I’m referring of course to the most dreaded of all training walks( or runs)…The dreaded 20 Miler! Basically the marathon before the marathon. You marathon walkers and runners know what Im talking about. It’s all about conditioning yourself for the long haul. A one last practice run before the big event if you will.
This is usually a pretty brutal walk for me, even when I’m breathing well . And with less than 3 weeks until the marathon, I’m kinda pushing my luck ( and my lungs), but it has to be done or I don’t stand a chance of finishing the most important race of my life. The fact is, if I don’t put in these 20 miles today , there’s absolutely no way I’ll be able to put in 26.2 miles 20 days from now at the Boston marathon.
The biggest trick of course, will be to pull this training walk off without getting really sick afterward. For sure I’ll be flaring up like crazy tonight. That’s a given and I’m prepared for it. I even have a follow up appt with my Pulmonologist tomorrow just in case things get ugly. Hopefully it wont be a big deal and I’ll be able to do the rest of my taper, which includes a 10 miler next week , followed by an eight miler a week before the race. Worse case scenario, if I get sick from todays walk, I’ll still have a 2 week cushion to recover, and if I do get sick , at least I will have completed 90% of my training.
As strange as it sounds, I take comfort from the experience I had with my first Portland marathon in 2006. Back then, I had just completed the bulk of my long training walks ( which took 9 full months) , when just 3 weeks from the marathon, I ended up in the hospital for a week! Nevertheless, I still managed to recover enough to do the marathon. Albeit, a very slow and painful marathon ( 8:50 ) … but I finished.
Now I would hate to do another marathon under those circumstances, but the experience does afford me the confidence to go on with todays walk. God I hate this freakin disease..
I’ll let you know how it goes.