Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Other-Other F Word

It happens to the best of us, and usually hits like a freight train carrying a whole load of acme anvils. The flu. No, I'm not talking about the cold/flu viral sinus thing (I was lucky enough to kick that sucker back in January). No, I'm talking about the other Flu. You know.

Sunday I was riding the high of my Saturday run and excited to start a week of "spring break" wherein I would be responsible for one class and no work instead of 3 classes, work, and an externship. I made a fabulous recipe I'd been DYING to try, and some ridiculously gluttonous Oreo-Chocolate Chip cookies. perfection.

And then Monday morning I woke up and got so sick I thought my insides were going to be on the outside. I threw up for 5 hours straight, took phenergan, then threw up for another hour before finally my innards finally gave up their siege. Needless to say - it was not what I had planned for Monday. By the time Tuesday rolled around I'd survived entirely on Gatorade and stubbornness. Tuesday was lost to recovery.

Wednesday I was feeling a lot stronger and got so far as to eat some fruit snacks (YES!) without any issue. Excited by my progress but not quite ready to run, Josh and I took a nice long walk. I was famished. I turned to my favorite sure-fire "easy belly" meal - a plain white bread sandwich with turkey only. It tasted amazing.

This morning as I packed my running bag for a nice after school run....well, I thought Monday might repeat itself. I felt nauseous, my stomach cramped, my arms and legs were heavy. I searched the pantry for anything that sounded or looked appetizing. Fruit loops? Nope. Granola bar? Nope. Et tu, applesauce? Yeah...definitely not. In short,  today has been a big step back. Back on the hydration train so hopefully the guts get what they need to start chugging along the solid-food highway again.

So here's my question to you!

I have to competing interests/feelings at the moment:
  1. I've accepted the fact that there's absolutely no way that I will be getting my 35-38 miles in this week; BUT
  2. I have a 17 mile long run scheduled saturday and I don't want to "lose my fitness"
Of course I'm aware that missing one long run won't screw me out of 11 weeks of relatively good training. On the other hand, there's only 6 more weeks of training and this 17-18mi long run is a big step to getting me to my goal of 20 pre-marathon miles. Some options I've considered:
  • Do it - Do the 17 and don't worry at all about how long it takes. Stop when you need to, drink lots of water, and walk if you have to
  • Spread out the mileage - do 9ish on Saturday and 9ish on Sunday
  • Maximize Minutes - Don't worry about mileage, focus on minutes. 17-18 miles would take me roughly 3.5 hours. Rather than get in "miles", focus on spending 3.5 hours doing some kind of cardio
  • Get over it - After a week of not running at all, trying to get in 3.5 hours of cardio of any kind is kind of stupid. Do what you can, worry about the rest next week. 
  • Move the step-down - Next week is a "step-down" week with a goal of 14mile long run. Move that up to this week and do 17 next week. 
I'm thinking some kind of combo of Move the step down and doing the cardio rather than all running. But I want to hear from you! What's your gut reaction?

Throw it out there (or up there, har har) and let me know what you think!


  1. I would go out and see how long you can go (shoot for 3 hours) but do some run/walk intervals - that way you'll stay moving, but you're not stressing your body the way a full run might (if you're anything like me, it takes me 1-2 days to fully recover from a long run). If you have a watch that has intervals, set it for 1-2 minutes run and then 2-3 minutes really brisk walk to keep your heart rate up, but give your body the breaks it needs to keep getting back to full speed.

  2. I would see how you feel. I would shoot for a minimum of 14 and max of 17 and, if you do the 14, just flip flop the weeks, but if you get 17 - yay! I would also take it slow out there, walk when you need to, and don't worry about pace. Long runs are meant to be slow! Glad you are feeling better, stomach viruses are the WORST!