Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Gators?
This last week was a true test of balancing a marathon training schedule and life. Since I haven't picked the right lottery numbers, I continue to have to "punch the clock" with my day job which sometimes gets in the way of my running life. This last week which was my four week countdown to running the Boston Marathon presented one ugly (with a capital "U") schedule. Over four thousand travel miles covering Denver, Orlando, Chicago and New Jersey all in the same week. There are some trips that present some variety to the running schedule which are welcomed--nothing like a run in Central Park in New York city vs. running from your house for the umpteenth time. This week was not one of those glamour trips.
One thing you realize when you train for a marathon is that while healthy, you are downright tired. Cresting the 500 mile mark while training for this year's Boston already had me anxious for taper, but this trip took it's toll on me. Traveling alone can tax the body (who designs those seats anyway...not near enough cush for my bony running tush.) Adding to the air miles was the long days that included two days walking a trade show (not a running expo,) late nights with work, and challenging diet (airport food.) I had at least three nights with only around 4-5 hours of sleep. Brutal. I packed my run gear and managed to get most of my runs in...including a nine mile tempo run in Orlando. No disrespect to Orlandoans, but what was Walt Disney thinking when he plopped a resort 100 miles from the Ocean? The temps hit nearly 90 which meant I waited until dusk to knock out the run. I perused mapmyrun and google and saw some nearby lakes...that could be nice...perhaps there's a path? Then I realized, not so smart. If they aren't pitching Disney or Universal Studios, they're peddling gators in Orlando. This isn't some unleashed dog nipping at you on a suburban running path, this is a nasty carnivore that can devour a small vehicle.
I decided not to risk "life and limb" and opt'ed for running the main drag and it was a drag. One hot mutha with no energy. Snow was my reward as I dragged my luggage and tired butt into Newark after a flight delay that sent us to North Carolina to visit their tarmac for a few hours. Brutal. I finished the week with one more flight delay and looked forward to running in my home state of Colorado with my running group. A simple 10 miler after last weekend's 20. If I was a cell phone, I only had one battery square. Brutal. My body felt like I hadn't trained at all the last four weeks.
"Listen to the body" I try and tell myself, and in this case, I'm going to listen. My body needs some serious rest over the next three weeks as I'm going with a three week taper vs. a two week one. At this point, another 20 miler or aggressive Yasso's will not yield a lower time in Boston. Rest and avoid gators is my mantra. Sorry for all the venting...I feel better after venting to the virtual world. Ending the week on a high note was my Boston bib # in the mail. Number 8740 in the opening Red Wave (Wave One.) I like that number. 21 days and counting.