My Mystery Plan for CIM

Considering all this extra time I have on my hands thanks to tapering, you'd think I'd have been posting more this week...but it has instead been a hideously busy week, in which I have not been able put as much time into preparing and planning for tomorrows marathon as I would have liked (hence, rapidly making an ipod mix right before leaving for the drive to Sacramento).

Bib number:1571.  Tomorrow morning, will have a link to track runners for any of you who are up and bored (and not also racing somewhere) between 7:00 a.m. and....10:05 a.m.?


I set out a few months ago with the goal of getting a PR.  Breaking 3:08, and since it sounds like a nice number (and is the new Boston time cap for men in my age category), I thought I'd aim for 3:05.  More or less, a 7:00 min average pace.

Eugene, 3:08.  I couldn't let this post be picture-less

Reasons I think this goal is still possible:

  • I am in at least as good of shape as I was for the 3:08 in Eugene.  And this course has more downhills.
  • I have tapered disgustingly well.  19 miles this week.  My legs feel numb and restless and angry.  I keep getting this uncontrollable urge to stand up, sitting is kind of....uncomfortable. 
  • I will be surrounded by fast runners pushing me on.

Reasons I think it is slipping from my grasp:

  • HIP. hip, hip, hip**.  I just got back from a gentle 2.5 miles, and's going to be an issue.
  • Hills.  uphills, uphills, uphills.
  • Sick. The past two weeks, including for the 2.5 miles I just ran, my lungs/throat were burning from that raw, sick feel.  I have continued to feel congested and throat-scratchy.
**This is probably worth sharing.  I went to a physical therapist for the first time in my life on Thursday evening, finally giving up on my hip and desperate for some last minute magic.  I had expected, when this issue arose 5 weeks ago, that it would be gone by now.  What I heard from the therapist is that my hip is pretty much effed -- it is stiff and does not rotate the full range that it should -- due to an imbalance of strength in the surrounding muscles.  I will be on a steadfast regimen of incorporating strength training in the future.  HOLD ME TO THIS, PEOPLE!

I don't have a pacing plan, but the lovely Marjorie offered to create something for me to look at.  She has been so helpful and supportive of my issues this week (issues being the hip, and the lack of a plan).

I guess I plan to run comfortably fast.  A little faster downhill, a little slower uphill. 

Oh my goodness.  Sometimes it hits me.  I picture myself at mile 12, or mile 20, or mile 7, or even mile 3, and I'm running and wincing, and my hip is demanding that I slow down, and then I pull off to the side and drop out.  I have so much fear of this.  I know that I have been able to run long with this hip issue, so it can hold up to 20 miles....but I worry that pushing it will lead to the brink.

I really hope that doesn't happen.  I will feel my hip when I run, I am positive of that.  I have felt it on every single run for the past 5 weeks.  I can only hope that it is mild, and not prohibitive. 

I am also at peace with the knowledge that things could go terribly wrong.  Or they could go delightfully well.  There is an excitement in that mystery.

Good luck to everyone who is running this weekend!