on by 20 or 22. Honestly, you know your body very well. If you can run the marathon for fun and keep it at a healthy pace I say go for it. And then maybe take a week off an start thinking about your next one 😉

    • I can totally see you being jealous of Rock when he heads out for those long runs! They say that pregnancy helps your running performance because your heart is working so much harder for 9 whole months. My plan right now is to train to make it to the start line, enjoy the race and then take two whole weeks off from running. Plus I’m going to be watching Boston later this month and I know that is going to make me want to run a race so bad.

  6. It’s cool that you’re bike commuting to work (I’d love to read a post on it!). My boyfriend bikes to work and loves it.
    I think that you can definitely finish a May marathon…though enjoying it might be a different story 😉

    • I am a fair weather biker but I think getting some fresh air and extra cardio can’t hurt. And I like your honest assessment – it might not be the funnest 4+ hours of my life but it’ll probably be character building – and you can never have too much character?

  7. FLRunnerBoy says:

    My words of wisdom are just play it by feel Irish. If you’re feeling good go for it but if not pull back. I have confidence you’ll make the right choice for your body you have been in tune with since this injury first occurred.

    • You have more faith in me than I do! I think that I’m still in the overanalyzing stage of this injury. What’s that pain? Should I take an extra rest day? Listening to my body is like 50% of my time these days! I hope I can be brave enough to make the right decision -either pull out and take a DNS or push a little and finish those 26.2 miles.

  8. charissarunning says:

    Oh my gosh, this is amazing news! I think if you’re feeling good, do what you want and go for it! My advice is to just have fun with the training for it and don’t put any pressure on yourself (which it sounds like you’re doing anyway). Make a plan but when you get out there just keep following your body’s cues. Hope all goes well! I’m excited to hear about your training in the coming weeks as you prepare 😀

    • Thanks Charissa! I think I’m still in the post-injury “enjoying any run” phase, and I know my speed isn’t quite there. I think giving up thoughts of a PR or BQ should make me more relaxed. Although I do plan on living vicariously through you for that BQ-training cycle.

      • charissarunning says:

        It definitely helps to relax that way. I actually have no BQ plans for my marathon coming up either which is maybe why I’m enjoying training so much?? No pressure!
        I also have yet to run a half in 1:45 and I figure if I can break that goal then MAYBE a BQ is possible in June…but, I also think the weather could be ridiculous then so I really have no expectations yet. As of now, my plan is actually to go for a BQ in my fall marathon! So if you do one then too we’ll still be on track together! 😀

      • Training with no expectations is definitely more fun. I always get knots in my stomach if I know I have to hit a certain pace. I was running 8 minute miles at my race and was wondering how it would be possible to sustain that for a whole marathon. Fall races are still up in the air but maybe if the summer goes well?

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