Saturday, January 15, 2011
Famous Last Words
Just a few days ago, I was tweeting with someone (on Twitter). The frustrating thing about twitter, but what also makes it pretty cool, is the character limit. At one point in the exchange, I wanted to say, that while running 26.2 miles at once wasn't easy, if you don't care about your time, all you have to do is train up with some long relatively low-intensity aerobic runs, if you're already in pretty good condition. Since I think that described me pretty well, I view the bigger challenge of the marathon to be finish it with a good time. Well, that's obviously too many characters, but I don't like to string a bunch of tweet's together to tell the whole story, so I tried to catch it in one single, perfectly worded tweet.
So, what did I say? It was: 'I don't view "completion" as the challenge for me. Racing it for my best time is the challenge. I'm realistic though.'
After I tweeted it, I immediately thought it didn't fully capture what I was trying to say, and probably came across as brazen and naive to outside readers. The person I was tweeting with had already suggested that with my training load so far, he was sure I could complete a marathon next week. Given that I regularly run well over 15 miles, I had agreed with him. That is, if all I tried to do was go 26.2 miles at one go, I thought I could get it done.
It occurred to me after sending that last tweet that it sounded a little bit like someone's "famous last words," and part of me began to grow concerned that this foreshadowed something bad. Then, on my next run, I felt some twinges in my iliotibial band. I'd felt them before in my other leg, and they brought my training to a complete halt a year ago, so I immediately began to wonder, "Is this it? Is this proof positive that I had put my foot in my mouth?"
Well, that was a week ago, and the ITB has been up and down during a week when my overall mileage will come in well over 50. The ITB was bad one day, but I still finished the run, then it was no problem the next day on a longer run, then a recovery run saw no problem, then after a tempo run there was a problem, and after today's recovery run... Nothing. Tomorrow is a medium-long run, and I'm hoping for the best. I've recalled some form focuses, and some other tricks I've learned to alleviate ITB pain and I've put those into play on some days this week, and those were the days I had the least trouble, so I'm hopeful. With luck, this won't be the disaster I thought my poor choice of tweet wording might foreshadow. Still, it was a wake-up call and a reminder to pay attention.