Saturday, January 10, 2009

sickness kills Austin

I formally pulled the plug on plans for the Austin Marathon. I told my coach, Dan Smith, that being sick three times in the past month (I'm clearly coming down with a cold as I write this) combined with two doses of serious jet lag (traveling to and from Bangkok, a 9 hour difference) has just put too big a dent in this, the critical month for marathon preparation. Really, for a marathon everything needs to be in place four weeks before. That's 17 Jan, one week from today. I'm just not going to be there. Not even close. Time to refocus on getting well, finding a more modest next running goal, then refocus on cycling after that.

I spent hours staring at the ceiling at the Golden Banana guest house in Siem Reap.

I don't set goals lightly. Yet to show up in Austin with the goal of simply making it to the finish without damaging myself is of no interest to me. If I go, it's to qualify for Boston. If I can't do that, I don't go.

I can't be disappointed with my running experience this year. I went from nothing to having some really solid races. I haven't reached my goal of a 40-minute 10km, but maybe I can still do that now that I've given up on the marathon goal. It all comes down to how I feel, how quickly I get my health back.

Lao kitten. This has nothing to do with this blog entry, but is justified for cuteness.

The Laos trip was interesting, for sure, but it's taken a big cost. Of course, I couldn't anticipate the unprecedented problem with sickness. I've felt healthy and non-jet lagged maybe three days in the last four weeks. Traveling is inherently risky on health, but by any standard I had bad luck here. I had a bad feeling when we showed up on the tour and one of the members was barely able to walk from his cold. It's not fair to hold it against the guy, but emotionally it's hard not to. And then when I let my guard down in Vientiane and drank two street smoothies with ice, from different vendors just to maximize my risk exposure, that turned out to be another nail in the coffin.

So it's regroup, retarget, rebuild. Sigh.


Marco Fanelli said...

Seems that running, like cycling, is an activity you want to be doing for the rest of your life. No sense in rushing it, especially something risky like a fast marathon. Keep it going though's sure nice to see somebody successfully balance cycling and running. A lot of us cyclists could learn from your experiences.

djconnel said...

Thanks, Marco! Yes -- I'll try on the marathon again next year. Not starting at ground zero will help a lot!