Friday, January 12, 2007

Sometimes Things Have To Go

Thanks for all the comments everyone. The doctor's appointment was "ok". My BP was still pretty high, 150/90 (so I guess slightly better). The doctor wanted me to go on BP medication if I wanted to stay on the Pill. I told him that I don't usually have high BP and for the last few years it's been around 120/70 and how I didn't understand how a 27 year old marathon runner could be having issues with this now. He gave me a one month refill of the pill and I'm going back in a couple weeks to have it checked again and possibly have some blood work done. I know sometimes people's BP goes up when they go to the doctors and it's fine when they are at maybe that's a part of it. Anyways, I'll know more in two weeks or so.

Jason and I were talking last night and we came to the conclusion that if something doesn't give then I am really going to have a heart attack in the next few months. As it stands now it's looking like the Sarasota marathon is off the table. My typical day is like this :
  • 5am : Wake up
  • 5:45 : Leave for Work
  • 6:30-3pm : Work
  • 3-4 : commute home
  • 4-4:30 : get ready to go run
  • (on long running days) 5-7 : run
  • 7:30-8:30 dinner
  • 9pm : in bed reading
What is missing from the schedule. ANY TIME TO JUST BE!!! Everything is stacked back to back and there isn't even an extra hour in there to read or go for a walk or anything.

One of our favorite things to do in Chicago is take the el downtown get some Garrett's popcorn (you Chicagoans know what I'm talkin' about) and just walk around the city....for hours. When is the last time we did that....oh I don't know....YEARS ago. Everything is based on what time I have to run and what kind of run it is and where I am going to be doing the run, which is actually fine, but I am starting to feel very smothered.

In the summer, our runs end up being time we get to spend outside. It's not such a big deal because I LOVE being outside in the summer and the longer the run the better because I just get to be out there longer. In the summer we already play the, "I can't stay out late on Saturday night because I have a 20 miler tomorrow". Again, most of our friends are in the same boat and so they tend to understand. But now, I am starting to play that game in the winter, which is totally unfair. We have 4 things happening this weekend
  1. Play tonight with our friends Jake & Laura
  2. Birthday Party tomorrow night at Dave and Busters
  3. DA BEARS Noon on Sunday & Hanging with Mike & Barb on Sunday night.
Here's what happeend in my head :

Ok, gotta get up early on Friday so I can get the LT run in at the lab around 2pm, so I can get home in time to shower and head to the play. Saturday morning, gotta get up early go to the laundrymat, do a 5 mile recovery, nap perhaps and head out to Dave and Busters for about an hour since I have to get up early on Sunday for an 18miler because I want to be done with thtat by 10:30, so I can get showered and get to the bar to watch the game. Then it's off to Mike and Barbs where Mike can take my BP and tell me it's 200/120 :-)

Which is fine....but....I don't know if I can do this two times a year. If I could cut those long midweek runs out of the schedule that could help.

Aside from all the above my work has to get more attention than it's been getting. I have to have a result soon and sitting here worrying about my running schedule isn't helping anything.



There are two options as it stands right now. Either I can scrap the marathon all together and perhaps run the 1/2 marathon that is taking place at the same time. OR I can get off this Pfitz plan and use Hal Higdon's Novice schedule and run the marathon just for fun and just to finish and not worry about the time at all. I know following this I won't complete the race as fast as I did Chicago last year, but I would still be able to get through it. His Novice plan is only 4 days a week with no speed work and maxes out at 40 mpw, which shouldn't be a huge problem. So instead of :

Monday : 0
Tuesday : 5
Wednesday : 12
Thursday : 0
Friday : 11w/LT
Saturday : 5
Sunday : 18

It would something like this (maybe bumping things up one day since I volleyball on Mondays which could be the cross training) :

Monday : 0
Tuesday : 3
Wednesday : 7
Thursday: 4
Friday : 0
Saturday : 15
Sunday : Cross

Which obviously is way way easier. AGAIN I realize that I won't be as prepared for the race, but I might be able to cut a huge amount of stress out of my life and keep up with the running at the same time.

If we scrap the races all together I'll just be running for fun....and to get out of my head (if that makes any sense). Running until I feel like stopping and then turning around and going home.

Anyways, I would love to hear any opinions. It's really hard for me to admit that I have failed at something I have tried, but at this point, my health has to come first. I cannot be wound this tight and live a happy life.


Haight said...

Failed? Not sure where I see the failure. A detour maybe, but not failure.

Health is first. There is no second place. Stress is so powerful it can really take over your physical and mental well being. But I think you acknowledged that issue and that's a big plus. Whatever is neccesary to get yourself healthy is what gets done.

You obviously have your head on straight if you have put forth some options to choose from. Some people don't look outside the box and just continue with blinders until it's too late.

As far as Sarasota, nothing wrong with excelling at the half. Go for a PR. Plus you'll have less recovery time and we can all celebrate at the Gator Club :)

Go Bears!!!

Laurie said...

Balance in life is so important. Taking time to just be feels so good. I spent most of my winter break doing just that so I would be recharged for the semester and it worked! But you don't have two weeks to do nothing.

I think you are right about cutting back on your running, easing the pressure. Running and training should be generally enjoyable and not just another thing to get done. If you push too hard you will burn out on running completely and stop.

You have NOT failed. Everyday we must make adjustments to our lives. We are works in progress. Your body is definitely telling you to ease up a bit.

Josh said...

Leah, definitely take care of you first and foremost. You should certainly have time for you somewhere in that busy day.

If you want to keep running (and run the full), I'd take a much leisurely approach, otherwise you're going to get burnt out. I have two training programs where you just run three days a week (and cross train three others), and I've been completely prepared. Let me know if you'd like to see them and I can send to you.

Like I said, the most important thing is you. It's good to see that you're realizing this.

Bob said...

Hey Leah

PROPER marathon training is such a huge time commitment, I toatally feel for you. I decided halfway through last years training that I will be a one Marathon a year guy, and that will be a fall deal.

Some of what you describe is true for most dedicated runners. Life and work, and for many of us Kids demand our time and attention.

All of this is part of the reason I opted to run shorter races in the spring and traing for the big one in the summeer, I could not imagine doing all of those miles year round. Plus it what my Psudo coach recommended if I want to get faster, so it's a win win. :)

Good luck we will support you in whatever you decide.

Rose said...

As someone who always does too much, I completely sympathize. I came to running as a way to manage stress, and it's one of the few times when my mind is still and I feel completely free of the demands of work, school, and social obligations. So it's not a failure to lighten your training, it's a new way of taking care of yourself. I wish you the best in finding the right balance in your life.

Kendra said...

Leah, you're definitely not failing at anything! You manage to do so much (just reading about your days exhausts me), so if something has to fall to the side for a bit, so be it. Just do what you feel is best for you.

Banking Miles said...

I completely agree with you. Training for a marathon does require tons of time and energy. Sometimes the schedule is so tight that it starts to feel like a job - the fun of running can easily get lost in the pressure of meeting the daily mileage.

A lot of marathon training plans out there caution for you to listen to your body and adjust your running accordingly. These plans often fail to mention that you should also listen to your head as well when it says to take a break or relax.

I agree with everyone by saying that this is in no way a failure. Running appears to be a life long thing for you and so you have many more races and marathons ahead. Changing your tactics for a race or even not running will not change your commitment to running.

Sorry for my first comment to your blog has to be so serious and long. Good luck.

Full Metal Lunchbox said...

My goodness, no wonder you are so stressed out.  My heart goes out to you for what you are facing.

I agree with the other comments: there is no failure in putting your health first.  Laurie made a good point when she wrote that "balance is important."

I believe that your health will suffer if you don't take an occasional afternoon to walk around and munch on some Garrett's popcorn.  (State Street is a pretty walk this time of year.)

One thing I would add is that the Chicago Marathon is still 10 months away.  I'm wondering if you couldn't scale back your training until June and then kick things back up.  That's still plenty of time to train, whichever plan you choose.

Good luck, Leah.  Please take good care of yourself.

Scott said...

It's the journey...not the destination

I agree with everyone else wherer health is concerned. I would encourage you to make the necessary course corrections while still keeping your eyes on your goal(s). Whenever I thinnk of making course corrections, I think of airliners that have a destination in mind and a plan as to how to get there. Howerever, weather happens, life happens and changes ususlly small changes are made to accommodate winds, weather, other airliners, etc.
As a fellow jogger, I always remind my firends who encouonter setbacks that it's only temporary, enjoy the journey and finish your race.

Susan said...

Leah, High BP is nothing to mess around with. My husband rides his bike 2 hours a day and has high bp - he won't take meds but controls it with a really stict diet and yoga. Yoga seems to make the biggest difference. I hope it all comes together for you.

On another note, are you guys running the St.Patricks race in Indy? I just registered.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you need a vacation. Why is it that most Americans leave such hectic lives?
Hang in there and get some rest.

Joe said...

I hope this is evident already but I would prioritize like this:
- blood pressure
- work
- training

If the pill is causing your BP problems, get off it. What's more inconvenient, a heart attack or a bad menstrual period?

As far as work goes, get that under control. You need a good job to pay for things like Garmins, running shoes, marathon entry fees, etc.

Finally, choose the training program that will require the least amount of time. If that's the novice marathon program, choose that. If that's the expert half marathon program, choose that.

LeahC said...

i don't think the pill is causing the high bp, but I think not being on it is going to raise it for sure :-)