Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Of Training, Tough Times, and a Torch

The Training
'Tis the season... Monumental Training! I'm going to start my official training this Saturday which will give me 15 weeks to train for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Typical programs are 16 weeks, and last year I trained for 19 weeks. However, in an effort to hit my training sweet spot, Wendy and I are going to try the shorter program this year. Because I peaked 3-4 weeks before the marathon last year, a 15-week design seems like a good plan.
2016 IMM "Training Wheel"

Here is my 2016 IMM Training Wheel. I dressed up the center this year with IMM's new logo and a pic Wendy took during the 2015 marathon. Long runs are blue, maintenance runs are red, and the big day is yellow. Can't wait to start tearin' tabs!

At the present, I don't have a time goal. My PR, set at IMM 2015, is 4:09:50. Those familiar with my running know that it's my heart's desire to break 4:00, but this may not be the year to attack that particular goal, and that's OK. I honestly will be happy just to be a part of it.

The Tough Times
"Suck it up and go for that goal!" says you. Believe me, I am right there with you, and time will tell if a tough time goal is smart for Fall JoAnna Cobb. It isn't for Summer Jo Cobb, nor was it optimal for Spring Jo Cobb, because "tough time" has meant something completely different in the last few months.

Acupuncture. Yeah.
The running woes began in March when Wendy learned she had a stress fracture in her foot. That very same day, I felt a twinge in my hamstring. The twinge turned into a full hamstring/quad atrocity (not using the word "injury"), that plagued me for two months. Only diagnosed as "really bad tendinitis with a muscle strain," I sought chiropractic alignment, acupuncture, myofascial release, Graston, dry needling, and general physical therapy. Eventually, it got better, but boy, was it frustrating.

During this same time, I had a devastating problem with my hair, was misdiagnosed with another femoral fracture and on crutches for 15 hours, fought with my health insurance company over tens of thousands of dollars they refused to pay for Remicade treatments in spite of having a pre-cert, and had two upper respiratory infections and a skin infection due to said Remicade. Are those trials little things relative to true big problems? Yes, but they made for a pretty tough time.

In mid-May, while most of those life hiccups were beginning to resolve, I suddenly couldn't run anymore. I know that sounds histrionic, but it's true. Ask Wendy. Typically down for a 10-mile run any day of the week, I couldn't get 0.5 miles at a pace one to two minutes slower than usual without taking a break. A sit down break, preferably. 

Obviously, I sought medical advice. The difficulties may have ensued as a result of my spring stress, or maybe they didn't. No matter. Some changes in medicines seem to have helped for now, and I'm slowly building back to my usual mileage and paces while still in communication with my doctors. If there is a silver lining here, it's that I've learned to appreciate the trouble-free times on a new level.

The Torch
I'm clearly feeling pretty confident about the direction my health is taking or I wouldn't have decided to train for a marathon. I'm very thankful to be able to be in a position where I would even consider running 26.2 miles a prospect, because—believe me—it did not seem possible even two shorts weeks ago.

However, marathon training is not my only exciting news. The year 2016 is Indiana's Bicentennial year. One of the many exciting projects associated with the 200-year milestone is the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay. I have been named a Torch Bearer for Lawrence County. The right terms for my feelings elude me. Honored? Grateful? Thrilled? All that, for sure, but there's something more. 

You all know how much I dig Bedford and its history and how proud I am to be a part of this great little city. Representing Lawrence County on September 14 in the Torch Relay combines my love of my home and the people who live here with my love of running, and it makes me absolutely light up with happiness to know I get to be a part of it in this way.

Here's to a great late summer and early fall! 

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