Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Don't call it a comeback (yet)

After the half marathon, I felt great. The race was on a Sunday, come Monday I was a little tight but wasn't too sore. I expected to be incapacitated but I wasn't (probably an indication I could have pushed myself harder). I had no pain, just felt like I did an extra long run. I thought I got away with doing a half-marathon I physically wasn't quite prepared to do. I believe it was Tues when I noticed my right ankle I was a little sore when I dorsiflexed and plantarflexed my foot (basically pointing my toes up and down). The next day it was even worse, with pain that spread a bit to my shin area. This was my biggest fear of doing the half marathon, an injury.

Over the next few days the tendons in my foot became extremely tight, to the point of when I pointed my foot up, the tendons would actually squeek. At first I thought I was imagining the squeek because of how bad it felt, but Erika heard it too. I knew I would never run again. (although I know this seems stupid, when you are injured all sorts of wacky thoughts go through your head).

I stopped all activity (let the weight gain begin), and proceeded to R.I.C.E for the entire week. No improvement, but I did start cross training. Stationary bike, elliptical and SWIMMING ( I love the swimming). Even though the swimming hurt my ankle, all the cross training kept my spirits up.

After two weeks of rest and a lot of ice (while still cross training), I went to see my jack-ass of a Dr. The entire appointment lasted about 37 seconds, and he diagnosed extensor tendinitus. Although not all the symptoms fit, it seemed reasonable enough. I left with a steroid pack to help with the inflammation. A week passed with little relief. Now I have an appointment with a specialist (it was a week away when set up, but I haven't gone yet, it happens tomorrow).

This passed weekend, I worked out Friday, pool and cardio. Over the weekend I didn't do anything, other than play with the kids. Monday came and.... Poof. No Pain. No discomfort. No tightness. Nothing. I didn't think much of this because of the past three weeks, there would be moments when things got loosened up and felt good, but then would get all tight and janky all over again. I went to the gym Monday night, did a solid 35 minutes on the elliptical. Everything felt great, so I walked over to the treadmill.

1 mile. 11 minutes, 9 seconds. No issues. No pain. The following night, did 15 bike, 15 elliptical, and did a half mile on the treadmill. Still no issues. So far so good.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Manchester City Half Marathon 2010

Time to change my my blog to 13.1 Fuzz.

On a freezing Sunday morning in November, around 7:50am, I took my first step towards completing my first half marathon. It was truly a
fantastic experience. The running one was thing, but what I found most enjoyable about the running was the people. And not being much of a people person, that says a lot.

I met up with my cousin Denise and her friend Nancy a few minutes before the race. It was very nice to see someone I knew before a race. Once the race started, I was going a nice easy pace, well aware that the distance before me is not one that I've tackled before. While running down Commercial St. I said good morning to a fellow runner. After chatting with her, I found out her name was Dianna and she's a special ed teacher from NJ, who was running her 20th marathon of the year. She had to drive back to NJ that night because of a teachers conference the next day. Then I met Andrew, from San Fransisco, who wasn't enjoying the cool weather too much. Next was Marla from Pompey, NY. Her husband was running the full Marathon and she didn't want to wait around 5 hours for him, so she was doing the half. We talked about how we just wanted to hit the 6 mile mark before getting passed by the fast runners (non-early starters). For the record, made it past the 7 mile mark before getting passed. Yay!

The last person I met was a VERY nice older gentleman from Texas, Larry as he introduced himself. He could have introduced himself as Larry Macon, Guiness World Record holder for the most marathons in a year. He was the nicest guy to chat with, and he personally thanked every volunteer on every corner he came across, talked with every person cheering the runners on. It wasn't till after the race I when I was looking up finish times for Larry and the others I met, did I figure out who he was.

All in all, a great bunch of people with fascinating stories. After the mile 8 marker, I was pretty much on my own.

As for the run, Manchester City Half Marathon is very hilly course. I believe I did the first couple of miles non stop at pretty casual pace (as if all my paces aren't casual). The first two or three miles were almost, dare I say, easy. Soon I started hitting some of the major hills on River Road and took to walking any of the significant hills. I knew the course well enough to know where the downhill parts were going to be so I could make up for this walking. And I've learned from the experienced runners (like Mr. Macon), there is no shame in walking when it comes to a big hill.

The first 6 miles went really well, very little difficulty. I was tired because after all, it was 6 miles. But no issues. Although, I did turn my ankle twice right before the 6 mile mark (more on this in another post). My big concern was my lower and upper back, and it held up just fine, not only the first 6 miles, but the entire race.

Mile 10 I started walking more and more. I just didn't have much left in the tank. I ate most of a bag of Sharkies between miles 8 and 9, and drank Gatorade at every station so I think my nutrition was holding up as well as could be expected. Before this race I never did more than 8 miles, so at mile 10, I was on borrowed time/miles. From mile 10 to 13, the mid-packers who started at the normal time had caught up with me. 100's and 100's of runners were passing me as I struggled to keep up any consistent running down Hanover street (the last 3 miles was a straight shot down Hanover street). Although I knew this was going to happen, it was still a bit disheartening. Occasionally a passing runner would offer encouragement, but at that point I didn't want any acknowledgement of my existence. Most of my issues, I believe, were mental. I was tired as heck, but I probably could have pushed harder.

I sucked it up the last 1/4 mile and managed to run my way on to Elm St and across the finish line. Erika was there waiting for me, camera in hand. The pics she took were way better than the pictures from the event photographers. Thanks Sweetie!

With a time of 2:48:17, which is a pace of 12:51 I was content with the race. Over all, it was an accomplishment, but I can't help but think I could do better. Time wise, preparedness wise ect.