26 January 2012

Week 1: 26.5 Miles

I registered for the Providence Marathon on December 31st, under a tiny cloud of MS symptoms. I had a real relapse back in September; the first one I'd had in almost six years. I had been training for a half-marathon in mid-November when I hurt a tendon in my ankle and was forced to take two weeks off. After about a week, I woke up and realized that something was wrong with my vision. I couldn't see well out of one eye. I'd never had optic neuritis before that, and it was pretty scary. I had to drive Sean to the start of his 50-miler that day, which was a little scary in the dark, in a strange place, with one-and-a-half eyes. But it turned out okay. The relapse wasn't major. The bulk of it lasted three weeks, and although I've had some minor flareups since then, overall I'm on the mend now. But my half-marathon didn't happen. (Sean's ultra did, and he got officially bit by the ultra bug. So cool.)

I waded through the storm (I love a mixed metaphor) of various symptoms throughout the fall and early winter: optic neuritis, fatigue, and a mild disorientation that made me ever so slightly nauseous all the time. I still ran 4-5 days (20-25 miles) a week. In the middle of a particularly obnoxious bout of fatigue on New Year's Eve,  I had a "I'd better do this marathon thing before it's too late" moment, and registered for the race. Since I wasn't feeling great, I had no idea (and still don't) if I'd make it to race day in good health.

I started training on January second. Overall, week 1 was a little rough; I had some fatigue and my vision was a little off, which I think led to the mild disorientation. But the runs felt fine, and I ran between 9:40 and 10:30 pace. I was supposed to do a 5-mile pace run on Wednesday, but either the treadmill was miscalibrated (too fast) or I was too tired, so I ended up running 10:00 pace. I felt great after my long run, but I ran it pretty slow (10:28).

The temperature range for Week 1 was 25 to 40 degrees, and I didn't run in any rain or snow. I did most of these runs in my winter running duds: Ibex Long Janes and Woolie top, my Patagonia rain pants (swish swish) and my Nano Puff pullover. I also wear an Ibex wool cap and gloves, along with my trusty Lululemon running hat. The Ibex wool stuff is great because I can wear it all week and just let it dry between runs, then wash it on the weekend. I recently added a pair of sporty sunglasses to the uniform, and they've been great. They aren't really dark but they help my eyes, which are pretty sensitive to the sun after my relapse.

Here are the details for Week 1 (Jan 2 - Jan 8):
Monday: 3.5 miles
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 5.5 miles (supposed to be a pace run, but didn't work out)
Thursday: 3 miles
Friday: off
Saturday: 8 miles
Sunday: 3.5 miles (s l o w)

Next up: Week 2 recap.

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