8 Days Until Boston: The Patient Patient

Posted on Apr 11, 2016 | 0 comments

… And Why “Now” Is Better than Tomorrow

Yesterday Paula Harkin ran her final medium long run. We went out to a relatively flat, level, perfect road and began. After her 12 or so miles, she pulled down her sock to reveal a bloody blister on her heel. Of course, since she ran 12 miles, the blister has popped and turned into a nasty sore.

Why did it happen? What new friction had invaded the junction between her perfect shoe/sock combo and her skin? Scientifically, nothing was really different except for the blister.

Rather than panicking and rebuilding her recipe for race day, she is simply going to add a few ingredients. She will add Body Glide to the heel. She’s going to make sure her socks are new, and washed. She is going to add a Band-Aid. And her heel will be fine.

It’s somewhat of a blessing that it happened yesterday. Better yesterday than tomorrow. There is still time to heal the heel of the patient patient.

I ran a progression run that was supposed to start at close to race pace and then get progressively faster by 6–8 seconds per mile. I went out too fast. I ran each mile faster than it needed to be, and finished way too fast.

What will I change for race day? I am going to slow down. I’m going to hit my first three miles with a level of patience that will rival that of the Queen’s Guard.

I am lucky that it happened today and not tomorrow. I only ran 12 miles, and it wasn’t race day, so going out too fast was just a training mistake and not a major error. There is still time to recover and rebound. I want to be patient, but I am anxious for all perils to unfold, flame up, and then flame out—well before next Monday.

We are both working through our final preparations for Boston. We are discussing pre-race comfort out in Hopkinton (primarily how we will stay warm for 2–3 hours). We are reducing our miles and we are starting to taper with vigor if that is even possible. We are foam rolling, sticking, stretching, and trying to to be patient patients.

With so few days to go, (Crazy 8) we have limited choices to make any major changes. At this stage, any altered variables, while affording some potential for positive impact, will carry at least equal potential for jeopardy.

With 100 days to go, we were hundreds of miles from our destination. Now we are at the foot of a mountain and the only way to get to the other side is to go over it.

8 Days. 8 Ways.




Dave Harkin and his wife, Paula, own Portland Running Company. He lives in West Linn.

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