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Phantom pains won't hold me back

Posted by Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com Staff  April 2, 2013 07:55 AM

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100chrisgarges.jpg Chris Garges is one of six Boston Marathon entrants testing Polar personal training gear and blogging about it for Boston.com
Race day always seems to take so long to get here, yet sneak up so quickly. Not sure how that is even possible, but it happens every year. I know my level of excitement is rising with each passing day, and so are my nerves! I’m not one to obsess over things like weather or travel, but get me within two weeks of a marathon and the little things aren’t so little anymore.

Last week was a prime example. I became ill toward the end of the previous week, but decided to try to hit my mileage goal regardless of how my body felt. I got my long run in on Saturday and followed up on Sunday with 12 more miles at an easy pace. Come Tuesday morning, time for my next workout, and my knee was getting cranky with pain in my joint. I went out and tried to run anyway and ended up cutting my run short due to pain in my knee.

Glutton for punishment, I went back out on Wednesday morning. I could run, but I still felt something. When I got home and told my wife, without hesitation she said “it’s two weeks before Boston, you’re supposed to feel like that.”

I shut my mouth and thought about what she had just said. She’s a runner and she’s run the Boston Marathon twice, so she’s got the personal experience to say such a thing. She’s also been married to me for quite a while and has experienced my training cycles for 25 marathons. I like to consider myself at least slightly intelligent and experienced, but her statement was pure genius and such a thought had never crossed my mind!


The author (left) after a recent race.

So in my quirky way, I brought out the old good luck shoes and decided that this little “Phantom Pain” in my knee wasn’t going to hold me back. I may not have hit my “goal mileage” for the week, but I learned something. Even more odd, my last long run was on Saturday and I felt no pain at all! The moral of the story, listen to your body, BUT in moderation.

Back to my week, I ended the week at 52 miles of running with another 5 hours of easy cycling. The illness appears to be gone and my legs feel like they’re coming around. I ran last week’s long run as a race day simulation in which I started my run at 10 a.m. and practiced using my race day nutrition.

This week I’ll do a workout that mixes 800m repeats at half marathon pace with “rest” intervals of 400m at goal marathon pace. On Saturday I have my first multisport race of the year, a duathlon, which I’ll use the run splits for my second workout of the week. My goal will be 45 miles of running.

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Look for updates, news, analysis and commentary from the following.
  • Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
  • Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
  • Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes

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