Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Perfect Attendance

I have a memory from 4th grade that was a really proud moment for me. It wasn’t when I earned a lot of stars on my report card, or when I first learned how to put up a ponytail on my own (because let’s be honest, that was by far the best day of my life before age 10. I started coming home looking like Michelle Tanner instead of a homeless person). But the moment I want to talk about is the time I won an award for having perfect attendance for the first 100 days of school.

Rocking a side 'po like a boss.
(For those of you who did not connect the
Michelle Tanner reference to Full House).

I don’t remember what I received for this mighty accomplishment, but it is somewhat impressive if you think that 100 days of school in central Jersey takes you to about mid-January. I guess I have my parents to thank for this too, because unless I had a fever of 103 and/or a visible case of nausea, I went to school (there were no sick days given in the Wyman household for a “stomach ache”).

I remember standing in front of the classroom, while all of my classmates shouted at the teacher that they also had perfect attendance. She reminded everyone that if you took a day off for being sick or going to Florida to visit Granny, you did not by law earn this prestigious award. Arms folded, my classmates finally quieted down and let me have my moment to shine. It was the beginning of my life as a bonafide go-getter.

I share this story because I realized that before last week, I hadn't missed one run in the first 10 weeks of marathon training.


I’ve been blessed with a great training season. Up until last week, I was really excited for the majority of my runs, and my muscles felt strong. Last week was supposed to be one of the highest mileage weeks on my schedule, and I was ready to take it on.

I did 10 miles on Monday night, and I was completely exhausted by the end. I normally don’t have such long runs during the week, but I decided to front-load my mileage so I didn’t have to do such long runs later on in the week. On Tuesday, I did 7 miles after work. It was one of the best speedwork sessions I’ve had this year. I did a mile warm-up, 5 miles slightly faster than marathon pace (whatever that is), and a mile cool down. I felt fan-freaking-tastic.

I woke up Wednesday morning with pain in my right foot. Damn it.

I sort of hobbled around on Wednesday in my flats at work, wishing that sneakers or orthopedic shoes were acceptable footwear at my cosmetic company. I suffer from plantar fasciitis every day, so I’m used to foot pain, but this was definitely something more. I went home and immediately iced.

I had every intention of doing 7 miles on Thursday morning, but I could feel my foot in pain before I got up, so I went right back to sleep, and skipped the first run of my training cycle. It was glorious, and I felt no guilt at all.

I went through the quick succession of pros and cons all runners go through when we feel an injury coming on. Should I push it? I really need to get the miles in. Only 3 weeks til taper! But your foot and entire body are sore. Maybe just 4 miles instead of 7. Then one voice came over the loud speaker, “what’s the point?” I went right back to sleep, deciding that skipping a run would not make or break me. It would actually probably help my body heal.

I think something happened in that moment that I haven’t quite been able to shake. I think the dormant anti-running subconscious in me woke up, and has been chanting to me since last Thursday, “but really Kate, what is the point of all this?”

I woke up Saturday morning, knowing I had 20 miles to do. I was dreading it so much, and wished that for once, I didn’t have some insane workout to do on a Saturday morning. I wanted to do what normal twenty-somethings do on Saturdays. Sleep in, nurse an imminent hangover, and lay around. It took a lot for me to get out the door, reminding myself I would be happy I did.

Which I was, kind of. The run went really well, much better than most of my long runs. That 20 mile threshold has a way of telling you that YES you can actually run a marathon now.

My legs hurt just looking at that.

But now, I’m just not as amped about training as I was just a week ago. My foot was bothering me during my runs on Monday and Tuesday, and I decided to shorten my run this morning because I knew I just needed a bit of a break. Both my body and mind are completely exhausted.

I try to tell myself that I only have a week and a half until I start my taper. This week is a step-back week (thank the HIGH HEAVENS), and next week is my last week of intense high-mileage. I have one more 20 miler to go, but I'm not sure if I will be up to doing all 20 of those miles. If I do 18 instead of 20, there will be no natural disasters or anyone telling me I'm not doing enough. My family and boyfriend think I'm crazy enough as it is.

So I'm taking the rest of training day by day, reminding myself that I've already put in 11 1/2 weeks of hard work. I don't know how the next few weeks will go, but I know exactly what I'll be doing on my first free Saturday post-marathon training.

Absolutely nothing.

1 comment:

  1. Forgot about that perfect attendance record - it is great to hear things you remember so vividly. That was a great accomplishment and you are a bit off, it was a minimum of 105 for a temp to even get sympathy.