Thursday, March 23, 2006

Definitely Maybe

My self-imposed deadline of 72 hours before race start has expired, and am I feeling better and ready to run on Sunday? Err, probably. I’m definitely feeling better, the headache is gone, the coughing has mostly disappeared and the general feeling is much better. I did break my long period of non-activity last night to attend my usual Yoga class. We did a lot of standing asanas, and about half an hour into the class I started to feel dizzy, then the breathing when hay-wire, and when I started to see black spots in front of my eyes, I knew I was about 5 seconds away from fainting. I stopped whatever I was doing, drank a sip of water, calmed my breathing an immediately felt better. I was fine for the rest of the class.

Today I feel a distinct lack of energy, and I’m tired as hell, despite sleeping ok(ish) last night. Thanks a lot for all your well wishes and prayers, they are all gratefully received. We are definitely going to leave for Galway tomorrow, no matter if I feel ready for the marathon or not. I’ll take it easy on Saturday, and if I feel up to it on Sunday, I will run the marathon. But, to be honest, I’m pretty sure I will. Yvonne’s tale of how crap she felt before Chicago and then ran 3:30:15, is encouraging, and I found one story on RW where a guy ran a marathon with 101-degree fever (yes, he got seriously sick. But hey, he ran the whole thing). I haven’t got a temperature, so should be ok from a doctor’s point of view.

Today I’m stuffing myself with carbohydrates, both to counteract the lack of energy I’m experiencing, and to try and do some carbo-loading. I’m not very picky. So far I’ve had jam on toast (twice), some grapes, wheat cereal, a big lunch (including a scone packed with jam), an energy bar, a banana, and I’m about to attack another energy bar. And it’s only 3 o’clock. Plus plenty of sports drink. I don’t think a lack of carbs will be my problem.

I haven’t run a single step since last Friday. I hope that won’t affect my fitness.

The route in Connemara is full of hills. One guy in the forum reckons they add 10-20 minutes to your time. That seems a bit much, but judging from the profile, I would regard any time less than 4 hours as an achievement. I’ll try and shoot for something more ambitious, as long as I feel well enough. The first 9.5 miles are gradually uphill, then there’s a big downhill, a big climb, another down section, a few small ups and downs until mile 22 and then there’s the Hell of the West, more than 1.5 mile of climbing towards the highest point of the course. From then on you can roll towards the finishing line. I’ve run plenty of hills, but never on mile 23. I’ll let you know how it went.

21 comments:

  1. Wowzers - that route sounds tough! But you've put in some serious training (far above and beyond anything you've done up till now) and I know you can handle it.

    I'm a very strong believer that what you don't do in the 2-3 weeks leading up to a marathon doesn't make a sod of a difference to your performance. I've heard story upon story of people who've gotten sick before marathons and went on to PRs. Like my friend in the club who didn't run for 3 weeks due to illness and ran a 3:20 PR in New York. It's impossible to lose a significant proportion of the fitness you've gained over numerous months of hard training in just one week.

    I think you can only do yourself a possible disservice by overdoing it in the few weeks leading up to a long race. The only benefit is psychological since we get understandably antsy if we're not on the move.

    So I think your plan is a solid one. Look to the short hiatus you've had as an advantage, and once you're sure you're well enough to head to that starting line, put it all behind you, draw confidence from all your consistant hard training, and focus your mind on the task at hand.

    I can't wait to read your race report!!!

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  2. Same plan as I had before Avalon 50 after a flu. Start easy, if you feel good, pick it up or hold it, if not - slow down. Have no expectations and enjoy the run and the people around, you might surprise how much better it feels without worthy goals sometimes:)

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  3. We're rooting for you Thomas. Always darkest before the dawn. Be well.

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  4. Stay positive Thomas. You'll do well. You've trained so hard and that will shine through during your marathon!

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  5. If it is in your mind then the marath on is yours.

    Sounds like you are doing just the right things, take care, wish you luck and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy the marathon!!!

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  6. Lots of good advice in these comments. I love the title of this post! I live a lot of my life thinking "definitely maybe". I also love the name of your big hill - "The Hell of the West" - I've got a couple of hills in mind that I could borrow that name for!

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  7. GOOD LUCK!! rest up as best you can. Can't wait to read how it turns out!

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  8. Well Wishes from Florida! I am pulling for you.

    I look forward to the race report.

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  9. Good luck Thomas! My crystal ball predicts good weather and a great race ;-)

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  10. I'm sending lots and lots of good wishes your way!!! It sounds like you'll be in good shape to run it.

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  11. Good luck Thomas. We all know you can do it and don't worry about this past week to much it should not make any difference physically. Rest, eat, repeat.

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  12. Good luck Thomas. Ease into it, trust your training, be flexible and stay rock steady! We'll meet you on the other side.

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  13. Good luck Sunday! Hope everything goes well--That profile looks like quite a course!

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  14. Have fun this weekend.

    Scone? Nice. I haven't had one for so long :D.

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  15. That wasn't anonymous..it's Cliff :D

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  16. Keep your wits about you - you are going to do great Thomas! No more of that nearly fainting stuff!

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  17. Good luck and run also for the injuried Black Knight!

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  18. I am so jealous...I love connemara and would give my eye teeth to run a marathon there - some day maybe.

    Congratulations at getting there and best of luck for Sunday - have one in Peacock's of Maam Cross for me willya?

    "I wish I was on the N17..."

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  19. good luck and have a great marathon-looking forward to reading the race report :)

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  20. you're probably already done, but sending good vibes your way anyway. wish i would have read about you not feeling groovy sooner. it's phantom taper sickness and it dissipates the day of the race. =)

    hope you had a wonderful race and i can't wait to read your report!

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