Given the past couple weeks of training and some of the physical issues that I am now dealing with, it is time to rethink my training strategy and look at the bigger picture!  Here are the factors that I am considering as I rethink training;

*I was rear ended last fall and am still having issues with my shoulder.  The long runs exacerbate the shoulder pain.
*I have a bulging disc – which may or may not be related to the accident, but it makes running painful
*Making the transition to barefoot running is not easy – while it does relieve the stress on my knee-joint, I am close to getting a stress fracture in my left foot from the additional strain it puts on the feet while running
*The temps are getting much warmer than I would like in late March/Early April – I don’t run well in the warm weather and it will put additional stress on my body as I train.
*I am training 3 teams for summer trips through CLUB 4th
*School is still in session and it has been a very difficult school year

Based on all the above, I am going to back off a bit in the intensity and distances that I was planning to run during the 18 weeks leading up to the marathon.  I was hoping to get at least 2 – 20  Mile runs in – I will now trim that to 1.  On the flip side, I can now do more of my longer training runs with a running coach – which should help me to get my times down to where when I can push it more, I will have the times already where they need to be for qualifying for Boston.

Today’s run was relatively difficult and I will be icing my left foot tonight.  I am actually hoping that I do not have the precursor to a stress fracture!  I need to be in good enough shape to run and finish the marathon in under 5 hours – I would like closer to 4:15 – but we will see how the rest of the training goes.  I  have another dilemma – I was hoping to be able to do all of my shorter runs – those under 5 miles in the minimalist running shoes, but the stress that my feet are under when I do that has not been good.  Which means I will most likely need to purchase one more pair of running shoes.  This does not make me happy, but I am getting too many miles on these shoes and I don’t think they will hold up until after the marathon.  Guess I will be looking for some good sales!

Hard decision to make, but I think it is the best one given all that I have to do and where my family is at currently.  At least my body will have a chance to rest, recover and hopefully be in great shape come 06 June!