Monday, November 26, 2012

November 19-25: Staying Healthy is Not Optional

A funny thing happened when I woke up the morning of the Bethesda Turkey Chase 10k.

I had a headache, a stuffy nose, and a sore throat.


I contemplated bagging the race, but I remembered that 1. I had a PR to chase and 2. I was responsible for driving some other people to the race.

In the end, I did manage the PR on a hilly course, and even better, had a great morning with some fabulous friends. But this little sniffle-fest, which persisted throughout the weekend, reminded me of the importance of staying illness free during the upcoming marathon training cycle. In general, I have an immune system of steel and rarely get sick enough to stay home from work, but even that falls through when stress and sleep deprivation accumulate.

In this case, I had a particularly bad bout of insomnia for a couple of weeks, rarely sleeping more than 2-3 hours at a time. A little over a month ago, I absorbed several extra projects at work, and while I can handle the workload, the anxiety associated with managing a new group of people, working with a new group of regulators, and running five meetings over the course of a week kept me wide awake most nights. That’s all settled down now, but it was a good reminder that in order to stay healthy for the marathon training cycle, I absolutely MUST stay on top of my work and avoid stress of last minute deadlines. This means little or no extra racing – specifically, a “just for fun” half marathon I’d been considering this Saturday is a no-go – and keeping extra demands on my time minimized.

It will be difficult, but doable, and very necessary to keep Project Sub 4 Hour Marathon on track. Commence hyperorganization and nonstop delegation to keep training on the rails!

Monday: Rest day, including lots of extra hours at the office.

Tuesday: A 2.5 mile easy run before a morning meeting to deal with jitters after an insomnia-filled night. 4000 yards of swimming with DCRP masters in the evening.

Wednesday: 45 minutes of easy spinning on the bike trainer in the morning before working a full day (yes, the day before a holiday) and coaching in the evening.

Thursday: A 10 minute warm up jog, followed by a hilly 10k race in 51:25. Three miles of easy walking in the evening to loosen my legs.

Friday: 18.5 miles of biking, partially around Hains Point with Sarah, who was visiting from Jersey.

Saturday: 3800 meters of swimming with DCRP in the morning.

Sunday: 8.92 miles of running at a 9:21 pace with Sarah, Rachel, and Karen to close out the week.


  1. finding out you were sick makes you PR ten times more badass.

    Just reading about your workload stresses me out.

    I had to work the day before the holiday too. It's seriously like a crime. Have you ever tried Emergen-C? That seems to work pretty good.

  2. Congrats on the 10k PR!! And I definitely agree that work stress can take a toll on training! I hope you're feeling better now.