Sun. Nov. 7th: I skipped a week of blogging since I really haven’t done anything training-wise or otherwise. In the last two weeks, the only running I have done has been on the treadmill at the gym, doing a little over 2 miles each time. I did this twice in the last two weeks. My knee has still been hurting and I have been debating heavily on what to do about the Disney Marathon. After the ½ marathon I started feeling deflated. Although my running time at the ½ was my best time to date, I am concerned that I won’t be able to keep such a good pace for the big race. I know “finishing” should be accomplishment enough, but I am realizing that for myself it needs to be more than that now. I’m still trying to figure that one out because when I had decided to this back in August, it was with the intention of “finishing.” Nothing more.
Yesterday, I ran the James Island Connector 10k in Charleston, SC. At first my goal was just to get out there and do it. I wanted to run and finish since I had paid the money and signed up to do it. Since I hadn’t really done any running in the last two weeks, I didn’t want to expect too much of myself, plus with my knee, I had no idea how I would run. But, as usual, I got out there to run and with the excitement of all the other people out there, I got caught up in the “race.” I started running, but cautiously paced myself because of my knee. The first mile seemed to take forever, but I passed the first marker in 10 minutes according to my watch. So far, so good. I was maintaining my ½ marathon pace even though I had not run for two weeks. Pretty good. Mile two was more reflection. My mind kept itself busy thinking about all the things that need to be in place for me to run Disney: Mainly, my mental focus and a positive mindset. I started thinking about where I could do my longer runs and who could maybe do some or all of those training miles with me. And conditioning. I need to condition my body for the long haul. I have approximately 6 weeks to double my running. Can I do this? With a husband, work and a 4 year old, is it possible to do without inconveniencing them? The answer is no. It will definitely be an inconvenience for them. Time away from them to do all the training runs and self focus for the next several weeks, means that my hubby and son will have to go out of their way and off of their regular routines in order for me to train. The marathon goal is a selfish one because it really is all about me. At the same time, in a weird way, yes it’s all about me, but I am certain I will be changed for the better if I can do it. In that respect, it’s for them as well. Which brings me to mile 3…
Mile 3 was where we ended the connector and looped around to run the other side back to the finish line. I was very surprised to see my hubby standing there at the end of mile three, cheering me on! We had discussed it beforehand and he was going to be waiting for me at the finish line. I found out after the race that he ran almost a mile himself to see me at the half way mark. How sweet was that? Just knowing that he did that for me added major deposits to the love bank. It may seem a small thing to some, but that small gesture was a big deal in my book. Despite all the inconveniences the training has caused him, he has been my biggest supporter. And when I think about that, it makes me fall in love with him all over again.
During mile 3, I used this time as my prayer time. I prayed for a sweet young lady with the initials “O.K.” who is still trying to recover from her second liver transplant. She has had many complications since the transplant, but is finally getting better. I prayed for another friend who is right now in Israel on a mission trip. While there, she will be sharing the love of Jesus with people- Arabs and Jewish alike. (She’s the one I did some runs with during the week with her dog.) I prayed for another friend of mine who is a full-time missionary in Thailand. She shares the gospel and helps young girls get out of prostitution. I prayed for my sister who just recently broke up with her fiancé and for her kids who are having a hard time. I could go on and on, but you get the point. I prayed! LOL
Mile 4: Still running and I hadn’t taken a single walk break yet. I decided during this mile to push it and see what I was made of. I made a goal to run the rest of the race with absolutely no walk breaks. My knee was feeling okay and I had a decent stride. I was still running a 10 minute mile so my thought was to see if I could keep going without stopping or slowing.
Mile 5: I was getting a little tired, but I was feeling good. Being around all the other runners always feels so good. I am really enjoying the atmosphere and the weather, despite the chill in the air. On this race day, it was 40 degrees so it was the coldest race I ran so far. I didn’t even think about a walk break. I drank some of my water while in mid-stride and keep on trucking. It was during this mile that a man pushing his child in a baby stroller passed me by. Talk about incentive to run faster!
Mile 6: In the home stretch and knowing that I only had one more mile to go made it easy to continue on. Thankfully, the knee cooperated. I chatted a bit with another runner and that helped me to take my mind off my body and focused on getting to the finish line. I picked up a little speed when I saw the finish line in site. As my shoe beeped, I looked at the time: 59:38. I had just run a 10 k in under an hour! That means my speed per mile has increased to 9:36. Okay, I know it’s not a whole lot under 10 minutes per mile, but, still… There were 21 women in my age group running in this race. I came in 14th in my age group. Not great, but it was my best time to date, so I am happy about that.
After the 10k I felt great. No knee pain, which was amazing to me. Hubby and I headed back to our hotel room so I could change and then we rented bikes for two hours. I never iced my knee, but I did put some Bio Freeze on it and I took an Alieve to ward off any inflammation.
Sun. 11/6: was a day of rest.
Mon. 11/7: I went to see a sports medicine Dr. today. He was referred to me by someone who lives in my neighborhood and he also lives in my neighborhood too. The really great thing about him is that he is a runner too so he knew a lot about running injuries and training for long runs. We talked at length about my marathon goal. He thoroughly checked out my knee and my hip- which has been bothering me for some time, but I never thought it was running related since it had been aching for several months. He also took a look at my lower back. He decided to have some x-rays done on all three areas. The good thing was that they were done right then and there in his office and he was able to view them during my visit as well as go over them with me. Luckily, he did not see anything of concern. No bone problems. No arthritis. Nothing that he felt should keep me from running a marathon on January 11th, 2011. He determined that I had some inflammation on my IT band and that was causing my knee pain. He also said that I have a very weak “core” and that is the reason for my hip pain and possibly why I stretched my IT band the way I did. He recommended that I physical therapy a few times a week so that I can strengthen my core, which will enable me to run without throwing my hip out. He also gave me a prescription for a rub on anti-inflammatory cream that I can I use after any long runs that I do. He even offered to have his wife call me if I wanted a running partner. Since they live in my neighborhood, I jumped at the chance and said, “Yes, please have her call me!” So, maybe I will finally have someone to run with.
Disney is now 91% full for the marathon registration. I have not signed up yet, but I still have time. The next thing I need to do is sit down with my hubby to chart the remainder of my runs before the race and figure out how we can make Disney work. The last thing we talked about was not taking our son with us because it would be too hard on him. Getting a 4yr. old up at 4am for a race and then making him wait half the day while I am running is not fair to him. We are considering by going ourselves, but there is another idea in the works as well. We have a friend who actually used to work at Disney and has run the ½ marathon there in the past. He has offered to go with us to cheer me on and to show us all the ins and outs of the park. He is a theme park enthusiast so this would be a HUGE treat to have him there. Plus, having an additional person rooting for me would be awesome. We are in discussion on how to make this work and do this affordably. So all I can say for now is that Disney is looking good. I am hoping to have things finalized this weekend.
In the meantime, please keep praying for me! After the Dr. had me do a little stretching in his office today, I got a shin splint on my right leg! But at least I have no knee pain. LOL
“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.” -Priscilla Welch