Thursday, October 29, 2015

Runfessions: Hold on to that feelin'


Runfession #1: I can't stop thinking about my recent Chicago Marathon. I'm still smiling about it! And I can't stop talking about it! I know that. You know that. Have you ever known anyone to run a marathon and not talk about it? Some people accuse runners of oversharing. Apparently they would like more of us to be like this woman:


Yeah right! This would never happen! And really what is the point of this video anyways? It's clearly fake.



One more picture, because I can't stop thinking about it. I promise this is the last one, and thank you for indulging me one last time:
Look at that heel strike! And don't ask me what that yellow substance is on the ground ahead of me. It's early in the race, about mile 3 or 4, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't any bodily fluids at this point. Of course, you never can tell. Maybe a banana?
Yes, it was a great race, but I didn't meet my A goal of a sub-4 race and qualifying for Boston. When I looked at the weather forecast for the week, I knew that wasn't in the cards. Dialing back my goals and making a B goal, to finish strong, under 4:30, and to have fun was the new, updated plan.

Which is exactly what happened. Plan B, mission accomplished. Since then I've been basking in the post-marathon glow of that accomplishment. After a week off running, I started up again, slowly. My legs feel good. My plantar fasciitis is still there, but no worse from running 26.2 miles. I call that a win. I have foot pain when I start running for about 1/4-1/2 mile and then it is gone. Between yoga stretches and my self foot massage, I continue to keep it down to a dull roar.

yes please
Last week, on a beautiful fall day, I went for a leisurely 6 mile run. I took it slow because I was fighting bronchitis. This is Runfession #2. You've all heard the advice about not running if your illness is below the neck, right? Right. Well, I've never been much of a rule follower. Remember too that I'm a medical professional, so conventional medical advice doesn't apply to me. My rule? No fever=nothing serious. Never mind that I was coughing like a chain smoker and needed to use my inhaler. Joking aside, I know better, but I wasn't about to miss out on a perfect fall day to hit up the bike path. So I took 2 puffs of my albuterol inhaler, laced up my shoes and chugged along, occasionally having to hack up a lung cough.

Don't you kids try this at home. Do as I say, not as I do.

While I running, I let my thoughts wander. And they wandered to that Chicago Marathon and my missed A goal. And here's my big Runfession #3: I started to have crazy, uncontrollable thoughts about running another marathon this fall.

An argument ensued between my brain and my runner's heart:

Heart: Hey, you know what? The Naperville Marathon is Sunday, November 8."
Brain: "But I work Saturday, November 7."
Heart: "Work, schmerk. You could so do this thing. You know you want to."
Brain: "I might get injured."
Heart: "You're feeling great! Recovery from Chicago was a breeze. And think about all those people you know who are doing back to back marathons. They're not hurt! "
Brain: "Even if I didn't get hurt, Becky would hurt me. She'd make me do 26.2 burpees. Maybe she wouldn't coach me anymore."
Heart: "She'd never know. She doesn't read your blog, does she?"
Brain: "True story. Oh my God. But I couldn't tell anyone. They'd think I was crazy!"
Heart: "So don't tell anyone! The weather will be cool. You know that the heat was the main reason you missed out on that goal."
Brain: "My husband would divorce me!"
Heart: "So don't tell him! Just tell him you're running a half. Tell him you're going to volunteer!"
Brain: "And what if I fail? What if I get hurt?"
Heart: "What if you don't?"


At that point, I stopped to cough and to snap some pictures of the beautiful fall colors. Then I turned around to head home. With the distractions and the cough, my brain and heart stopped arguing, and I started to have sane thoughts again. I decided to discuss this with Marcia at our planned lunch later that morning. 

When I saw Marcia, we hugged, and my runfession came flooding out before we even ordered our food. Of course, I couldn't not talk about it! I'm a runner, and we must talk about all the things running, right?

But instead of telling me that I was nuts, she told me she was feeling the same way--she spent the morning looking up the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.  We talked for a while about this crazy phenomenon--how we runners always think we can push harder and that we've got more in the tank. 

But we don't. 26.2 miles is incredibly hard on the body. Heck, why do you think I'm sick right now? My tank is on E, which in this case, stands for ENOUGH.

Enough running. Enough racing. Enough long distances. Enough coughing.

Enough.

I could blame my illness on my job. Actually, I know that is where I picked up this bug. I take care of sick kids every day, but I usually avoid illness. This time, I wasn't so lucky. I'm sure my post marathon dip in immunity had a lot to do with it.

All those arguments my brain was giving me are enough reason to continue on my planned recovery. My illness is kind of the icing on the cake. Marcia shared with me that she did chase another marathon after that crazy hot Chicago marathon in 2010 and ended up injured. Oh, yeah, that could happen too....

We both agreed that it's not worth it.



But.... oh so tempting!

Thanks to Marcia for hosting Runfessions but even more for the real life confessional and slapping some sense into me! What are friends for, anyway?

But Marcia, what was that about that Avenue of the Giants Marathon? Marcia?

Have you ever tried to redeem yourself by running a spontaneous backup plan? How did that work out for you? How do you determine when you've had enough? Do you run when you are sick?

Be sure to head on over to Marcia's Healthy Slice for Runfessions and spill the beans! I promise you'll feel so much better!

60 comments :

  1. I have run when I was sick.... not advisable but I just took it slower and was ok and felt great afterwards... again, wouldn't recommend it to others but I have. I actually checked your blog a couple of times in the last 2 days because I'm used to you posting on Tuesdays...I started to worry if you were ok since you hadn't announced a blog break....was just about to send you a FB message when I saw on twitter that you had posted!!

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    1. You are so nice...I took a couple of days off because a couple of linkups that I follow allowed me to linkup posts from the past. It was a nice break!

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  2. OMG I am crying!!! We are all seriously insane! If you say Avenue of the Giants one more time you'll put me over the edge....I am SO there! How do we run these excruciatingly hard races then want more as soon as our heart rate returns to normal??
    Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Avenue of the Giants? I seriously want to do that one. WTH is wrong with us?

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  3. Yeah, 26.2 is definitely hard and deserves some recovery. I am a serial racer - think it is the FOMO syndrome (which is funny because I saw the recent Oatmeal cartoon on that - FOMO only applies to athletics for me, JOMO is for social events). Part of the reason I have drifted to shorter racing is because the recovery is so fast so I can get out there a lot. I know it is still not prudent to race every weekend, so I track my RHR and know when to pull the plug. Dec - Feb will be a dead period with no racing (expect possibly a 5K or two to test my progress on pace). I hope you feel better and get over the illness soon. Can't wait to hear what you decide upon!

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    1. I'm fighting temptation harder than I'm fighting off this illness...Yesterday's cold weather was another good slap in the face. I'm done until spring!

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  4. Hmmm. Are you sure you weren't delirious with fever? If I'm coughing during a run, I won't keep running, but otherwise I seem to feel better while I'm running.

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    1. Maybe I was delirious with something? LOL! I just so wanted to get in a run!

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  5. I had several trainees ask about doing another fall marathon, but I'll tell you the same thing that I was told at RRCA--you get one aerobic peack per year! So if you do go run another one, it likely won't be a PR. Not saying it can't happen, but just saying.

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    1. That's exactly the smart advice I needed to hear! Plus this cough won't let go, so that's holding me back too...

      There won't be any more races this year. I'm good!

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  6. While we are at hugely divergent levels of desire and accomplishment, I get it. Last summer I swore that my first ten mile run would definitely be my only, but here I am, training for a half, with a ten mile run due November 8 and the half the following week. The leap from ten to 13.1 seemed possible. My brain and heart were in agreement. No races, though. My journey is different from most but its mine and I'm happy with it.

    I can safely say that there are no marathons in my future. I don't envy marathoners, I've done what I want/need, but man-oh-many I do hold you gals/guys in highest esteem. Marathons are a special breed of athlete.

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  7. I love the brain/heart video! It's like the the brain is the adult and the heart is the child.

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    1. That's how it works, at least in my body!

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  8. I say, DO IT!! I would. No way I'd let all that training go. But, I run no matter what, cold, cough, plantar fasciitis, it doesn't matter :)

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    1. Yeah, but a marathon is really tough on the body! I'm going to take a pass. But it was fun to think about it...

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  9. Keep living in your Chicago Marathon glory, Wendy! You definitely deserve to celebrate your accomplishments!

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    1. Thank you!!! I knew my running friends would understand...

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  10. I have tried to run when I was sick, didn't make is as far as you though :) Get to feeling better!

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    1. I am so much better! But still coughing and really tired! My body is telling me to take it easy.

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  11. Been there, done that. My husband and I once ran seven marathons in nine months. I didn't get injured, but even though I alternated between racing one, then using the next as a training run, I didn't have spectacular races either.

    I like that you can talk about your plantar fasciitis in one paragraph, then about running another marathon right away in the next. If you get the urge again go back and reread what you wrote :-)

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    1. That is some good advice. Aren't we the worst at taking advice?

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  12. I've considered back-up plans for races but I've never gone through with it, lol. I hope you feel better soon and enjoy your recovery time as long as you can!

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    1. I'm enjoying recovery a lot! But I'm still thinking of what could be...

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  13. I would still be talking about it too if I had run it! I hope you are still riding high and resting up.

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  14. There needs to be some sort of app where runners are not allowed to sign up for another race for like... a month after finishing a marathon. haha I have no doubt you could do it, but I'm glad you and Marcia talked yourselves out of it.

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    1. Seriously! Thank goodness I have running friends who get it!

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  15. Backup plans are important, and accepting that it's time for a B goal is a great way to still challenge yourself reasonably without pushing for something that could hurt you to attain. And heart and brain... They're a great pair, but they don't always see eye to eye. As long as you keep that balance, you'll find your next race soon enough :)

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    1. I'm set for spring already, so this was just a fleeting thought, wanting to keep riding that wave...

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  16. Glad you started thinking clearly again! ;) I have been debating running a marathon this past week - after I SWORE the race I ran last weekend was my last for the year! I justify it by telling myself that I'm already in training mode so I might as well just keep it up...

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    1. That's how I was thinking! Meanwhile my body is telling me otherwise...

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  17. Hahaha, so funny because I was talking to a friend of mine the day after the marathon and she was trying to convince me that I should go and try to redeem myself with another marathon in a few weeks. The thought crossed my mine to upgrade to the full marathon in Vegas since I'll be there for the half....and then I slapped myself across the face and came back to reality, lol.

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  18. Avenue of the Giants would be SO pretty! I love the redwoods! I haven't started perusing races to find my next race yet, but I know it's coming :)

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    1. I had never heard of that race until Marcia mentioned it but now I want to run there!

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  19. Lordy, I'd be the one saying Let's Go! You only live once! That's how I talked myself into 17 half marathons last year. So, never take my advice. LOL.

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  20. Well since the BQ just barely started for '17, I'd say wait until you are feeling all healthy from head to toe. Or at least until you're not sick and done recovering and celebrating your Chicago Marathon victory. Great job - that is amazing and if I were in your shoes, better believe I'd be talking about it for quite a while! Cute videos :) Congratulations!!

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    1. My next marathon for sure won't be a BQ--Big Sur is a bucket list marathon and one I want to savor!

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  21. You have some great race pictures :) I am so glad you had a great day. It is so funny how that racing addiction works, it is like that second beer, you start losing judgement lol I think it must be a runner thing, more must be better, right!? Is Nov. 8th really too close?
    The video cracked me up! I have watch it a few times now lol I hope you feel better soon!

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  22. I can understand your need. I don't have a race scheduled until Nov. 22 and I keep scouring the internet to find one that could work with my November schedule. And I have nothing in December so I need to find one there too.... but nothing really interests me.
    I feel for you !

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    1. It's taking a lot of self control to hold back!

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  23. I so wanted to run another half this year. Now of course I can't, so it's really good that I didn't sign up for another. My intuition is usually pretty good. Although there is still this little voice in my head saying that if we do have to make the decision for Chester, I deserve to go somewhere and run 13.1, right?

    Even though I know for my body, I'm probably better off taking this time to ease up a bit.

    Sorry you're sick. Hope it gets better soon. People sometimes turn around and look at me when I'm running hard (for me) -- I think they're a little afraid I might keel over with a heart attack and they'll have to perform CPR.

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    1. I think when you're in a tough place, running is comforting. When I'm hurting, I just want to run. Not for a race, just for me.

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  24. Why run a marathon and not talk about it? Does not make sense to me at all.

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  25. Runners are definitely a special kind of crazy! I have definitely come home from a race only to sit down at the computer and register for another right away! Although, I will say that it wasn't the marathon distance and I think you are making a smart decision to take it easy on your body!

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    1. I know that recovery is the best decision...but a runner can dream, right?

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  26. Oh Wendy. Yet again, you are reading my mind and rehashing it on your blog ;-) I have so much 26.2 envy this fall, it's been crazy. Yes, I ran Grandma's Marathon, and did that ultra in July (a mere four weeks later). But, despite the great experiences both of those events were, I was not 100% over-the-moon with my finish times. Granted, a lot of that was due to the race day conditions (and some failures/mishaps with my fueling)...but it does stick with you and "simmer" in your brain. When you know you have it in you to do better, it's real hard to ignore that desire to redeem yourself. Thankfully, we know better. That damn ego (sometimes) needs to take a back seat to common (running) sense. I'll never know if that marathon a couple weeks ago would have been a redemption experience, or a horrible fail...but I'm OK with not risking further injury. I don't want to spend my off-season recovering, instead I want to enjoy some easy running and strength-building. Thanks for another spot-on #runfession ;-)

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    1. Separated at birth? I'm glad to have my running friends to slap some sense into me.

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  27. UGGGGG! You nurses make the WORST patients!! I am glad Marcia talked some sense into you! Rest up a bit :) I do have the same rule though: fever? did you throw up? no- then you are fine :) I am not a nurse but I haven't killed anyone yet! LOL! I can't wait to see what you are up to next!

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    1. See, those are the rules I follow! I think those are the mom rules....

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  28. LOL!! So, OK, no it wasn't a FULL marathon, but I did run a Half Marathon and didn't tell anyone. Does that count?

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  29. Its definitely like a disease that all of us runners have that once the hurt of the marathon wears off we are ready to hit it hard again. We are all crazy! I hope you are feeling better!

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    1. I'm not going to lie...I'm still feeling a bit empty! Probably seeing all those post of NYCM runners makes me feel a little melancholy!

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  30. Ha ha! My brain and heart are always having a heated argument. I think this is why I no longer run marathons - I hate them so much and yet as soon as one is over I'm looking for my next fix. Ah, the addiction. Enjoy the rest - I think your foot will thank you!

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    1. My foot is still talking to me, but yes, it is enjoying the low mileage!

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