Odd title for tonight's post, isn't it? Trust me...there's a bit of meaning behind it, so read on, loyal readers!
2.13 is the mileage I ran today........simply 20 minutes on the 'dreadmill after a long day at school. A nice easy run....COMPLETELY WITHOUT PAIN!!!!!
Let me repeat that last phrase for emphasis: COMPLETELY WITHOUT PAIN!!!!!
20 days out from the Boston Marathon.......after not running for 9 long days........dealing with a lot of worry and concern about my ability to do my best on Marathon Monday......feeling the nagging doubt seeping in........always hoping I'd be able to get back out a few times before the actual marathon.
On Sunday, my foot was almost completely without pain....only the slightest bit of tension when I pulled the foot up. Nothing that would keep me from running, but my schedule didn't yet allow it. Yesterday, I attended the BAA Marathon Clinic at the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center in the shadow of the John Hancock Tower in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. There wasn't really any "new" information being provided, but it's always fun to listen to a true legend like Bill Rodgers speak about his experiences running Boston, as well as receiving advice from the BAA coaches. As I sat on the subway on my way back to my car, I thought about how I'd be spending the next 3 weeks. Would I be sitting around, growing more concerned and depressed each day, or would I find myself able to start running a little again, allowing me to maintain the fitness gains I've earned over the last 3 months of preparation? I knew that my foot was feeling better, but I had no idea how it might respond to an actual test. I made my plan to give it a shot today, so I packed my running bag to take with me to school in the morning so that it would be waiting for me once my day was over.
I had a union meeting to attend after school, as we had to vote on some healthcare issues (thanks, Massachusetts Legislature, for taking away our collective bargaining rights!) and then I needed to rescue my little guy from the afterschool program at our local YMCA, but before that, I was going to have a date with my old mistress, Dreadmillia! I was hoping she'd remember all the good times we've shared over the years and not be mad at me for ignoring her these past few weeks.........so I laced up my NB 860's, fired up my iPod, and stepped onto the machine, not knowing what the immediate future had in store. After a 2-minute walking warm-up, I took a deep breath, programmed her for a 20-minute jaunt, and hit start.....
Each minute, I bumped the speed up .1 mph, so by the time I was 9 minutes in, I was at 6.8 mph (just under 9:00/mile) and then took a 30-second walk break. Everything was still feeling good, so I ran the final 10 minutes at 6.4 mph. After finishing the run, I walked another 5 minutes to cool down, and then it was done.
I stepped off the 'mill, and took stock of how I felt...........and the answer was: damn good! I breathed a huge sigh of relief, as the foot felt fine. I hadn't pushed too hard, or gone too long, and I was feeling ok. I could be unable to walk in the morning, but I'm still feeling good now!
So now I'm going to dial the distance back in......with less than 3 weeks to go, I'm basically already in my taper, but considering that I started it a few weeks early, I can definitely still do some nice 5-6 mile runs over the next few days. I'm definitely hopeful that I can get out this weekend for a moderately long run (somewhere between 10-12), but I'm also going to stay mindful of not messing things up this close to the marathon. Slow and easy.....that's going to be my mantra for the next 20 days.
So I'm back.......or at least I hope I am. Time will tell, but that 2.13 means as much to me today as 26.2 will mean to me on April 16th!!!!