In my disappointment post, I declared that training (inadequate, ineffectual, insufficient) was to blame for last Sunday's performance. After reviewing my log since the beginning of the year, I couldn't have been more correct than that preliminary conclusion. I arrived at the training condemnation through the process of elimination - it was a nice day, good race, known course, good strategy, and feeling pretty good - it had to be the training. But now.... Now, the ugly truth is staring at me from the log. It shines a bright spotlight on my flaws in training, attitude, and discipline. It also questions my eyesight or intelligence. Quite frankly, I'm either blind or just stupid.
**The rest of this post may be distressing. Be forewarned that what follows is an autopsy.**
Subject: Marathon Performance
Date of Death: 5/7/06
Place of Death: Holyoke, MA - Mile 22 - 26.2
Subject died while exceeding the body's ability to consume and transport oxygen while simultaneously exhausting all available fuel in the muscle fibers. The general cause of death is an apparent lack of conditioning and is considered an occasion of pity since this common cause of untimely demise is preventable. Considered common knowledge among runners, a certain amount of training, in proper order and avoiding injury, can prevent a tragic end to a training season. Also, it has come to my attention that the runner responsible for this Marathon Performance had all the necessary data that would have informed him that his then present course of action would result in severe muscle fatigue, pace reduction, and even total demoralization in the final miles of the Holyoke Marathon.
Upon examination of the subject and its logbook history since the beginning of the year, it was noted that sufficient time existed for a fully trained specimen. In fact, the time allotted was 18 weeks. Exploring the traces of these past 18 weeks, I found the following:
Long runs of 20 miles or greater: 6.
Instances of running "long" but failing to reach 20 miles: 8.
>>Comment - Runner may have believed that running under 20 miles for his "long" effort sufficed given the number of times this actually occurred. Diagnosis: Runner delusional.
Number of weeks that weekly mileage exceeded 60: 4.
Number of weeks weekly mileage was less than 40: 10.
>>Comment - Runner may have rested his entire performance on one small spurt of good training when his weekly mileage was at or exceeded 100 miles for 3 consecutive weeks.
Diagnosis: Runner living in fantasy land.
Number of training days in an average week: 4.
The same average excluding the 3 good weeks in March: 3.
>>Comment - Runner did not train consistently. Resulted in an abnormal susceptibility to injury from overuse and sudden training regimen changes. Diagnosis: Runner is a rester, not a runner.
Number of instances of 3 or more consecutive days off: 9
Average miles run on day back from 3+ rest period: 14.5
>>Comment - Runner is shocking the system with large swings in mileage. Diagnosis: Runner is psychotic.
Runner suffered from delusion caused by an incredible ability to see good in all things including bad training. Runner has potential to avoid similar marathon fates if he can practice good discipline, remain focused, and train like he means it.