Fairview Half Marathon

On Saturday, I ran my fourth half marathon for the year. I have never run the Fairview Half Marathon, but I volunteered for the 5k last year so I got a good price on my registration.

Of course, when I registered I didn’t expect to be battling this foot problem that’s plagued me since the Dallas Marathon. I haven’t talked much about my first running injury, partly I think because I’m in denial, and partly because I’ve still been able to run mostly pain free. I’ve tried to pinpoint what caused it, but more on that next week.

Let’s talk about the Fairview Half.

I started participating in the Active Joe races because the reputation for them is great. Word of mouth, through running groups and the local running community speaks volumes. Also since I live about an hour north of Dallas, to have a half marathon within about a half hour drive is wonderful!

My running friend and I headed out Saturday morning with different goals and expectations, but looking forward to another race together. I read that the course was hilly, but since I run on hills that didn’t concern me. Life also happened the past week when our dryer went out. My weekday miles were lower than usual, which helped control my heel pain, but I felt unprepared. My last double digit run before Saturday was the Rock ‘n Roll Dallas half. I planned to take a week (or two) off after the race to see if I could completely heal my plantar fasciitis. I also want to give my body a break from pushing and see if it helps drop the marathon weight gain and build speed by changing things up.

So basically I went into the race ready to be done. I know that’s not the way to do it, but honestly that was my feeling. But I didn’t let it change my race tactic.

But first, I donated some retired running shoes at packet pickup.

So I have a favorite shoe...

So I have a favorite shoe…and a problem apparently. 

The weather Saturday morning was perfect. I started  just ahead of the 2:00 pace group with an 8:45 first mile. By the end of the 2nd, I had my average down around 8:30, and that’s where I stayed until mile 8. The hills were no joke. There was a tough one at mile 2, and again around 6. But I focused on keeping my effort up. I spotted another monster uphill around 8.5. I willed myself to keep pushing, but as I crested the top I lost over a minute on my time. The wind had been sucked out of my sails. My legs were feeling like jelly and the four mile runs during the week sure weren’t helping me at mile 10.

By mile 10.5, everything was stupid. Stupid hills. Stupid foot. Stupid stomach. Stupid weight gain. The 1:55 group that I passed in the 2nd mile passed me. Somewhere in the 11th mile, I saw a runner down, with an ambulance and other emergency vehicles around. My perspective instantly changed to a prayer. “Please let him be okay, Lord.”

For the final mile, I pushed through with what I had left. My foot let me down and affected my gait for the first time in a race. I began to run/walk/hobble my way through the last ten minutes and was so glad to see the finish.

Not pictured: the chocolate milk I downed as soon as they handed it to me.

Not pictured: the chocolate milk I downed as soon as they handed it to me.

The medal is huge, and a nice windmill spinner as a bonus. Even my kids commented on how big it was. The mini bundt cake was pretty great too! My official time was 1:58:29 (pace 9:02) which was slower than I wanted, but not bad considering my late problems in the race. It further enforced the idea that I need a run-break to heal. I am glad l managed to stay under two hours considering my problems.

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Later that afternoon (after a shower, ice, and compression) we did some shopping.

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Now I’m not limited to boring hours on my stationary bike. And since we spent money, my frugality won’t let it get dusty. An added bonus: Sunday afternoon my husband and I went for a ride together. He helped me build confidence, because it has been a few years since I rode a bike. My foot didn’t hurt after an hour of riding, but boy my seat sure did!

Oh well, it feels good to be moving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Runner Down!

Last year, I tried to participate in the Runner’s World Run Streak from Memorial Day to Independence Day. Run at least one mile a day – every day. A major afternoon rainstorm that hit on National Running Day ended that streak. I ran seven days straight. This year I tried again. I made it eight days, then I was sidelined.

Monday morning I ran an easy paced four miles with the intention of picking up a few more in the evening with my little 5K trainers (a.k.a. my kiddos). After dropping the kids at school, I went back home to make use of the hour I had before work. I wanted to pack a couple of boxes since we have a move coming up this month, and I started with the cabinet above the refrigerator.

This involved me standing on a chair (wearing flip-flops) to kneel on the counter to reach what was in the cabinet. Let’s just say it was not one of my brighter moments. I missed my step coming back down to the chair and hit the floor.  Oh, no! Runner down! I rolled my ankle and broke one of the ceramic pieces in my hands. I don’t know if I cried more out of pain or because I knew I was out of running for a while. I’ve sprained my ankle before and it took months to get my ankle back to normal. But that time I heard a “pop.” Thankfully, not this time.

The hardest advice to follow is your own. I would tell others to make sure to take time to recover to avoid risking further injury. I did what I needed to: RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevate), but I had trouble with the R and the E, and the I too. Compression was easier. I endured a scolding from my husband for not going to the doctor, but  I could put weight on it. It’s a risk I took.

I’ll spare you the lovely photos of the bruising I sent him throughout the week.

I spent a few hours on my stationary bike, which helped my stress levels, but by Saturday I was itching to try it out. I went for a walk, broke into a slow jog, and walked some more. 2 miles in 30 minutes. That evening I iced it and Sunday morning it actually felt better. As much as I wanted to run again, I talked myself into just getting on the bike. I don’t want to push my luck.

I am confident that I will be able to run – slowly – this week, but no speedwork and not my usual mileage. I’m registered to run a half marathon at the end of the month with my brother. It will be his first. I don’t , and I want to be there running with him.

In the past year I have lost a toenail (due to a head-on collision with my son’s skate shoe), bruised a toe the week of a marathon (due to slamming a door on it), and sprained an ankle (packing to move). But I have not been injured due to running.

What advice do you give other runners, but have trouble following on your own?

Has an injury sidelined you from running? Was it due to running or something else?