When my right ankle ballooned three weeks ago, I thought my marathon training was over. I knew that the doctors would recommend that I rest and take anti-inflammatories, which I did, but I never expected it to work to the degree it has. Sometimes it’s great to be surprised, eh?
After running the Philadelphia Distance Run pain-free, I was excited to get into the Week 10 training, which featured a long run of 19 miles. It was a great week overall, despite my ongoing frustration with the Nike Plus Sportband. We ran the last of our four mile weekday runs, two 9 mile runs and then 19 yesterday.
The weather wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. My training partner Rob called at 5:30 a.m. to say that we should probably push our start time back from 6:15 to 7, just to see if the weather would clear up a little bit. Fortunately for us it did and we were able to run in a light drizzle to a fine mist along our standard “long-run” route from Fairmount all the way out to the red covered bridge that spans the Wissahickon.
In the end we based our mileage on time rather than distance. Why? Because the Nike Plus Sportband is such an unreliable piece of equipment, a position I’ve held for a while. It’s been so frustrating to have to guesstimate mileage that I decided to buy the Garmin Forerunner 405. When you’re running anything over 10 miles, I think it’s best to have a pretty exacting piece of equipment. Based on what I’ve read and the people I’ve spoken to who’ve used it, I think this is the answer.
This week is a major step-up in training. It’s a fifty mile week, with runs of five, 10, five, 10 and 20 miles. As much as distance has been an issue with the Nike product, pace has been a nightmare, too. We’ll be able to train more effectively with the Garmin than we have at any prior point in training. Yesterday we caught up with a guy on a 20 mile run and ran a 7 minute mile with him from milemarker 15 to 16. It was so reassuring to know that we have that kind of energy that far into a long run.
If you can’t tell, I’m starting to get really excited about the marathon. My weight has dropped into the low 180’s and I’m getting closer to my goal weight of 170 by race day. I’ve been doing weight training before work three days a week to great effect. While I don’t think a Boston qualifier is in my future, at least not for this marathon, I think I may be able to break the 3:30 barrier with a little bit of luck. I’ll keep you posted as always on my progress.