Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Fighting back toward a sub-3 at Boston

I hit a minor stumbling  block this past weekend on my road to a sub-3:00 Boston performance.  After watching my MSU Spartans clinch a berth in the national championship on Saturday night, I came down with a sudden bout of what I think was the flu.

At first, I blamed my condition on one too many celebratory beers and too much Tabasco on my pizza the night before.  As my Sunday progressed, something didn't feel right.  Citing the windy cold rain and in direct spite of my better judgment, I decided to go ahead with my planned 17-miler on the treadmill anyway.  

Bear in mind, with Monday set as marathon day, I had a day of cushion.  But long runs on Mondays are rough and I figured I could fight through it.  I wasn't planning on pushing pace too hard.  All of the hard work had been put into the bank, anyway.

I didn't finish the 17-miler.  I felt like I was running in a lethargic haze with no purpose and I was counting every 0.01 increment as the odometer clicked onward.  I fought through 9 miles and had to retire due to exhaustion.  

Later, I had a few bites of dinner and realized my appetite was gone.  I went to bed at 6:45 PM and, with several bathroom incidents and Ibuprofen doses in between, my wife woke me at 6:45 AM on Monday.

I found my lack of appetite and diarrhea stripped off 5 pounds overnight.   I called off work on Monday and, if I wasn't comatose, I laid hopelessly in bed in despair wondering how I would break back into the outside world in such miserable shape.

Enter Tuesday at which point my sheer will forced me out of bed.  It's funny how our exaggerated sense of self-importance takes over under these circumstances.  "My people need me at the office.  The company will shut down if I'm not there," we think.

I helped my daughter get off to daycare with my wife, cleaned myself up and got myself to the office.  I drank several Coca-Colas throughout the day to rid myself of my pale appearance.  I still had no appetite, a highly dynamic body temperature from various fevers and no interest in running.

Finally, today, Wednesday, I broke back into running.  After all, we are only 12 days out from the Boston Marathon.  I did a solid 10-miler on the treadmill in 1:13.  Call it a fartlek mixed with several interval inclines and the final two miles at goal marathon pace.

One bit of positive news.  Before all of this sickness crippled me, I nailed an outstanding simulated 10k race in 37:54 on Saturday.  McMillan tells us that lines up with a sub-2:58 marathon.

Now, I will stick to the Pfitz up to 70mpw plan from here on out.  I went over the plan by adding those two GMP miles today, but I needed to push it a little after falling down on Sunday. 

I need to believe that blowing that final 17-miler will not affect my time on April 20th.  And I do believe it will not matter.  I had solid twenty-milers each of the two preceding - one of which I nailed 15 at goal pace.

Onward to Boston, folks ... and my second sub-3:00 race in roughly two months.  This will truly be a spectacular accomplishment if and when I nail this race.


Neeraj Rohilla said...

Good luck with your Boston plans.
Best wishes.

monicac2 said...

I'm sure you're going to have another great race in Boston!

Will you then take a break before moving onto the next goal?

Hope you're fully recovered by now!

jen said...

That final 17-miler will not affect your time on April 20th. It won't. You are clearly in shape to go sub-3 in Boston if it is your day. Think positive!

Glad you are feeling better. Enjoy the taper!

wayfool said...

You'll be fine! Sometimes these things happen because your body's trying to tell you it needs to rest. When you don't listen.. body breaks down. You've put in the work and you probably just needed a couple easy days. Call it an early taper.

Love2Run said...

Not to worry, a little rest is better than being overtrained. Now we can start to freak over what the weather is going to be. Cool I hope!