Monday, August 15, 2011

Leaps of Faith


We all have them.  They come big.  They come small.  They come every where in between.  My challenge for the weekend was to get my mileage in, despite having to travel to Birmingham, AL for my son’s soccer tournament.

Using the interwebz, I identified some possible running routes for my 5 miler on Saturday, and my 12 miler on Sunday.  Basically, I wanted to run around the campus on Saturday before my son’s game.  Sunday, I thought I would just run from the hotel to the soccer fields, about 8.3 miles, and tack on some extra at the end to get in the required mileage.

My mouth fell open when we pulled into the parking lot at the host “hotel”.  It was billed as an “Inn and Suites”, but I suspected trouble the moment I saw the sign with the words “extended stay” on it.  Never the less, we checked in.  The facility was more like apartments than an inn.  The first thing we saw after passing through the gates was the van with the shattered glass.  It was getting dark, and there were gangs of teenagers roaming the facilities, and all different kinds of denizens hanging around outside.

It took all of ten minutes to decide to leave, but the damage was done.  We went up the road a bit and checked into a better hotel.  The next morning, we tried to get to the soccer fields a tad bit early, but failed to do so.  That only left my 40 minutes or so to get in my five miler.  I wasn’t up for a five mile run at an 8 minute pace.  I settled for 5 miles at an almost 9 minute pace instead, and missed the very start of my son’s game.  Fortunately for me, there was a small trail right outside the soccer fields.  There were tons of runners, and I was super excited to be running along Shady Creek (it was shady!), on a new trail, with a bunch of running peeps.

The long run on Sunday was just a no go.  I was not comfortable running through that part of town, that early in the morning in unfamiliar territory.  Instead, I opted to run on the treadmill after my return to Atlanta.  I did 12 glorious miles on the dreadmill at the gym.  I consumed two bottles of Gatorade, and promptly chaffed my nips and my nether regions.

Dayum, these little reminders are painful.

and that my friends, wraps up a thirty mile week for me.  I think that’s my second or third thirty mile week ever.

I am putting a lot of faith in this running plan, and in truth, I’m feeling kind of torn.  Going from 10-15 miles a week of running during tri season to 30+ miles a week of running only is a serious leap of faith, and fraught with peril.  I do not want to injure myself.  I am, as of yet, uninjured, ever.  There is also a part of me that questions whether sub-4 is the proper goal for me?  My marathon PR is 5+ hours.  Sub-4 seems imminently reasonable, but is it truly challenging enough for me.  Based on my half marathon back in March, I wonder.

I haven’t been sticking strictly to the paces in the plan.  I have allowed myself some freedom to up the speed when I felt good.  The high mileage and the need to “do it all again tomorrow” has kept my free spirit in check.  Still, one does wonder.  I guess I can always run harder than planned in the last 5-6 miles of my race, eh?

Have a great week, y’all!



Richard said...

Stay on track Wes. Stay on track.

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

NEVER speak the words: uninjured

I did so and than wrenched my lower back the other week.

Going back into hiding now ;)

LBTEPA said...

I think it's normal to feel doubtful this early in your program. And your great strength is in listening to yourself and doing what you need - no need to use the "I-word" yet :)

My Life and Running said...

You're making the time for stretching right? I've got some hip strengthening exercises (strong hips = strong quads, ITB) if you need links!

iJuls said...

One day at a time, Wes. And give yourself a bit if space to let life happen. You'll be fine. You KNOW it.

it's all about pace said...

nothing better than discovering a running trail...

Michelle said...

Definitely normal to feel a bit doubtful, but if you stick to the plan and listen to your body, you'll be fine. But you don't need me to tell you that : )