Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting Better

Quite suddenly last night I noticed that my ailing throat was feeling much better. About a half-hour earlier I had eaten five cloves of raw garlic, crushed in olive oil, with some bread. Maybe that’s what did it. Who knows? The improving trend line held today. Still, I remained cautious on my run. A cold is like an economic downturn: you want to make sure the recovery has solidly taken hold before announcing good times have returned. Few things worse than a double-dip recession or a cold that comes back. So while I ran farther and harder today it was still just seven miles at an 8:00 pace, again over at Normandale on the grass.

This was a run I enjoyed—and it seems important to highlight that fact. I intend to post every day over the next 15 weeks and five days of training for Eugene and I’ll be talking often about workout strategies, injury avoidance, indicators of fitness and, more than anything, the challenge that breaking three hours in the marathon represents for me. The joy that running brings me will probably get short shrift but don’t ever think it’s not the driving force in my training. Today, after sitting in front of a computer screen for several hours trying to glue words together in a way that makes sense, to get out and run was like coming up for air. I felt like I could soar. It helped, I suppose, that my legs felt fresh—no calf issues, and that lingering shin pain from Sacramento was gone as well. And the conditions were pretty sweet, too. The temperature was probably about 45 and it was drizzling off and on, but the wind was calm and occasionally the sun semi-busted through the clouds, providing a break from the gray. In my life before Oregon I would have called it a crappy day but as Dorothy* famously said, “I've a feeling we're not in California anymore.”

OK, so yesterday I mentioned three key workouts for this week. Had I been healthy I would have done one of them by now, but with the cold fast receding I have a plan for how to fit them in: Tomorrow, I hit the track; Friday, it’s the tempo run; and the 13-miler will be on Sunday—probably in the form of the Cascade Half.

*Or maybe it was little Mary Decker. Some girl in pigtails.

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