Saturday, April 11, 2009

Potential Disaster

I didn’t want to mention it in my last post in the hope that it would go away, but that wish remained unfulfilled. When I woke on Monday morning, I had a sore throat. It wasn’t too bad, and I didn’t notice it again until later in the evening. On Tuesday it was there again, and by now I was getting worried. I need to be in top shape to have any hope of beating 3 hours in Boston, and if I’m fighting off an infection, that’s it. I felt fine on Wednesday, but Thursday morning I awoke with the by now familiar ache; I might have imagined it, but I thought I felt “something” in my chest as well. Friday was fine, and today I’m ok as well, and there’s not much I can do about it - I keep taking my vitamins anyway. I try not to think about it, and hope that everything will be just hunky dory 9 days from now.

Since this is my taper, I took it really easy after Wednesday’s MP run. Running short has the added bonus of extra time in bed, which was very welcome, and the 6 easy miles passed by quickly.

I was supposed to run 3x1 mile on Friday, but I just didn’t feel like it. I was all set to go out and run fast, but I really was not looking forward to it. As I got ready I changed my plans and just ran 7 easy miles (or it would have been 7 if I had remembered to turn around at the right spot). The legs felt very good, but the heart rate was higher that I would have expected. Hmm. Not a good sign.

After two easy days I didn’t have much of an excuse today, and out I went. I still wasn’t looking forward to the pain of running fast, but I thought I would be able to take it. After the warm up I stormed off on the first mile. Just like at last week’s race I was wheezing within a couple of minutes, and by the time I had covered half a mile I felt like collapsing. I don’t have access to a track, and the road has two small hills, but they felt like mountains today. By the time I finished the first mile I couldn’t help it but come to a complete stop and take HOK position, completely shattered. Even though 5:54 was 5 seconds slower than the first mile of last week’s race, I was done for. Incidentally, it was the fastest mile I had ever run in training. I had some faint hopes that 2 minutes of recovery would get me back to life, but as soon as the second repeat started I was immediately wheezing again. I pulled the plug after about 2 minutes. I jogged the rest of that mile, though looking at the time afterwards it must have been close to HMP pace. The third mile was never on the cards.

Ah well. My mind wasn’t in it today. With me being in full taper mode I wasn’t prepared to suffer through the workout, and I was worried about that sore throat. How I managed to run 3 consecutive miles at that pace last week is beyond me. Race day adrenaline is amazing.

I’ll forget about that workout today. The work for the marathon was done in previous weeks, now I feel more like relaxing and taking it easy. The thought that I won’t run a single step at faster than MP for quite some time is rather appealing right now.
9 Apr
6 miles, 49:31, 8:15 pace, HR 142
10 Apr
7.1 miles, 56:32, 7:58 pace, HR 145
11 Apr
6.25 miles, 45:12, 7:15 pace, HR 158
2x1 mile @ 5:54, 6:20


  1. Chin up Thomas, ply the chicken soup, orange juice and vitamins, and you will be fine. I've been living in fear too with 1/2 my co-workers sick, spewing germs and no way to avoid them. Rest well.

  2. Paranoid android!
    Psychologically the taper can be a hard time, its best to think and adsorb yourself with other things in your life and put the thoughts of the marathon on the back burner for a bit!
    Its a bit like waiting in the departure lounge of an airport and thinking of all the things that could go wrong with the plane!
    The more you think about it the more things you will be able to think of that might go wrong!!!

  3. I'm sure you'll be fine by race day - you've got a lot of time to recover.

    On April-2, your mile repeats averaged 6:33. I imagine dropping it to 5:54 would greatly alter the way you felt between reps. I agree - the best thing you can do is just forget about the session. How you feel during a workout at 5:54 has no relevance as to how you'll perform at 6:50ish pace in Boston.

    You've done all the work - you're in good enough shape to do it - just get your rest, trust in your training and you're going to do very well in 9 days!!

  4. let's all stay healthy now, ok?

  5. All the best for overcoming the sore throat.

  6. No getting sick now Thomas! Keep taking the Vitamin C, drink lots, rest lots. Don't let the taper madness get to you. You'll be great!

  7. Remember the lessons from Dublin - don't try anything new including using words like "Disaater" in your post titles a week before Boston. You've never been so ready for this. Don't look for results (time, HR, effort etc)in your remaining runs. They're just to keep you from going crazy. The work is done and you don't need any more indicators of how ready your body is. Rest up and keep healthy.

  8. what they all said. plus rest rest rest!

  9. rest... even skip mileage, but sleep more.
    for the cold, it is recommended by many the following therapy:
    - vitamin C
    - Zinc
    - Echinacea
    (I usually take this combo and it works...)

  10. Rest up, dude! I'll keep fingers crossed for you to stay healthy.