As mentioned yesterday, a cold threatened to derail my running plans this morning. I said then that if I felt okay in the morning, then I would go for it. If I felt worse, then I’d skip the run.

I ended up feeling decent in the morning. Here’s what I wrote on my Dailymile entry for the run this morning:

Probably should have skipped this entire run, but I didn’t. I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and some mild body aches. Uh-oh – getting sick. Better now than in three weeks, I suppose, but with a big last run to do, I was hoping it would not be too bad. By the evening, I was pretty sure I would bail on the run. I decided that if I felt better in the morning, I’d go for it. The same, or worse and I’d skip it and stay home. Obviously, I felt decent this morning, so I geared up and headed out on a solo 34.7km route. I figured I would cut it short at about 32km and leave out the run up Kingston Road right from the start. The first 5km were okay, although there was a decent headwind along Kingston Road going out. The next 3km were downhill, and then came the run up Coxwell. This was supposed to simulate Camosun which is a big hill around 9km into the BMO Vancouver Marathon. I ran the hill well and was starting to get into a bit of a groove. Things started falling apart a bit once I got into the park where I had to dodge some big puddles and mud that killed my rhythm. Still, I was 15km in and thinking I had a shot at finishing this thing today. Truth: I was thinking about how to quit on this one and where I could hop a streetcar back home. I made the turn across Lakeshore and down Cherry St. towards the beach. That was a mistake. I should have headed back north up to Queen and hopped a streetcar home. But stubbornness got the best of me and I ran myself into a corner. Luckily I had my phone with me and at Cherry Beach (25km) I called Ginny to see if she could come down and pick me up. That worked out well – we met at the entrance to the Leslie St. Spit – 27.7km. Last long run done. I’m done. I suspect I’ll pay the price for this tonight and tomorrow by way of a longer recovery and probably a worse cold than this would have been had I just rested.

Lessons Learned

Each run is a learning opportunity and I learned a fair bit on this one.

First up, if I ever feel like that on the morning of a marathon, I’ll DNS. I maybe could have done 32km this morning, but that would have been it. 42km was out of the question.

Second, always leave yourself an out. I should have re-mapped out a different route with more options to get home on transit. Once I turned south onto Cherry St., I went into a transit-free zone. Thankfully Ginny was still around and could come pick me up in the car. Otherwise, I would have had to run another 3km to the nearest streetcar.

Last is a reminder to myself that training is the sum total of all the runs over the course of the 18 weeks leading up to the race. Yes, I came up short today compared to what I had on the schedule. But it was only 4km shy and when I think about that in the context of the 699km I’ve run so far this year.

Good stuff…and very glad to be heading into the taper. Three weeks to go.