Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sometimes It's Just Not in the Stars!

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry. In July, I began in earnest the training for my 11th marathon—Marine Corps. I and a group of my friends (some training for Chicago, some for the OBX Marathon, and the rest for Marine Corps) began following the F.I.R.S.T. marathon training plan. The plan consists of 3 tough weekly runs (speed, tempo, long) and 2 days of aerobic cross-training. All started well for me. The training was hard, especially in the July North Carolina heat and humidity, but we were troopers and hung in there.

I registered for the marathon before I decided to begin the 6-month personal training and nutrition consultant certification program I'm currently in. Of course, at the time, I thought I was Superman and figured I could handle school and training. Well, like I said earlier, "Sometimes the best laid plans go awry." During the first month of the certification program I could hardly move! Each day (four days a week) consisted of 2.5 hrs of lecture and 2 hours of working out in the gym. These workouts were above and beyond my marathon training. I still thought I was Superman and was hanging in there with all the required marathon training workouts. Well, the body can only take so much before it says, "Whoa, Dude! What are you doing?!" Basically I was overtrained. I was slowing down and getting know where fast.

To back up just a bit—earlier this year, I figured out that even though I'm 44, I could use the Boston qualifying time for 45-year-olds because of when my birthday fell. So, the big plan was to run Marine Corps in 3:30, qualify for Boston 2010, and set a PR as well. I have a couple of friends running Boston 2010 and my goal was to join them.
Back to being overtrained—about a month ago, once I realized a PR and a BQ were not in the cards, I decided to bow out of the race. You see (as many of you can attest to)being laid off, having a family of 5, and living on one income (my wife's) while in school full-time, can be quite a challenge. We're managing, but taking a trip to DC to run a marathon (just to run it) and not achieve a monumental goal, didn't seem fair to the family.

I'm only 44. There are many more marathons in my future and I'll get to Boston one day. While being a little depressed on the day of the race, I realized how fortunate I am. I have a loving family who is fully supportive of my life-transition and career change. What more could I ask for!
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PS: Dena (Chicago), Andy (Marine Corps), and Mike (Marine Corps)—my training buddies—all set PR's! Lisa is about to run the OBX Marathon and I have no doubt she'll blow away her marathon too!

46 comments:

Cam Crosbie said...

Thx for being so honest and sharing your experience. You aren't alone and your devotion to family is inspiring. Keep at it. I love your blog.

runrgrl2007 said...

What a positive attitude you have. I love it! I understand depression on race day, that was me last year. Except I am sure you were not curled up on the couch crying! Thanks for another wonderful post!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Cam! Thanks so much for the support! Greatly appreciated!!

RunnerDude said...

Hi runrgrl2007! Thanks Amy! A negative "tude" just take up way too much energy. LOL! Thanks so much for your support! See ya on the Greenway!

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

oh I completley understand, RunnerDude! I've had to step back and tell myself "there will be a time and place for Boston and PR's but right now might now be it" a few times this year already! School, work, kids, and running is a lot to juggle! Hang in there, we will have our day with heartbreak hill :)

The Happy Runner said...

You're right, you have time. You'll BQ!!! It is hard to balance everything in life but putting your family first is never wrong. You're a great role model for your kids, that's for sure!

RunningLaur said...

Sorry that you couldn't run the race, it's a very difficult decision but a wise one.

I too had to take a pass on MCM this year bc of job loss, but hope to run next year. I know you'll be able to hit your goals in time, and if it's at MCM 2010 I hope to see you there!

ShutUpandRun said...

Well it really sounds like that was the best decision for your family. I, too, had to give up my BQ goal this year since I had a stress fracture. The great thing is that there is always next year with its new set of circumstances. It will happen, just in due time.

I would love any info you have about how to get back on your feet after a stress fracture. I have not been able to run for the past 6weeks and am hoping my doc says I can start again later this week. I am scared; don't want to injure myself again. Am really looking at the FIRST program. Any insights you have will be great: brisdon@comcast.net

RunnerDude said...

Hi Heather! Yes, we'll have our day at HeartBreak Hill. Maybe I'll even see you there!! Thanks for the support!

RunnerDude said...

Hi The Happy Runner! Thanks for the support and kind words!

RunnerDude said...

Hi RunningLaur! I do hope to make MC 2010! Hope to see you there too!!

RunnerDude said...

Hi ShutUpandRun! Sorry to hear about the stress frature. I sent you an email about my experience with a stress fracture. Hope it helps. Thanks for the support!

Laura said...

I loved the FIRST program for my last half but decided on a different plan for my first marathon I'm training for. They are tough schedules. I can't imagine doing your FIRST workouts along with 2 hours of lifting. You were insane!!!:) Hope you still BQ one of these days. People who put their priorities in the right places like you did, generally have things work out for them.

Adam said...

Ouch, that is a tough decision no matter how you slice it. You probably made the right decision, but you and I both know that it doesn't make it any easier.

Like you said, there is always next time!

Zoë said...

Thanks for being refreshingly honest. Yes, it sucks, but sometimes it's not meant to be (but it still sucks!). You'll get that BQ soon! :) You rock!

Dani said...

While I can understand being disappointed to miss the race, your honesty and amazing attitude are a wonderful lesson for the rest of us (and really as a newbie runner at 41, it gives me something to look forward to!)

Stephanie Nichole said...

Aw you'll get the next one! And you have a GREAT attitude so I KNOW you'll make Boston!!!

The best races for BQ I've seen:
Vermont City
New Hampshire
Flying Pig (at least for me, but I'm FROM the city and know the course).

I'll be in NC for OBX this weekend... keep the weather nice and cool for me please!!

Running Through Life said...

It sounds as you made the best decision for you and your family. Boston will not be going anywhere and you can focus on that once you have completed all your classroom training and achieved your certifications.

Way to be realistic and put your family as a priority.I have even more respect for you than ever.

EZEthan said...

Super reasonable... all the cross-training and gym workouts will make you stronger and more fit in the long run but you really need to keep your focus on running if you want to run your best marathon...

Regina said...

I'm sorry you had to give up your BQ goal. but it sounds like you have your priorities in place. Your family is lucky to have you!

As for your career change, I wish you good luck! I'm also feeling like I am at a crossroads. what is it with the 40's? I guess it is the midlife crisis everyone talks about, however, I don't see it as a crisis, but an opportunity to make a happier life. Best to you!

celmore said...

Thanks for sharing. I also had to miss the first Ironman I trained for. One month out from the race a got a tear in my achilles.

With the support of friends and family I made it back the next year!

Ulyana said...

You have a great attitude!!!! There will be so many more marathons... and running, even though it's so important to us, is really secondary to our families.

Teamarcia said...

I'm so sorry life got in the way of your BQ attempt in DC. You made a wise decision that was best for all of you. Time flies. There will be other chances for that BQ. You will get there.

sldalr said...

Why didn't you tell your friends what was going on so they could support you?! Look, I hate to tell you, but we just call you Hercules. You're not really Hercules. You're a regular person and sometimes regular people need other people for support and encouragement. That's what friends are for!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Laura! It was insane. Live and learn. LOL! But I've learned so much from the program I'm in. Wouldn't trade it for the world and it's leading me to my new career. So excited!!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Adam! As always man, appreciate your support! Hope all is well your way. What's on your race agenda?

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Zoe! Your support means a lot!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Dani! Welcome to the blog! Thanks for the kind and supportive words! That's great you've started running!!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Stephanie!! Thanks for the BQ race suggestions! I've thought about Flying Pig before. May just check into that one!

RunnerDude said...

PS: good luck at OBX Stephanie!!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Running Through Life! Thanks Tony! That really means a lot man!

RunnerDude said...

Hi EZEthan! I agree....the cross training will definitely help, just need to wait to do my next marathon when I can spread it out. I'm lovin it though!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Regina! I'm with you....definitely an opportunity! I'm scared to death but just as excited about the future!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Celmore! Welcome to the blog! Thanks for sharing your experience...that's really inspired me to stick it out!!

RunnerDude said...

Hi Ulyana! You are so right! Thanks for the support!

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Teamarcia!

RunnerDude said...

Hi sldair! I know, I know....Just hate burdening others, but you guys have become such great friends, your support would have been so welcomed. Next dilemma I'll be whining to you guys! LOL!!

Thomas said...

Wise decision. I'd have absolutely done the same. Only goes to show that you're a smart runner who puts his family first as it should. I admire that a lot.

Dena said...

I think you WERE Superman there for awhile. Couldn't believe you were working out 2 hours a day and then still blowing the rest of us away on those training runs. Your Boston time will come, sooner rather than later, I suspect. Meanwhile, you are the BEST training buddy a group could have!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

What an amazing post... tough decision, but I think you made the right one. I have no doubt you'll meet all your goals, when it's the right time :) All the best to ya.

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Thomas! Your support means a lot man!

RunnerDude said...

Hey Dena! Was hoping so to run Boston with you guys in April, but you're right, I'll get there. I have enjoyed so much running with you and the rest of the FIRST group. You guys are awesome people!

RunnerDude said...

Thanks Mel! You're the best!!!

Noah Moore said...

This is why I read your blog everyday RunnerDude. Its good to hear that even Superman has to make some adjustments :) Thanks for the great information, inspiration, and honesty.

RunnerDude said...

Hey Noah! And thank you for the support! Appreciated more than you know!

Adam said...

I went back and reread this post after listening to the first 10 min or so of runners roundtable. Sucks!

To answer your question, I'm doing as many rock and rolls as my body will let me in 2010!