Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Itch

I’ve got that itch again. Not the kind that requires a regimen of penicillin to cure (been there, done that.) The marathon itch.

I don’t think I’m getting the proper amount of abuse in my diet. The speed work hurts sometimes but it’s over quickly. You barely work up the beginnings of a good hate and regret and then it’s done. And you’re happy again. If you’re lucky, you might get to wipe some puke spittle from your chin after a grueling session but that doesn’t even take but a second.

No, I need some deeper, longer pain. The kind that throbs down to the bone hours after you’ve finished your run. The kind that makes you question whether or not it was all worth it. To wonder what it would be like to never have to move again. To look longingly at your neighbors in their lawn chairs watching their sprinklers with an umbrella topped lemonade in their hands while you stumble by 15 miles into a sweat drenched long run.

I have a half marathon on the schedule for September and - if I could find one – I’d like to do another in November. But those are only half marathons. That’s like scratching an itch with someone else’s hand. It never quite hits the spot (though it can lead to the penicillin. Been there, done that.)

No, I need some longer miles. More pain. More fatigue. I’m trying to hold out until next April and the 2010 Boston Marathon but it’s hard, man, and I need - I need - the abuse. I’ve capped my weekend long runs in the 8-10 mile range for the last three months. Now I know how it feels to be a stomach stapled fat guy presented with a buffet. It looks like you could eat the whole thing but there are these restraints

I have so much energy lately that I’ve been pruning tree limbs all over my yard with a hand saw and, occasionally, a broom stick just to make it last longer. I climb up like a v.d. crazed spider monkey and make life/death decisions on the limbs based on texture, aesthetic appeal and sometimes taste and then hack away howling with delight. But these arborescent appendage amputations only provide temporary relief from the ever present Itch.

There is a pile of severed limbs in my yard. I haven’t had the desire to break them down and remove them. I’m a collector. I collect my amputated trophies like a cathouse client collects pharmaceutical bills (been there, done that.) What I really want to collect is miles. Long run miles.

I might start scratching the Itch. We’ve always been told that if you scratch it, it only makes it worse. But I need the abuse. I need the long run miles. I have herpes simplex run. The penicillin won’t cure it (this time.)

Time to run long.

Besides, my trees look like telephone poles now.

Happy trails.
_________________________________

Lest you think I have abandoned the SOS2 know that Tuesdays and Saturday will remain speed work days with the focus on 5k and and 10k preparation. I'll probably take one more stab at each before fall settles in. Thursday and Sunday will be half marathon prep days.

A warm, windy, humid night saw a last interval fade which I didn't fight. Managed 4 x 800 @ 2:52 pace average. Looking for 2:50 average. C'est la vie. I'll start adding an interval a week from here on out.

28 comments:

Jamoosh said...

Well, now we know why it hurts when you pee...

That said, I feel your pain. Currently I am a Marathoner trapped in a Half Marathon training plan due to recovery purposes. I need my release

Lily on the Road said...

Well, pick your race, lose the cheeto layer and I'm sure Mrs. Nitmos will enjoy her quiet times again while you're out pounding the pavement.

B.o.B. said...

Bring the pain, man, bring the pain.

Poor trees. Not Ents this time. Actual trees.

Xenia said...

What, you don't get enough abuse from us already?

Fine. We'll just get your neighbor RunningSpike to physically assault you every time you run. That should satisfy your need for pain.

Betsy said...

I hear you, brother. My last race ended up being an easy one as a pacer, and I am jonesing for a race that I can really RACE and feel some pain.

X-Country2 said...

http://www.marathonguide.com/

Stop talkin', start searchin', and sack up!

Viper said...

Sign up or shut up.

Marlene said...

Scratch it!

Morgan said...

Come do Chicago with Spike and I!!! Would love to meet all my fellow Michiganders! (Once a Michigander, always a Michigander)

Scratch, scratch and only a short jaunt away!!! :)

Tall Girl Running said...

I succumbed to The Itch several weeks ago. Now, a couple 20-milers away from the next marathon, I wish I'd just gone to the drugstore to buy some f'ing calamine.

nwgdc said...

1. I second Viper's comment.

2. Good to have you back!

3. *continues to scratch entire surface of body constantly due to 'long run itch' and it's only been a week*

Arron said...

its the pain and suffering that drive nut bags like you and me. sick we are for sure. later.

Kristina said...

Who says you need to register for a race? Just start running 20 milers for the heck of it. Because nothing scratches the itch like painful junk miles.

Vava said...

Perhaps what you have is not an itch, but rather a fever? We all know what the prescription calls for...

More Cowbell!

Adam said...

You should probably take some penicillin anyway. You know, just to be safe.

You're going to be wishing that you found one now come October when you are reading all of the race reports.

Ted said...

I hear ya. I was going to say take the penicillin right off the bat but Adam got to it first. Listen up.. after you read this comment, do the scratching and sign up for a fall marathon. Now !!!

Beth said...

You need to find one in December... maybe combined with a beach/holiday vacation? Good luck finding one!

Running and living said...

I get you. After my first marathon, I could not wait to start for next. I abolutely love running long. I bet you can scratch that itch, the Fall is filled with marathons, and Boston is too far away... Ana-Maria

M2Marathon said...

Just after doing a couple of halfs, I have the itch. It is imperative that you scratch it, even if you scratch till it bleeds. I was on marathonguide today looking for another potential race after Denver, you know, just in case I need to punish myself again after October.

Shannon said...

I'll help you cure your itch. Run yo'self right on over to Virginia where I'll hand you a "something or other" that you can trim my trees with. Whoa...that sounded kinky and I didreally mean yard work and not some sick attempt to seduce you. ;)

Roisin said...

You should totally jump on Chicago (t.w.s.s.) as the weather is bound to be good since I'm not doing it this year.

The Laminator said...

I think "the itch" may be contagious...kind of like yawning...maybe...

Knowing you, you'd probably just jump into a marathon this weekend on a whim and run it "just for fun" and insult the rest of us who train months and months...

Jess said...

Hate to break it to you, but halfs only make the itch worse. I stupidly have 2 marathons scheduled before Boston. So itchy.

aron said...

it is definitely contagious!! so which one is next???

glad to see you signed up for a couple of halves too :) they are so fun! you haven't raced one before right? only goofy? i have a good memory :)

theloosemoose said...

Scratch that itch!!!

And then register for a marathon while you're at it.

Ovens2Betsy said...

Preachin' to the choir, brother. I'm just going one MONTH without a marathon and I'm going ape sh!t.

sRod said...

I hated the month between marathon recovery and the start of trainign for my next race. Maybe Chicago this year (I've heard they fixed the heating issues).

Danielle said...

I gave herpes zoster to all of DC. True story.

DinIA