Yesterday I was reaching up into the cabinet to grab my morning pill/medication routine. Yeah, for years I've taken a daily multi-vitamin and some fish oil pills. And, when the aches and pains were a little much, a couple of ibuprofen in the morning were not unusual.
But, now my daily routine also includes levothyroxine, coreg, lisinopril, simvastatin and low dose aspirin. I'm now one of those that has to travel with a little container to keep my meds straight. The AARP card must be right around the corner. Never did I expect that I would be the guy who had some heart function issues; and, what the hell is with having to an internal defibrillator implanted? But, like it or not, those are the cards I've been dealt.
From a day to day standpoint, I've chosen to not let it define me or limit my lifestyle choices. That includes my running. Sure, I'm no longer able to compete at the levels I was accustomed to (see The Buzzard's Wings Are Clipped at http://bigskymiles.blogspot.com/2012/02/buzzards-wings-are-clipped.html). But, I can still run; and, to a lesser degree, still race. And, there's still a couple of events I'd like to participate in. One of those being the New York City Marathon. I've done Boston and Twin Cities; I've competed in national championship events across the country; I've run Bloomsday and other top road races; but, have not had the pleasure of competing in the Big Apple. And, in our sport, it's about as big as it gets. So, it's about time that I go to see if "I Can Make It There".
At the same time, I really would like to "earn" my way to the starting line. I could go through the lottery route; and, perhaps get luck enough to get in. But, would prefer to go the guaranteed entry route. The primary way to achieve that goal would be via running a time that meets the marathon's guaranteed entry standards. For the 2013 event, you can achieve that in one of two ways: For 50-54 year old males, that means doing a marathon in 3:06:00 or faster; or, a 1/2-Marathon in 1:29:00 or faster prior to January 31st, 2013.
For me, I've decided to go the 1/2-Marathon route. Even in the early phase of my cardiac issues; but, before I was fully diagnosed and treatment started, 1:29 would have been no big deal. In September of 2010, off very limited training, I was able to pop off a 1:20 at the Montana 1/2 in Billings. But, with the meds, my pace and heart race maximums are limited and that's resulted in some significant limits on my performance. In practical terms, it has meant a slowdown of 60 to 90 seconds per mile at all efforts and distances.
Now, a 1:29 Half equates to a 6:47 per mile. Again, just two years ago, that wouldn't have been a problem. Heck, that was still training pace for long runs. But, now................6:47 is sort of on the bubble for me. So, hitting the time standard isn't a walk in the park. But, I'm going to take a stab at pulling it off.
My all-eggs-in-one-basket race is going to be the Austin 3M Half-Marathon in Austin, TX on January 13th. It's a medium sized event (5,000 or so runners); the weather is typically good (mid-40's to low-50's); and, it's a net downhill course. So, I think that I've picked a course that gives me a good opportunity to hit my time goals.
It's also the first time since my diagnosis in October of 2010 that I've set out on a focused, dedicated training plan. As of yesterday (Saturday, 11/24), I'm halfway through the training cycle. It's been going pretty well. I caught a bit of a bug this last week (which resulted in laryngitis during Thanksgiving); but, at this point it's only created a minor bump in the road on the training cycle. At this point, I'm cautiously optimistic. I'm hitting a bit over 50 miles per week with long runs of up to 14 miles so far. And, I seem to be hitting my goal paces in training.
I'll keep you up to date over the next 6 weeks as I give it a shot to see if I have anything left in the tank to meet a defined, specific time and race goal. If nothing else, it will be an interesting adventure.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails.
The Muddy Buzzard