Saturday, October 10, 2009

Marathon relay training with 14 days to go

I'm thinking about one of my work colleagues who is running in her first half marathon today in Baltimore. By now the race has already been run and I'm hoping she is celebrating a great experience. Last time I spoke to her she was concerned about an IT band injury. She was concerned about how that injury would affect her performance. She told me that her doctor discouraged her from getting a cortisone shot. The advice was that she should be able to feel the injury and, therefore, know when to stop or protect it if things got worse. I have a feeling things went well.

I'm less than 15 days from my marathon experience in Cape Cod. Not quite a half but longer than I've ever run in a single day. I keep thinking about the pluses and minuses of running two legs totalling 9 miles versus running that distance at a single time. I'm starting the race with a three mile leg and then running the fourth leg (six miles) after my teammates complete about 12 miles in between. Depending on how quickly they cover their distance I'm guessing I'll have 1:30 to 2:00 hours in between my runs. While I'm happy to have a rest in between I'm worried that my endurance will be affected by the lapse. The concern is that I will build up so much lactic acid after the first leg that my legs will be dragging halfway through the second. I suppose there is a strategy to help lactic acid dissipate sooner, probably through stretching or massage. I'll happily take guidance and suggestions.

I was feeling a little weak yesterday after my run and throughout most of the day. I had hoped to run five+ miles today on the street to ratchet up my conditioning as I move closer to race day. I've averaged 20 miles a week over the past couple of months but I've stepped it up to 23 miles the last couple of weeks. I felt okay when I went out this morning and headed straight for the industrial park because I need to train for "memorable hills" and there are some long steep ones there. I split off into neighborhood #4 and then tracked further east into the next town. I felt good although I did hit the wall somewhat at 33 minutes but I knew that I could endure it. Since I'm going to be on the trails at Stillwell Woods tomorrow I didn't want to burn out today so I redirected home and finished with 4.75 miles at a Gmap verified 9:09. I felt good about today's effort because my level of conditioning transcended the weakness and fatigue that I'm experiencing today. I hope this continues tomorrow, it's been weeks since I've been on the trails and Stillwell is no place for weakness.

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