Back in running. Back in marathon training. And back to posting on Running Pride. The addiction to running is back in veins. Here we go!
Spring break wasn't very kind to me at the onset. I acquired a stomach flu that kept me house bound for two days. I wasn't eating much and doing absolutely no training of any sort. (Weight training had become the new favorite activity once my legs began disobeying me after JFK 50 in November.) I slogged my way through 10 miles on Tuesday and suffered a somewhat painful case of achilles tendinitis. Sure, I wasn't running consistently, but the real culprit were the minimalist shoes. It was my fault for wearing them as my feet, ankles, and pretty much everywhere else below my waist was under-trained and weak.
After staying off my feet for four days (not counting the :50 and :30 sessions on a stationary bike), I was well rested for a long run today. The organizers at the New Jersey Marathon were kind enough to schedule a 10 and 20 mile training run in Long Branch today, but I was reluctant to wake up fairly early on my last day of spring break and drive an hour-and-a-half round trip to Long Branch. I geared up - only forgetting electrolyte mix - and set out to tackle some substantial miles.
Winding River Park in Toms River was the destination. I started off much faster (according to the Garmin) than previous runs and was able to keep the pace as I pushed myself much harder than any run thus far. Though it was somewhat slower than I've been in the past, I was able to keep the miles under 9 minutes.
I knocked out 7 miles and felt good to do another 7 as I refueled my water bottle, applied more sunscreen and caught my breath. I wanted to keep the same route as the first 7 miles but a swarm of carpenter's bees were making it difficult at the bridge in the park. I considered going through the gauntlet again before turning back to make up the mileage elsewhere. When I was finished, I had completed 14 miles in 2:00:03. Not too shabby. I rewarded myself with a dip in the lake... which may be downstream from Ciba Geigy. This may be the last time I do that. The dip was made more enjoyable by a 9-year-old labrador retreiver named Dallas who was fetching a bright orange ball nearby.
I was also able to listen to several ultra running podcasts that got me back in the mood for running. With just 3 weeks until the New Jersey Marathon - and truly just 2 weeks for real training - I plan on devoting myself towards having a good performance on May 6th. A week ago, I thought breaking 5 hours would be difficult. After today's solid run, I think I can get under 4 hours. Much of which will probably depend on how well my legs will respond to 10+ miles during the week and a half-marathon this upcoming Sunday. Though I haven't yet signed up for the Unite Rutgers Half-Marathon, I think I'll make the official decision this week to run. A race with hundreds of competitors should help me push myself even further than today.
After 14 miles and a rejuvenated spirit, I'm back!