Friday, October 17, 2014

The End of Training

I spent some time today planning a long run that wouldn’t have too much elevation change in preparation for the NYC Marathon in a few weeks. As I curved the course up and down local streets on the map, I thought to myself, “is the race two weeks away or three?” After reviewing the calendar and cross-checking it against my training plan, I realized that I was off by a week.

My 18 mile race last weekend was really my last all-out long effort. For this weekend, I could trend it down into a more taper-ish 10 to 12 mile long effort.

This revelation felt nice because it meant I did not have to go through all the gear/water planning. I didn’t have to timidly mention to my wife that I would need to disappear for three hours (or more), and then spend the rest of the day massaging my thighs while bouncing kids and eating everything in front of me.

Normally, I devote a significant amount of stress time to long-run planning and post-run guilt-ridden failure management. Usually, it’s plans for back-to-back efforts that turn into half-distances or dropped runs due to kids, errands, life. Now, I’m going into the weekend stressing about wanting to run (see planning above) while knowing that I should rest the pins and get ready for big things.

My foot has been a disaster in the build up to this race, so I should be happy with the recoup time to try to sort this out.

You would think.

But none of this is easy for me. The only time I’m truly at peace with myself as a “runner” is when I’m out there running. The before, the after. That’s the tough stuff.