Two Years ago a good friend noticed how well my running was progressing since starting back up 3 years ago after a solid 8 year hiatus. (We can talk more about “that little occurrence” later…) She suggested the Atlanta Half Marathon (http://www.atlantahalfmarathon.org/)… The first year, I declined, citing these excuses:
1. I don’t think racing is the best thing for me because I get so competitive with myself
2. It’s Thanksgiving and I cook, so not the best day…
3. It’s a long distance
Then the strangest thing happened. I started winning some races! Age group of course (I’m 52). More importantly I was really LOVING running again. I felt great. I was slim and trim again. The heart and lungs and legs all functioning like I remember. Beautiful. My training runs got faster. Much faster… the 9 minute mile dropped to 8:50 then 8:30 the 8:10 then 8:00 and leveled off for now there… But the 5k’s at 21:30 were something I didnt really aspire to! They just happened.
I decided I DO want to run the half. All I really had to do was add some long runs and build that base and “Voila!!” I am there. So I started training and entered.
Everything was going great until my 2nd 12 mile run. I began to feel a little crampy in the hamstring during the last mile. Thought just depletion of electrolytes… no biggie… but the next day was OUCH! I began in ernest to rehab the thing. I slowed down, cut miles, iced, elevated, anti-inflammatory meds… and it responded. I had to DNF a 5k one saturday because it got real painful, but within a week I took 3rd (age group) at a 5.6 mile trail race.
I have been dealing with a little arch related injury (deltoid ligament / plantar fascitis) for which I used @KTTAPE with great success…and decided that maybe a little different show might help there. I grabbed a couple pair of @Saucony kicks with the 4mm wedge (Cortana and Kinvara) and really loved the feel of them. I did test them out on 3, 4 , 5 & 6 mile runs with no issues. Then I ran an 11 mile run in the Cortana one day, and it was too far in a shoe with different biomechanics. My burning calf muscles said so. Since then I have been dealing with a slightly strained Achilles on the left leg. Injury number 2.
Disappointed, I once again modified my plan. I cut more miles, increased the ice baths, used Penetrex, etc… and all is well. A good final 13 miler at 8:20 (yes not full speed) run told me I was coming along well.
Saturday called for a final run above 6 miles (9.28 — 9-10 was the goal) and off I went. A little over a mile in I was coming to a corner on a downhill and suddenly rolled my left foot. OUCH!!! I hopped around, stopped, tested it out… not too bad… Just keep going. It settled right down – that kind of thing. But that night and Sunday night it was really tender and hurt to walk, and somewhat black and blue. I kept is wrapped tight and elevated it.
I was having the feeling that the all seeing all knowing Power That Is wanted me to not run this 1/2 marathon. Or maybe it’s just coincidence.Or maybe it’s something I am supposed to work through and learn from… And be accountable for and get help with… Yeah, that seems about right.
In any event I am now day-to-day leading up to the race. I imagine I’ll be good, maybe sore, and maybe taped up. At least I am trained up, and race ready, otherwise. I hope I am good to go, because after the race I am going to take a week off from running and focus on cross training – mountain and road biking, core strengthening and introducing kettle ball workouts.
It’s Tuesday. The race is Thursday. I am on day 3 of self-imposed rest, and I feel great. I intend to go. I will listen to my body and probably not race, but just run. My vision of coming in under 1:45 I have let go of. I will keep you posted.