Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why Teammates Are Good

Hello- this week ended on something of a sour note. Saturday afternoon I felt myself start to come down with something- headache, congested sinuses, cough, etc. Two miles into my race at Franklin I started dry-heaving and throwing up little gobs of mucus. It certainly made for an unpleasant last three miles, though my incredibly weak 8k XC past allowed me to still end the day with a PR.

The title of this blog is a reference, specifically, to Petah Gilmore- if I hadn't had him to work with during the race, I probably would have dropped out. However, every time I retched and dropped back, I'd look at Peter and force myself to get back up there with him. More on that later, here's the log:

Monday- AM- Easy River Loop, 28:38. Hamstrings sore. PM- 9 easy out River West, 64min, hamstrings got progressively worse throughout the day. The two hours+ I spend on my feet walking to and from class everyday are starting to take their toll.

Tuesday- AM- 3 solo shakeout, 22:08, middle 2mi barefoot. PM- Bruce dropped us off near JP, ran to the Arb with a nice group and ran for 91 min very easy, about 13mi. Light strength/core circuit- legs still rocked from the hills on Sunday.

Wednesday- AM- Solo River Loop, 29:37, felt pretty good. PM- 9 easy/moderate to JP and back through the park, squeezed the pace down til we were running about 5:40 pace, then me and Eric ran the last half-mile in the track in 2:25. 53min tot- really good run, I wasn't straining at all.

Thursday- 11:30AM- I had class 9:30-11, 2-3:30, and 4-7 so this was the only time I had to do my workout. 3mi up to the BC Res, then 8x2min on, 2min off, marking the place where I stopped after each "on" and continuing from there after the jog rest. Covered 5k in 14:55 during the ons, not sure how much I covered during the offs. I took this workout pretty easy- 2min bouts of 4:50 pace isn't really strenuous, and I didn't keep a really hard sustained pace on the rests. 3mi down, ~11 tot.

Friday- PM- 9 mi easy, 61 min, got my first hints of feeling sick.

Saturday- AM- 7 easy, 47min, with a big group + 6 strides indoors.
PM- 5 easy with Ken, 36:23. By this point I was pretty congested and uncomfortable. I didn't sleep but two or three hours on Saturday night because I was so congested that I'd keep waking up in the middle of the night choking on my own snot (is that tmi yet?). All Sunday morning I was wheezing, stuffed up, and queasy from the amount of snot I had swallowed.

Sunday- 3 up, BU Invite at Franklin Park. 25:22 for 8th, 3 down. I felt ok on the warmup and through two miles (10:10, sharing the lead with Eric) but just after the two mile mark, I started dry-heaving pretty bad. I lost the lead group pretty quickly as I spat out mouthfuls of acidy-snot and was about to drop out when Petah and about 8 La Salle guys rolled past. I couldn't leave my teammates out to dry like that and figured I could run with the group until at least 3.5mi before dying off for good. The next several miles were weird in that I'd feel ok, run with the group, then dry-heave, drop back, feel ok again once I stopped, catch back up, etc. Fortunately, I managed to stay with the group until about 600 to go when I made a hard move to drop them all going down Bear Cage. I got my doors blown in in the last 150 or so (two La Salle guys dusted me like I was a JV scrub and a third pipped me at the line). My time was a 16 second PR- which, considering the unplanned fartlek I ran, isn't awful. I'm proud of myself for keeping at it- my back muscles are still sore from all the spasming they endured while trying to keep me from vomiting. Being honest, a year ago, I would have dropped out by 5k, so I'm glad I toughed it out.

Tot- 89

I have until October 10th until we race again (and we'll be at Franklin Park again for New Englands). I'm looking forward to three weeks of solid training without interruption for racing (these last two weeks have kind of been a wash as far as training goes). I'm confident that I can make a run at 24:40 or so if I'm healthy.

Hope you all stay healthy!


  1. 'Toughing it out' is a classic college mentality that only leads to sorrow.
    There's really no point in lashing yourself to finish some meaningless cross country race in September. You were sick, and this effort will likely make you even more sick.
    Avoid the trap of endeavouring to be 'tough.' Be 'smart.'

  2. I've been on both ends of the spectrum before- I've killed myself to finish some races and I've dropped out of others. Having done both, I'll say that dropping out is always tougher on me- mentally, it's a lot bigger hit to stop than the small physical price I had to pay. Since this is our second race in a row, Bruce is giving us at least three and maybe 4 days until our next workout. I'm glad that I fought through- if I had had a fever or been seriously ill, I wouldn't have even bothered starting the race (and Bruce totally would have understood- he puts little importance in these early season competitions).

    "Toughing it out" can lead to sorrow, but I think I made the right call in this case. Other times, I've dropped out of races and been smart. I think cultivating both tendencies is a worthwhile endeavor. However, thanks for the input- miss you on dyestat.

  3. "Fortunately, I managed to stay with the group until about 600 to go when I made a hard move to drop them all going down Bear Cage."
    Psh, I went with you down bear cage, you didn't pass me until you cut that corner!


  4. I didn't say the move worked- fortunately for BUXC, my teammate is a hard man to drop :)