The most influential individual on my professional career is undoubtedly Peter Drucker. His many books and articles have truly shaped my philosophy of business, management and strategy.
Drucker’s view of planning was captured in this illustration he often used.
A pilot flying from New York to Los Angeles files a flight plan before take off, laying out the plane’s route, altitude and speed. Yet, once in the air, the pilot seldom follows that plan exactly. Weather, traffic and timing alter that plan. Despite those changes, though, the plane never lands in San Francisco; it still gets to Los Angeles.
Given Drucker’s influence on me, it’s not surprising I’d apply his work to running. Last spring, I set out to rehab my ITB injury using Jeff Galloway's methodology. During the summer, I set up a plan designed to finish up at the Rocket City Marathon, now just three weeks away.
The Drucker-esqe plan change came to the fore after last Saturday’s aborted 28 miler due to serious ITB pain in my left leg. During the past week, I crunched the plan extensively, trying to make a good decision on how to finish out the training still hit the goal. I decided to rest until Thursday and take a couple of short runs. A two miler Thursday and a three miler Wednesday went pain free. Yet I needed to somehow know how the knee would hold up with marathon-like stress. So, I decided to try to go for 20 miles this morning. Three weeks pre-marathon seemed the right time.
On another nice fall day in Indiana, I took off. I altered my usual 20 mile route to have a 5.5 mile loop, an 11 mile loop and another four mile loop, all starting and ending at home. If it fell apart, I didn’t want to have to walk a long way again.
The first loop was a ryan shay 5.5 mile memorial run. As a father of sons the same age as Ryan, I found myself thinking much about Ryan’s parents. It was simply moving. My prayers continue for them as they work through the many stages of grief. Life is hard. We need each other.
The second loop was uneventful. Which is what I wanted to have today.
The last loop felt like a last loop. With 18 miles last weekend and virtually no running all week, the legs felt flat. Interestingly, my left knee never quibbled once all day. Yet, my right knee began to just be sore. No ITB pain, just a general soreness. I worked through it, thinking particularly of Rob's consistent example of choosing to work through the tough patches of a run. Twenty miles was about all I could do today. But I got it done. And it felt good.
On the question of “what to eat while on a long run” (you were asking that question, weren’t you??), I am really getting to like Clif Shot Bloks, the Margarita flavor, thanks to a good suggestion months ago by David. I cut each blok in half and ate a half blok every 30 minutes. I made a further modification by sprinkling a little table salt in the zip-lock bag I carried the shots in and shook it up. This spread a little salt on the surface of each of the sticky chunks. Particularly in the later stages of the run, it was nice to pop the blok, taste the extra salt, then slowly chew the blok. It seemed to work. Thanks, David.
So, despite the plan change, we’re over the final ridge and now tapering into the marathon three weeks from this morning. It’s gonna be fun in Huntsville, sharing a room again with Darrell, meeting up with Wes, and hopefully connecting as well with Lana, Michele and David. Three weeks to go…I can hardly wait.