Sunday, November 09, 2008

Always There

Another week in the books. One week closer to that next long awaited state. Four weeks from today I will be on a plane on my way back home from Tennessee. While not guaranteed, I am feeling pretty confident about crossing the finish line in AutoZone Park. Finishing the St. Jude Marathon will be a triumph over injury and one state closer to my goal. For that I am thankful.

This week, Week 23, consisting of 4 runs for 23 miles looked just like last week give or take a half mile moved from one day to another. I’ve come to realize that most of my mileage has been what many would classify as “junk”; just enough to get by. Reading blogs, like David, Charlie, Burger, Joe and Juls, I realize that you’ve all got a more focused training plan with speed work, tempo runs, and LT runs, while I just cover the ground.

Even with the talk of running dangerously in my last post, I’ve really been running pretty safely. I’m afraid to push it. The injury earlier this year is one reason. I frequently feel like I’m one wrong step, one pulled muscle, one pushed pace away from disaster.

I mentioned to Jeff a couple of years back that I am always keenly aware of my legs. Do you know the feeling? We’ve got a multitude of parts to our bodies. On a daily basis we are not aware of most of them. Take the spleen for example, you know it is there, but unless its causing you pain you don’t really think about it. On the other hand my legs always have some kind of twinge here or there. On any given day my quads are sore, the IT flares, my Achilles ache, etc, etc. My legs are always “there.” Before I was a runner my legs were just another part of my body. They were not constantly reminding me of their presence. Don’t get me wrong, I like that feeling of “there-ness”, but I fear that all those little pains will become bigger pains if I push beyond my comfortable pace and plan.

Besides the 50 State goal I have other goals – a sub 4:00 marathon and a Boston Qualifier, currently at 3:30 for me. A couple of years into running I was able to achieve that sub 4:00 at SEAFAIR with increased experience and mileage. I even pulled off a 3:40 with the help of a net downhill at St. George. Since then things have gone in the other direction. The BQ is going to take a more focused effort.

For now I’m going to stay the course through 2008, but 2009 is time for re-evaluation. Let’s hope this body can take the heat and even more that I will have the mental fortitude to do what needs to be done.

16 comments:

David said...

You'll be letting out the reins in St. Louis, I expect, just to see if it all still works. After your faithful training without injury, I see a good race and a promising 2009 ahead of you.

I hear you on the legs sensitivity although I have not suffered anything nasty recently; but still, yes, they're always talking to me.

Danny said...

I agree on the legs thing too. You always feel them. One thing that bothers me is that my shins are always so sensitive if I bang them or someone kicks me accidentally. They just feel "fragile" all the time.

Neese said...

you can and will do it! :)

robtherunner said...

You'll get back to that sub-4 Darrell. Maybe I need to meet up with you in Idaho and I can run ahead and then you can catch me right at the finish line, or even better we can just run together.

Legs and Wings said...

I think that you'll feel better once you cross the line at Memphis. It's been a long time since your last marathon and these niggling little doubts/questions etc are always a torment.

You mentioned Boston again. Why'd you have to go and do that? I was just thinking the same - wondering if I'd ever get there. The dumb thing is that we are both capable. I wonder if 2009 will be our BQ qualifying year? I suspect it may be.

Wes said...

I know from experience, there is nothing like an approaching race to make your more acutely aware of your legs! Just sayin...

Anne said...

I've no doubt you'll triumph in Tennessee and return ready for a little rest and more reflection. Oh, and yes -- it spelled Edison!

Pat said...

Enjoy Tennesse. I would think that a BQ would be a bigger deal than 50 states. Of course, 50 states would be more fun.

If you could only do one, which one would you choose?

drew said...

Well I for one am thankful that you've had to slow down. Gives me a chance to go out and get a 3:40 to catch up!

Kidding. Keep up the conservative approach. And as for always being aware of my legs, absolutely right on. They either hurt because I'm running to much, or are tight because I'm not running enough. There is no in between anymore

Jean said...

Darrell, I am sure you are going to do great! Running safely is not a bad thing, and it will ensure that you make it to the starting line in Tennessee in one piece.

Good luck with your remaining month of training!

Nick said...

Ahhh, the aches. Love them too.

I always feel the same way regarding holding myself back to keep from getting injured.
Even after this latest injury, I have decided to hold off from "running normal".
I think I'll play it safe so I can tear it up in 09.

Take it easy and believe you'll get there. It will all happen for sure.

Annette said...

I hear you about the legs. Since being injured, I am ultra-aware of my lower half, too. It is a good thing, though. That way we can get on an injury before it really becomes an injury.

Good luck with your marathon goals, but definitely ease in! Taking care of the body is priority #1.

Joe said...

No junk miles at all, Darrell...you are rebuilding a base. That ain't junk...at all.

And, yes, the legs are always there. I like how you described that. I've noticed it but never put it into words as you have.

I'm excited about the convergence of my two favorite sports in Memphis...finishing a marathon down the left field foul line of a baseball stadium. I'll have to tell you about my ideas for the final dash of the race. Ha!!

Stay careful...you have many years of running ahead of you...including a nice run on Patriot's Day in Boston....

Juls said...

Sometimes, it's nice to just run.

Catherine said...

It's better to get to the starting line a little undertrained than injured.

I was just thinking the same thing about my legs. Coming back from an injury, every twinge convinces me I'm hurt again. But if I don't run they get sore from not running.

Not junk miles, "rebuilding" miles, an important difference. Run on.

Dori said...

Believe in yourself.

Thanks for your congratulatory comment. I don't know what your running background is, but I've been reading Hal Higdon's "Run Fast" book and it's pretty helpful.

My marathon goals are always to finish and not get hurt. Higdon's "Marathon" book is full of good pointers for avoiding injury during training. It was the first running book I ever read.