“It is Only Hubris if I Fail”

“It is only hubris if I fail” – Julius Caesar (HBO, circa 2005 A.D.)

Last Tuesday I was all too eager to write here about how I ran down Peachtree for five miles the Saturday before and then felt good enough the next day to run three miles through wooded trails.

Thursday I wrote here about coping with injuries while running, whether it is better to press on with training or is it smarter to rest and live to run another day.

These were not supposed to be related posts.

About the hubris….

Soon after making it sound like I had all but nailed my goal of running the 2010 AJC Peachtree Road Race under an hour, I picked up a bit of a chest cold. But Saturday morning I felt healthy enough to take MARTA up to the Lenox station and walk up to the start line next to the mall parking lot.

Not the place where my time group will likely be staged, mind you. But I didn’t want to start my run  in Doraville like I will July 4.

It was really muggy running down Peachtree Saturday, but I felt OK for the first few miles. Each of the last two Saturdays I’ve been surprised at how few times I’ve had to stop for traffic. And when I did stop it was mostly at the big intersections, notably Piedmont.

But about the end of mile three I stopped breathing easy because of the chest congestion. Sometime during the next half mile or so my left foot started to ache in an area where I accidentally kicked a coffee table leg a month and half ago.

By the time I got halfway up Cardiac Hill, I gave up and walked. It was the first time I did that in my training this year. I started running again at the top of the hill, but ended up walking a good bit of the way home after that.

This week I’m going to focus on running three complete miles at a good pace. When I’ve run fewer than four miles my foot didn’t hurt. So I’ll try to determine if it’s the longer mileage that’s the aggravating factor.

I also bought another pair of non-cotton socks, but I’ve heard different opinions about whether that will help. I’m fairly sure socks won’t do anything for the chest congestion. Or hubris.

What advice do you have for coping with a training setback? Do you cut back on distance or speed and build back up? Or do you keep trying to grit out your last best  time and distance mark you set?

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May 25th, 2010
7:58 am

Good choice on the non-cotton socks. I love mine because they’re lighter, don’t absorb water and will significantly reduce my chances of getting blisters. I can’t believe I waited so long to switch!