Okay, the good news first is that I have successfully made it through three weeks of my marathon training, gotten my mileage up to 40 miles and completed an 11.0 mile long run. Those are all very good things and best of all, I haven’t had to resort to the elliptical to get in my weekly mileage.
I also figured out that while the Topo Ultra Fly’s are a good running shoe, they are also a hybrid shoe that can do many things well, but does nothing great. In other words I have other shoes in my rotation that are better for what I use them for than the Ultra Fly’s. However, for running…well other than going fast, the Ultra Fly’s are a very good multi-purpose running shoe that will be a part of my rotation, but more as a truck running shoe (ready for most anything), than a primary piece of the puzzle.
Moving Forward Towards The Marathon
Please do not think I am being negative when I write about what is going on in my head below, it is necessary for me discuss things openly and to be objective, and even realistic about my marathon training and how my body is responding to it.
Now for the bad news, each of my long runs has gotten worse, not better. By the end of the runs my left Achilles/ankle area and right hip bother more than I want to admit. Then continue to bother even when I am not running. While the hamstring has healed and is no longer a problem, those other two issues have been problems for years, not just something that are a recent development.
The other training runs have been pretty good, it is when I get past the 6-7 mile point that they bothered and got progressively worse as the distance increases. By 8-11 miles while the discomfort is not really enough to make me stop – I have to go into suck-it-up mode to keep going.
However, the discomfort levels I experienced at the end of my last two long runs are not something that I want to deal with every time I have a long run scheduled over the next 12 weeks. Especially, when I know the runs are going to get progressively longer as I get further into the training plan.
That was the bad news.
Keeping it Positive
However, as a part of attempting to keep moving forward with my marathon training, I have broken out the shoes that I had been saving to run in on Marathon Sunday. My Skechers GoRun Ride 7’s – the gray ones I got last month. I ran several long runs in my blue GRR7’s without too many issues and have had a couple of very promising runs last week in them.
Especially, a 6.0 miler after my long run on Thursday that was one of the better and most discomfort-free runs I have had in a while. So I am very hopeful that they are part of the solution for me to be able to run long runs without significant discomfort or injuring myself.
I need to see if it is an equipment solveable issue or if the body just is not able to withstand the rigors of longer distances at this point in my life. If the GRR7’s allow me to run longer distances relatively discomfort-free from my problem areas that will be a great thing.
If they work, I will go out and buy another pair of GRR7’s specifically for Marathon Sunday. The other runs, I can get by with the shoes that are in my current rotation pretty well.
The reality is that
No, I am not giving up yet, but this coming week will be my decision week. I knew that when I started this training plan that I would have a pretty good idea of how my body would be handling the mileage, especially the long runs, that are a part of training for a marathon after the fourth week and would have a decision to make then.
By this coming Thursday afternoon – after I do a planned half marathon distance (13.1 miles) training run in my GRR7’s, I will know a lot better whether I will keep moving forward with my marathon training plans or make the choice to move on to a different goal.
This is not the seeds of doubt coming to fruition or the demons of my mind telling me I cannot do the marathon training. This is me facing reality and attempting to make some changes that will allow me to continue towards finishing my marathon goal or facing the fact that unfortunately, I might be one of those runners who cannot train/run a marathon, without creating too many problems for myself.
I am not going to injure myself or take chances on my long term running, just to run a marathon this Fall.
Decision week is here.