Well here I am, Thursday night, 3 days away from the big day. What "big day" you may ask? The Dallas White Rock marathon where I will run 26.2 miles. I plan on getting up tomorrow morning at 4:45am for my last training run...which reminds me, why am I still up at 11pm?! Oh yeah, I went to the doctor this evening to find out I have an upper respiratory infection and the waiting time at Walgreen's for my antibiotic is 2 hours! So in 30 minutes I'll go get my medicine, take one, and go to bed. Things could be a lot worse, as I'll prove in a minute, but isn't it ironic that I can train for sooo long and then be sick right before "game day". I should have better prepared for the possible side effects of my 2 week taper (when you decrease mileage right before race day). I was up to running between 40 and 45 miles per week before the taper and then dropped to 26 last week and unfortunately only 16-17 this week. I read an article about the taper that said marathoners can get sick during the taper because your body is used to training at such a high level it works really hard and your immune system is in overdrive. However, when you start to taper off, your body sort of sighs a big relief and therefore your immune system doesn't try so hard to keep up resulting in a weak immune system and in my case...an upper respiratory infection. Now, I haven't studied this theory, but it sounds logical enough to accept on the surface for now. The benefits of tapering are significant though, so I guess you're supposed to take more vitamins or something during the taper to try to keep your immune system up. Anyway, I think I'll be ok, but it's forced to me to only run 16-17 this week instead of the 24 I was aiming for.
Wendell, my marathon training partner, has unfortunately hurt his knee and will be struggling a lot on marathon day. He tried to run tonight and had to stop a few times on just a 2-3 mile jog. I don't think you can even begin to imagine the disappointment this brings. You train and sacrifice and work HARD for 6 months with this goal being the #1 driving force...and then your knee goes out and you can't run. If this doesn't bring you to tears, you're not a normal human being. I will run with Wendell on race day until he can't run anymore. It will be very hard to leave my partner behind, but we both know he will end up walking at least half of the 26.2 miles. We have already agreed to run a marathon again in early 2008, maybe the Cowtown in Fort Worth in February, but that doesn't even come close to fixing this one.
My other training partner, John, whom I run with 4 mornings a week, has been GREAT accountability. We ran a 10k last Saturday in Arlington and did GREAT! We finished 5th and 6th in our age group. We wanted to at least finish at a 9:15/mi pace and we ended up blowing by that goal and finishing at a 8:53/mi pace! It was awesome!! I give John another 6-8 weeks and I expect he'll be asking questions about the marathon. He thinks it's near impossble now, but so did I in the beginning. He likes the distance part of running and has increased to 6-8 miles very quickly.
Well I'm sure I could type more, but I'm going to go get my meds and go to bed. I'll post again after the marathon. If you're interested, you can go to runtherock.com, click on the Runner Tracker link, search for Kirk Wimberley, and have either an email or text message sent to you as soon as I cross the finish line! Pretty cool!