Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Race Log: The Back Story

Long ago, in a time before kids, I started training for a half marathon. I was home for summer vacation from teaching and Charlie was getting his MBA. I had nothing to do but workout or lay around, so I exercised. I did videos and ran and walked and started running 5Ks. One day it was drizzling for my training run so I wore my old shoes and that's where my troubles began. From then on, I've had knee issues. Related or coincidence I don't know, but what I do know is that I have a bad knee... and it doesn't like to be pushed hard. My half marathon goal was now impossible since I was in physical therapy for my knee three days a week. Running became a distant memory, and then we got pregnant. It had been 6 years of either being pregnant or nursing and I hadn't done much of anything physical that whole time. I was raising young people afterall! Dylan was 11 months old and all but finished nursing and I was ready to turn this ship around.

I started running again on April 15, 2013, the same day as the Boston Marathon bombing. I remember getting out there and running for the first time, willing myself to keep going by telling myself to run for the people who couldn't anymore and who would love to. I had a perfectly functioning, healthy body and was wasting it. I was annoyed that I was ok with that, and I was ready for a challenge and a change. My lungs were burning, my legs were tired and it was hard, but I ran for 2 miles.  From April to the end of December I ran just over 100 miles.

In January alone I ran 47.3.

My turning point came in January. I was supposed to run with three friends early in the morning. I had never run with them before and I let that, the time, the weather and my nerves talk me out of it. So I backed out that morning and felt like a total wuss for the rest of the day. THAT wasn't going to happen again, not if I could help it.

The next weekend I ran with my friend Julie for the first time, totally nervous before we started that I wouldn't be able to keep up. She had been running longer, farther and faster than I had. But I showed up. It was 28 degrees and dark when we started, but it was invigorating. I remember talking about how cold weather running makes you feel alive and kinda like a bad a$$.

We both thought we were running 7 miles, which would have been the longest I had ever run. I was nervous about that too! By the time we got back to her house, we had run 8 and I kept up the whole time, at a faster pace that I thought I could do (9:15/mile)! We ran 8 together again the following weekend with a 9:09 pace. I was pumped! That night a bunch of my girlfriends took me out for my birthday and gave me the race fee for the Hot Chocolate 15K, 9.3 miles that I had been so intimidated by that I didn't even really consider.... but now I felt ready and excited!

The weekend before the race we did a 9.3 mile loop around the neighborhood. It was awful. My stomach started giving me issues around mile 6 (when we couldn't have been farther from home), so we had to walk (a four letter word if you ask me!), but every time we walked my knee would seize up. It was a balancing act between running so my knee wouldn't hurt and walking so my stomach wouldn't erupt. It was cold and misty and I just didn't want to keep going. We still finished in less than an hour and a half, but I didn't enjoy it and was pretty nervous about running the same distance 7 days later. And my knee was killing me. For three days after.

Stay tuned to see how it went...