Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This is how I feel! It is so hard not being able to run right now!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

IT Band Knee pain

I went for my second run of the week today and it didn't go well. I had taken off 4 days after realizing the pain in my knee wasn't going away. Thursday's 4 mile run went fine, so I thought I'd push it to 6 miles this morning. I got in 3 before the pain started up. By mile 4.5 the pain was pretty bad. I ran very slow to finish out 5 and then walked in the last mile.

I'm not sure what to do! I've been icing, foam rolling and using the stick on my IT band. I guess I should take off at least a week, if not 2 weeks. I need to get in a workout though or I will not be fun to live and work with. Just need to figure out what is safe. I might try the elliptical at the gym on Tuesday.

Wish me luck!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Women's Half Marathon
St Pete, FL
November 20, 2011

This is the third year of the race and also my third time running it. Even though I ran a marathon last weekend, a marathon the weekend before and my knee had been hurting, I decided to run this race, but with no time expectations. I just wanted to go out and have fun.

Dawn and I drove up early, getting there around 5:30 am. We got everything ready and then walked across the street to the Hilton, where Brenda was staying. We used their nice bathrooms and hung out in the lobby for a while, waiting for Brenda to come down. We decided to head over to the race area at 6:15, even though Brenda hadn't come down yet. Couldn't get her on the room phone and I forgot my cell phone in the car. Thankfully we ran into her down near the porta potties. We made one more pit stop before heading to the corrals. Dawn and I were in corral 2, while Brenda was in 3. We managed to sneak her in with us, yeah! :) After only a few minutes, we were off!

The first part of the race was new. We headed in the opposite direction then in previous years, turned right and then right again heading north. Another right turn a few blocks later and we were back on the regular, waterfront course. I was feeling pretty good and keeping up a fast (for me) pace. I tried my best to keep off the slopes of the streets and run down the flat middle. We crossed a small bridge just before mile 3. There is a short out and back section here. I saw the 1:45 pacer and right in the thick of the runners was Renee! I yelled out a hello to her and continued on. I yelled hello to a couple of other friendly faces before hitting the turnaround. I slowed and walked through the water stop and then kept an eye out for any friends heading my way. My knee was feeling a little tight, but otherwise it was OK.

Miles 1 through 4 - 8:33, 9:04,8:55, 8:54
Just before mile 5, we hit the water front area again and also the brick street. Most everyone, including me, jumped to the sidewalk and ran on there for the next mile or so. I was still feeling good as we headed back toward downtown and the pier. Lots of crowd support once we hit Bayshore drive. We took a left onto the Pier, ran down to the end and came back around. I saw Dawn on the otherside and yelled a hello. Comming off the pier we turned left and then pretty quick after that turned right heading up 1st Ave. This is a long. slight incline. My knee was really feeling that incline! I could tell I was starting to stiffin up.

Miles 5 through 9 - 9:20, 9:19, 9:29, 9:21, 10:03

Just after mile 9 we turned right towards Mirror lake. We ran a loop around the lake and headed back to 1st Ave. The road around the lake was really slanted. I had to get on the sidewalk because my knee hurt on the slant. We ran a little past Tropicana Field, then turned around and headed back. New course change here. We turned right towards the Trop building, cutting out a huge block of parking lot that we had to run through the year before. The little downhill and astroturf in the Trop did me in. I got in there and walked most of the lap around. I managed to get into a slow run for the photographer, but once I made it back outside, I had to walk again.

Miles 10 and 11 - 9:59, 10:25
I tried to get back into running in the parking lot and then again on 1st Ave, but it wasn't working. My knee was really hurting. I stopped at a medical station around mile 12 to get ice. I wasted over a minute here while they tried to bandage on an ice pack. It lasted about half a mile before starting to slide down my leg. I stopped and took it off. I just decided to walk it in. My knee wasn't hurting while I walked, just felt stiff. It was super hard to walk that last mile in. So many people cheering on the course. My name was on my bib and a lot of people were calling out to me to keep going. After the turn back onto Bayshore, I tried to walk it in faster. As seen in the photo at right, I wasn't feeling so hot, but I kept it up and finished with a pretty decent time considering I walked most of the last 2 miles.

Miles 12, 13 and .25: 13:25, 17:36, 3:45

Finish: 2:18:05

Even though it was super warm and humid, I felt great through the race. If it hadn't been for my bum knee, it would have been a great race. I'm trying not to be dissapointed with my performance. I know there wasn't anything else I could do. I wish I had had a better race, but it is what it is. I had a PR in my 5 mile race 3 weeks ago and a marathon PR 2 weeks ago that I am proud of.

Once home, I iced my knee and then went to the Children's reading festival and walked around for an hour that afternoon. The knee is feeling better, but I still plan on taking at least a week off from running. I want to be in good running shape for the Ragnar Fl Keys in early January.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Love this! :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 Marathon of Sarasota Whitiker Gateway Park, Sarasota, FL
The morning started off cold and windy. I was back in FL and not expecting Savannah race conditions! I picked up my bibs, one with numbers for front and one with my name for my back. I also got my timing chip. I hung out with all the Marathon Maniacs who were in town for the race. There were 7 of us that would qualify for Maniacs today and two runners who were running their first marathon. We got lots of photos taken near the water and once the bathrooms were opened (yeah!) we started the race. It got started at 7:30, a little late, but we needed to wait on the bathrooms.
Gina, Stephanie, Dawn, Jeff and I all started off together running 3/1 intervals. I had no time expectations. I just wanted to finish. Really, I hoped for a sub 5 hour finish, but wasn’t going to push it. It was a lot of fun through those first few miles. Dave Mari was taking photos all the time. Endorphin dude was there and entertained us by stopping to sing on the DJ’s microphone. Liz and Renee stopped by to cheer for a while. It was great seeing their smiling faces every lap.
Somewhere around mile 6, Gina slowed down and we all got ahead of her. Soon Jeff and Dawn started running a bit faster, so Stephanie and I held back. I didn’t want to push the pace too hard. We ran the first 13.1 in 2:15, which was only 4 minutes slower than last weekend.
Miles 1 through 7: 9:51/10:07/10:00/10:35/10:14/10:42/10:29Miles 8 through 13: 10:13/10:44/10:22/10:26/10:40/10:18
We definitely slowed down during the second half, but for the most part I felt good. Everyone was friendly. Many people said my name as they ran by and wished me luck. The volunteers, some of whom are friends, were great. They had a table set up by the water with anything a runner could need. I tried a half a banana during the race for the first time. My friend Susan sprayed sunscreen on me at one point. The temps stayed cool and very dry. I was hardly sweating and I tend to sweat a lot! I could feel the saltiness on my face for most of the race. Stephanie is a hoot. Her friends brought her a bloody mary and she drank from it each time we passed it. We came up to Leah, who was running her first time marathon, when she had 10 laps to go (we had 15 I think). She was struggling, but decided to hang with us and take walking breaks. She ended up with a great finish and a time of 4:08!

Miles 14 to 18: 10:53/11:28/11:06/10:47/11:23
I caught up with Dawn at some point during this time. She was not having a good race and saying she was never running a marathon again. She ran NYC last weekend and it wasn’t a great race for her. We went back and forth for a bit, but soon she pulled ahead again. She ended up finishing a couple of minutes before me and feeling pretty good about it.
Miles 19 through 23: 11:24/11:33/11:53/11:55/11:49
The last 3 miles were very painful. The side of my left knee hurt a lot. It felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife! But, I kept going. A very slow shuffle. I did get to see the couple from England get married and have photos taken. I think I passed by them 3 times during this process. The woman came in first overall woman and the man was second overall man.
I was so ready for the last lap. I tried to speed up my pace a little, but couldn’t do it. My knee almost collapsed a couple of times. I was so happy to finish!! I got my finishers medal and my 2nd place age group award. There were only 3 people in it, but so what! I’ll take it.
Miles 24 through 26: 13:19/13:17/14:08
Finish time: 4:49:08 for 25.96 total miles. It’s still a marathon to me! J
I didn’t hang around too long before making my way to the medical tent. They taped a bag of ice to my knee and gave me some Tylenol. I hobbled over to the food area and then on to where I had left my bag. We saw Gina pass by a couple of times. She was not happy, her knee was hurting a lot too, but she didn’t want to give up. I made it back to the finish line in time to see her finish. I got a couple of photos taken with my medals and my “I just qualified for Marathon Maniacs” sign, before heading home to spend a relaxing afternoon on the sofa.
It is now a few hours post race and my knee is feeling tender but better. I will take it easy this week and will decide by Friday if I will run the Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday! What was I thinking??? J

One thing I’ve realized post race is that I didn’t encounter any stomach issues and for the most part I didn’t cramp up. I think the two halves of banana I had, one around mile 18 and the other a few miles later, really helped. I also didn’t wear a waist pack today, so nothing compressing on my stomach. I was pretty good about eating when I should and taking the endurolytes when I should. I drank more water today too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon
November 5, 2011
Race morning started off early. Brenda and I got up at 5:30am and had plenty of time to get layered up for the cold morning walk over to the start line. So happy we were staying so close to the start. Gina, Donna, Stephanie and Charlotte stopped by on their walk from the hotel they got moved to. (long story) We got there in plenty of time for the big maniac/fanatic group shot. It was so fun to be in a race with a large group of them. I hope to be joining the maniacs next weekend! I also got to meet Kate, one of my team marathon bar members. After the photo, we went in search of the baggage check and then bathroom breaks. The lines were so long for the porta potties, so we decided to go down this ally and squat behind some cars. A couple of women came riding by on their bikes and told us that we could get in a lot of trouble for urinating in public. She was very nice though, and offered the bathroom in her office, which was right there! We made it into the corral area about 10 minutes before race start. Most of us were in corral 12. After the first wave start, we slowly made our way closer to the starting mat. It was about 15 minutes after official race start that our group got going.
Gina and I decided to stick together as long as we could. We were running 4/1 intervals, which seemed very doable in this cold temp (45ish). The first mile was straight running and it felt great. The runners had about 4 lanes of road to run on, so we were not too packed in. The first few miles were a little fast, but I wasn’t out of breath and I was feeling good, so we kept up the pace. We ran through some rough looking areas outside of the historic savannah district, but the people were friendly. Lots of people came out of their houses to cheer us on. Bands were at about every mile, which was a big energy boost to the crowd of runners. One woman in front of me ran up to the front of the band and did a cartwheel! Funny.
Miles 1 to 6- 9:18/9:29/9:47/9:54/10:03/10:04

It was great to be back into the historic district. Lots of crowd support here. At one point Gina yells to me, “There’s Dave!” I look all around me and then spot him to my side. He runs over and puts his camera in front of us to take a photo. Then asks who is with me. I tell him Gina is and runs over and snaps a photo of the tow of them, then he runs in front of us to take a photo of us. He tells us we are running fast and falls back. We yell to him to “have a great race” and continue on. Lots of great characters running in the race including a guy dressed up in a Beeker (from The Muppets) suit. Crazy! Lots of great signs being held up too, like “Run, Stranger, Run.” My favorite said: Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much ass! Around mile 9 the course started to head out of the historic district and into a nice neighborhood with beautiful older houses and tall trees that provided some shade.

Miles 7 to 9- 10:20/9:58/10:12
By mile 10, we are both wondering where the split for the half marathoners was. We didn’t want to miss it! Thankfully it was hard to miss. Around mile 11 there were signs on the road and volunteers on the course yelling out which way to go. It was nice to see the half marathoners break away, since most of the runners were running that distance. Once we were on our own, we had a lot more space to run and it was easy to get to the side to take our walk breaks. Mile 12 was run on a highway. We could see mile 24 on the other side of the road. Soon police cars started driving down it and following them was the first marathon runner heading home! He was smokin fast and looked like he was out for an easy run. Just before mile 13, we took the off ramp from the highway and ran through more neighborhoods. We hit the 13.1 mile mark at 2:11. That was a pretty good pace and ahead of our goal pace.
Miles 10 to 13- 9:58/10:14/10:05/10:12
The rest of the race was a large loop through the southern part of town. By mile 15, I noticed my left Achilles tendon was feeling strange when I stopped to walk. At mile 16 we passed the Savannah State University campus. That was a lot of fun. Lots of students were out cheering. The band was there playing too.  I decided to stop and use the porta pottie at mile 17. I told Gina to go ahead and I would try to catch up with her. There was someone in the bathroom already and one guy waiting. While I stood there, I stretched a bit, which felt good. I waited for a couple of minutes and the first person was still in there, so I decided to just keep running. It was really cold still. It seemed like the wind was getting stronger. I still had on my arm sleeves and kept ahold of my gloves in case I needed them later. I decided to run through every other walking break in hopes I could catch up with Gina. Eventually I saw her up ahead and slowly caught up to her after a couple of miles. It was good to have my running buddy back by my side! My Achilles felt better after the stretch, but I could tell I was slowing down. My muscles were really stiffening up. I need to figure out how to stop this from happening! I was eating my cliff blocks when I was supposed to and taking my endurolytes on schedule too.

Miles 14 to 19- 10:13/10:40/10:36/10:32/10:52/10:22
I managed to plod along and a decent pace for the next few miles. I don’t feel like I hit the “wall” until mile 22. My stomach was bothering me. It felt bloated and my waist pack made it worse because it felt so tight. I ate my last cliff clock around mile 24 and within a minute I thought I was going to throw up! It hit my stomach hard. I took of my waist pack and immediately felt better. I thought of just tossing it since I got it on sale for $10, it wasn’t a big waste, but decided to hold on to it for a bit. It wasn’t too bad carrying it. Gina started pulling ahead of me during these last few miles. I told her to go ahead, but thankfully she stayed near me. I think I might have really struggled to stay running if she hadn’t been there. Running directly into the wind and having to run over so many over passes was really taking it out of me! Soon we left behind the highway and started running towards the historic district and the finish. Gina pulled ahead again around mile 25, which was fine with me. She looked strong and I didn’t want to hold her back any longer. I grabbed a bottle of water from the medical tent just before the next water stop and ended up drinking half the bottle! I guess I was thirstier than I thought! This last bit was tough, but knowing the finish line wasn’t too far away, kept me plodding along. I managed to run through the last walk break and even pick up my pace a little just before the finish line. So happy to be done! And with a PR!
Mile 20 26.2- 11:09/10:54/11:37/11:12/11:16/11:57/12:29/3:29
Finish 4:37:07 a PR of 28 minutes!
Overall: 2619 out of 4722
Division: 207 out of 421
Gender: 1156 out of 2473
Gina was waiting for me after I crossed the finish line. We were both so happy about our PRs! We got out photos taken with our bling then grabbed some food and drink. I really needed to sit down and get off of my feet, so we walked over to get our bags, meet up with Brenda and then Stephanie and then walked over to the large grassy park to hang out and listen to the band playing. Within a couple of minutes of trying to stretch my legs, my calf muscles seized up. And then the front of them did too when I flexed my foot. I couldn’t unflex my foot! Brenda rolled my water bottle over the spot for me until it loosened up. I’ve never had that happen before. It hurt!

So happy I ran this race! We had some issues with housing and hotels during this trip, but the race and spending time with friends was so fun. Look forward to the next girls racing weekend!