Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Next Offensive

I took two weeks off from running and tried to go at it again on Monday. Although I felt decent, it is clear that this new injury (or tweak) has not worked its way out. I am at a loss as to what to do. It feels like desperate times.

My overarching running strategy has been to race until I couldn't record PRs anymore. Then, go at it again just before I turned 40. Since 2010, just 15 months ago, was a stellar year for me, I still don't think (fitness wise) I am too far off from where I need to be to convince myself to keep going. However, I can't get past this damn injury. It's now been OVER a year and all I have to show for it is a 4:27 mile and a workout 5k. Before this latest setback, I had gotten back up to 60 mpw (on 6 days). This "package" included a weekly workout and 15 mile long run. By my estimates this would reward me with a 15:15 5k by the time Kentlands (in September) rolled around and maybe, just maybe, a half marathon PR by Philly (note that my 13.1 PR is weak).

Estimates schmestimates. I've now derailed and it's clear I need to look long and hard at where I stand.

I spoke with Coach Jerry this evening and essentially I have two options: 1. retire or 2. throw out all the stops. He said that I should throw everything I have into this and see as many experts as I can. Something specifically he said struck a cord with me: "you want to walk away from this thing knowing you did all you could". I agree. I need to figure out what, definitively, is wrong with me and open up the wallet.



Karl D. said...
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RM said...

As one sympatico to another, I feel your pain (figuratively and somewhat literally). Every day I am facing this battle of do I keep going on, knowing fully well that my days of running fast are not only behind me, but my days of running in general are likely numbered, or do I stop altogether.

The answer for me, almost unfortunately, is that the sport is in my blood. I'm willing to compete at a level I have determined as inferior to where I feel I should be at this stage in my life, and instead find new challenges within the sport.

PRs went out the window years ago, realistically, with the exception of the ones I didn't race in college. So, there is still hope for my 10 mile and up events. But that hope dwindles each year.

You know that you have people in your corner who will support you however they can, the benefit of being both a merit-based and emotional leader of your squad over the years. Shoot, even if you want to go for a slow run with me and we can whine about our respective careers and injuries, if you enjoy running, you'll never stop.

At the same time, it's totally okay to take time off, step away for a little bit to do something else for a while. Or, take a year to do some other stuff, like travel to a race with friends and get rowdy the night before the race, or do a challenging race you never would have done previously because you couldn't run a PR there (like Riley's Rumble - ha!).

Either way, running will always be there for you when you want it to be, and the people will be there for you to run with.

Anonymous said...

a thrid more moderate option. Ease back for the indefinite future. run casually. some weeks you may run 15 miles, others, 35-40no workouts. if folks ask, you are on an indefinite hiatus. avoid people who are training with a clear purpose- so that you don't get swept up in the heat of the moment. there is no timeline. no more goals.

You will find that you enjoy running again. It won't be stressful and you will associate it as a relaxing relief.

Also, you will stay healthier and prevent a complete atrophy of your muscles. coming back from my knee injury- it hurt more in the first few weeks because i no longer had a quad and the knee was abosrbing more shock than it used to.

You may then get to a point where you can come back. It may also never happen. Not saying it will be easy... anything but easy. You would, however, keep yourself in a position to do so. And, you would be healthier. you will, however, have to let it all go. and honestly. otherwise, you'll keep getting back in the ring before you are ready and you will get punished accordingly.


KLIM said...

These responses are long in coming:

RM - thanks for the kind words. First, I'll run with you anytime...once I get back into the swing of things that is. I'll never "retire" per se, and running WILL always be in my blood, like you said. I can't get it out. However, there is something very special about PRing and I fell in love with that. I want very much to get back there. As long as I think I can, I will do my damnedest to get there. I still think I can. I know that's not what you were suggesting, but hopefully this sheds some light on the madness that goes on in my brain. Thanks again.

KLIM said...

Dwyer - I might have to do just that. If I can't get out of this funk, I'll try and take another stab at all of this just before I turn 40.

Johnnie Cochran said...

That may actually be the Marren plan. Just jogging by feel indefinitely until I get bit by the bug again.