Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Training for a marathon takes commitment and guidance. If you look online, many of those schedules are 18 weeks long and then you have the big race. I think the theory behind this is to get the inexperienced runner across the finish line with minimal injuries before they get bored of the training. The problem is, training this quickly can result in injury, and the best way to run a marathon is to train steadily. I’m still supremely grateful to my running coach who laid out a plan of 33 weeks. It allowed for multiple long runs of 18-20 miles and it allowed for injury and detours.
These detours are never fun, and sometimes you find it necessary to shift your prospective. It’s even more frustrating when detours stop you from getting to the start line of a race.
With my traveling to see specialists, staying on a schedule was already difficult. I was shifting my training from afternoon to morning just to beat some of the summer Los Angeles heat, but when you try to see doctors before work just to muster up the courage to run in the heat after work is difficult.
The weight training I have added to my routine has made me stronger, but hasn’t helped my cardiovascular system to keep me going the 26.2 miles to get me across the finish line of a marathon. Naturally, to get across the finish line, I would have to add in more weekly mileage. But, this recent training has focused more on building total-body strength.
After nearly 8 months, my neck is finally stronger and I have been able to start back with pushups with a stability ball. The Ragnar Relay of 190 miles through Napa Valley was on the books with a half-marathon to raise money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation was going to be October 9… all those will have to wait for future races.
I still have the benchmark goals to reach as I get back into marathon shape, but as with most training schedules, I must take a detour. Unfortunately, this detour won’t take me a couple days off course; it’s a detour of several weeks, and more likely several months.
I’ve sought opinions from many renowed specialists in their field, and they have encouraged me to have ANOTHER operation. Well, at least this won’t be looming over my head, but darn- it’s frustrating. Surgery will likely be the same week as the Ragnar Relay (naturally, I won’t be able to participate in that)…. And it leaves a big question mark over competing in the Long Beach Half-Marathon. I have friends competing there and I want to be there to support them, but weather I will be going as a spectator or as a runner/walker will be contingent on my surgery, and the blessings of my doctors. After all, I want to have a long running career, and if that means sitting on the sidelines rather than jumping the gun and risking injury, spectator/cheer support is what I will do.
Among prayers and good medicine, my doctors credited my running as one of the reasons for my speedy recovery. As co-workers pointed out I only missed 7 weeks of work.
My current doctors have said that I am much healthier than my last surgery and it’s “only a little tumor,” and I will be out of the hospital in about 72 hours. I bring Ryan Westmorland, a Center Fielder for the Red Sox who had to have surgery to remove a similar tumor. He walked the day after surgery, and I have repeatedly said that I want to do that. They again assure me that I will be able to do physical therapy the day after surgery.
It’s tough not to fall down in the pit and let it get the better of you- you can always question- what’s the point? Why should I bother doing anything? I’m just going to have to do it ALL over again. The truth is, sure I will have to do it all over again, but if running more miles a week in the sticky icky CA sun and combine it with weight training means a more speedy recovery, then that’s what I will have to do. Other outlets in my life have taken a nosedive, but now’s the time to focus on health so I can do all those other things for many more years.