4 Weeks Till Macau Marathon: overcoming sickness, tuning up, and winning a prize

Thus far I have been faily diligent and stuck to the plan à la Pfitzinger’s 18/70. The trouble is once you are in for a penny, you are in for a pound, and so I suppose I’m a bit obsessed about seeing this thing through to its absurd conclusion. So come what may, I’m going to stick this out for a few more weeks and try to smash that marathon in Macau!

But no matter how committed you are, there’s not much you can do when you’re sick, or so I found out last week. For reasons unbeknownst to me I came down with something nasty (yes, probably something I ate) and ended up puking my brains out for a day (well, it was really just one night, but it kicked my ass). Needless to say, it was not so pleasant. I was almost going to go to the hospital, but I pulled out of it very quickly and was back running within a day or two.

This little incident did set me back a bit and so I had to reschedule some of my running plans, in particular a big ol’ 18 mile run with 14 miles at my planned marathon pace (which is around 6:40 per mile). This is a key workout in the schedule but sadly I could not quite hit the paces I wanted. Of course I was very close so I’m not too worried about it; I was, after all, still recovering from the stomach trouble. So my confidence was shaken a little by the mediocre long run… 

But then it came back this morning when I ran my fastest 10 km time (37:47)! I was surprised that I ran that fast because the race came at the end of a 70 mile week and there was not much in the way of tapering. It was also a fairly warm morning (around 27 or 28 C), and so given that I had just run 12 miles the day before I expected this to be more like a hard training run. But I felt good, went out strong, and managed to hold on and even kicked a bit in the last mile. As a bonus, I ended up winning my age group (40-44) and came away with a nice gift certificate. I think that’s the first time in my life I’ve ever won a running race (I was the slow kid and hated ‘track and field day’ like the plague because it was embarrassing to always be last).

So the moral of this story is that being sick sucks, puking sucks, and falling down and shivering on the floor in the middle of the night really sucks. Run hard. Be healthy and happy…. And stick to the damn plan.

Happy Guy (and 400 HKD richer)