Sunday, December 20, 2009

LiveSTRONG Seattle Marathon training week 4 - time for Plan B

Hello everyone!  I hope that you are all having a great lead-up toward Christmas.  Around here, we have most of our Christmas shopping done, and most of the presents are already wrapped and under the tree (or sent in the mail).

While it was a good week from the Christmas preparation side, it was by no means a good week training-wise.  This was my first zero week in a long time... zero runs, zero rides, not even a good walk (unless you count wandering around the mall for an hour and a half yesterday).  Not only was the hip acting up most of the week, but some aches in the right quad (same side as the hip) were flaring up pretty bad.  The only positive fitness thing was that I got in a solid 4 days of stretching this week.  Stretching for a runner is important, but when dealing with hip dysplasia, keeping a good level of flexibility is not only important to stay pain-free but also to limit the amount of damage that running will do to the hip socket.

There was supposed to be a long run yesterday, and that didn't happen.  And honestly, I'm coming to grip with the fact that an ultra-marathon is not going to happen, at least in the next 6 months.  It's going to take some time to adjust my training to deal with this biomechanical burden, and I want to make sure I don't injury myself - either for the Seattle Rock N Roll marathon or for the 50+ more years I hope to get with my current hip.  So the race schedule now reads:

Now what it boils down to is 1) getting the trainer set up and start getting some good fitness minutes on the bike; 2) learning what my body can endure for marathon training, even if it's going back to the one-run-per-week-plus-massive-amounts-of-crosstraining schedule that got me through the 2007 Portland Marathon; and 3) continuing to work on flexibility and core strength to protect my hip as much as possible.

In related news, I ran across a blog from author / athlete / coach Martin Dugard that really resonated with me.  Right now, it seems that entry (titled "Lactate Threshold") has disappeared from his blog, but he essentially talked about how he didn't seem to be satisfied unless he has some nearly-impossible, challenging, bizarre fitness/racing goal.  And how he let other facets of his life suffer (especially his family) in pursuit of those dreams.  So maybe, just maybe, this hip issue is a blessing in disguise, and a good excuse to scale back and focus on the things that are more important....

Speaking of importance, yes, we were touched by two more cancer stories this week.  Another extended family member is battling prostate cancer, and it's not clear how far it has progressed.  And a colleague of my wife is in terminal stage bone cancer, which comes with a lot of pain.  Add this to the relative with Hodgkin's, a high school classmate with pancreatic cancer, and a former student of my wife's with brain cancer, and you just can't help but hate this disease.  I'm not only looking forward to contributing to the fight through Team LiveSTRONG, but I'm starting to wonder if there aren't other ways I should figure out how to help.  Food for thought for now.

Until next week and always, onward...

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