VCM ended at mile 15 for me when I stepped off the course. I'm still not exactly sure what happened but I believe it began a week or so prior to the race when I experienced some crampy legs. I treated them by stretching more, wearing my compression sleeves and drinking a bit of A-to-B Calm. Ultimately I believe I had an electrolyte or other imbalance that resulted in some roasty, toasty legs well before I would have/should have felt them. I also had some GI distress that caused 3 stops during those 15 miles where I'm unsure if it was related to the imbalance in my other systems or merely another fun facet of this particular day. Ultimately, it's not how I envisioned my training ending nor representative of where I know my level of running currently resides. But it's a part of my history and more in a continuing education in running. Josh Cox raced the Comrades Marathon that same weekend and ended up with a less than ideal result (for him), he posted this shortly after finishing...
"Thanks for the well wishes. It's tough when 6 months of work doesn't pan out but I'm blessed that my "bad" day involves running a race."
I could not agree more. Sure I could have suffered through 11 more miles of the race in Burlington that day but I had nothing to prove. It was simply not my day. After all is said and done, the time since I started this cycle has been HUGE for me and netted me so many happy days of miles and smiles.
- I started working with Lloyd as a coach and developed even more of a respect for a super talented runner and great coach! He brought me back to where running every day is fun and kept me at a level I know I can maintain in the future without getting injured or burnt out.
- I hit my highest weekly and monthly mileage and look forward to hitting them again and maybe even bettering them, next cycle. I love me lots and lots of miles.
- On the sweetest of March mornings I caught a glimpse of just how far my training has come when I ran a relaxed and strong 1:40 HM. And I know it's only the tip of the iceberg.
- Since late last summer I've been blessed with not one, not two but three superb regular running partners. Missy, baby squash and Bella. They come as a package and they make every outing fun and fleet.
One of the most key aspects to training for me this time around is closing the book on one cycle and feeling recovered enough to start another. It might not be so black and white for others but I've basically been in the same cycle of training since late last spring, early last summer when anticipating a marathon in St. George and then CIM. Of course neither happened but I was running with the purpose of those races the entire time. I simply continued to roll over my training and ultimately build a big base for what would be IL and then VCM. Recovery is also different this time around, since I didn't end up racing either of the two May marathons to anywhere near my max and so I'm not very beat up physically. But mentally, I was/am bushed! Enter a perfectly timed trip to Mexico.
Now I knew Jason and I needed a vacation, we both knew it. Hell, we knew it on January 1. We'd both worked extremely hard in our jobs throughout 2009 without any break in 2010. Major product releases, large partnership opportunities & contracts, very long hours, it all took it's toll. Add to that training for a couple races that took up the better part of a year and without a break, complete & total meltdown was imminent. Thank god our friends Mario & Melissa decided to do a destination wedding in Riviera Maya and we booked and confirmed early on. Traveling south of the border provided the perfect opportunity to quite literally unplug from everything. No phones, no emails, no Facebook, no Twitter, no blogs, no meetings, no nothing but the simple necessities of life. Food, drink, friends, water and good ole vitamin D! It was heaven. I got out for a couple very short and sweaty runs but not because I felt I needed to but because I wanted to. The relaxation continues this week although with a more reality based twist. Back at home in NYC and working and what not although I'm not yet following any training plan nor have any solid plans for what's next. This will undoubtedly change soon but for now I'm enjoying the unstructured nature to my workouts. And with the Caribbean's influence I may even get my butt back to the pool :-)