Ok, now that we have that straightened out, I have lots to talk about. But I may split it up into two shorter posts.
First: The Chicago Rock N' Roll Half Marathon, August 14, 2011
I was pretty excited to do this half marathon last weekend. This half was the first I had done back in 2006 (when it was called the Chicago Distance Classic). My time back then was 2:55:55. I was thrilled to break the 3:00 mark for my first half marathon!
I have done this same run every year except for 2007 (because I hurt my knee that year). So I have a special place in my heart for this one. It's a hard half to do because it's in August and the last two years have been brutally hot! I also run this half for the charity group UPS for DownS. Click here if you would like to donate. I have been running for them for about 4 years now.
Anyway, this half is super early in the morning. The run starts at 6:30 a.m. and it's in the city. This means I have to get up at 4:30 a.m.
This year, I had a wedding to go to the night before. It was my co-worker's wedding. My goal was to limit myself to 2 (count them...2!!!) drinks and leave my 10:00 p.m. That didn't quite happen. I had 2 glasses of champagne before sitting down, 2 vodka and juice drinks (1 before and 1 after dinner), 2 glasses of red wine during dinner and later a martini. Whoops!! And we didn't even get done eating dinner until 9:55! How was I supposed to leave at 10:00! So I set another limit to leave by 11:00. I finally dragged myself out of there at midnight!! Whoops (again!). I just had such a good time that I didn't want to leave.
I got home at 1:00 a.m. and went to bed at 1:30 a.m. and subsequently got up for the half at 4:30 a.m. to leave the house by 5:00 a.m.! Wow! That's right. For those mathematically challenged, that's 3 hours of sleep!
But I got down to the half. The weather was perfect! It's was cooler and less humid than normal. We took a group photo and off I went.
|My charity group. I am second row, second from right.|
The problem? Around mile 7, I noticed my IT band (it run from your hip down your leg) was starting to give me a little pain. I tried to stretch it out and then kept running. By mile 8, it started to really hurt! A million things went through my head:
Oh no, not an injury!
I'm training for a marathon, I can't get hurt!
Just make it to the next water break and then stop and walk or stretch it out again.
I don't think I can finish this half!
I have 5 miles left!
Should I walk the last 5 miles?
I want to beat my previous best time!
I ran to the next water break after mile 9 and the pain was pretty bad at that point. I knew I didn't want to injure myself bad because of the marathon training, but I didn't want to give up on my favorite half marathon!
I took a lot of time between mile 9 and 10 and tried to stretch. It didn't seem to help. And when I got to mile 10 and looked at the clock, I lost 1.5 minutes on my pace that mile! I was so upset and disappointed. There was NO WAY I was going to be my old best time for half marathons!
I suffered through the remainder of the run. I think I ran the rest of the time. I had set a goal in the beginning to stop at every other water station to hydrate (since I drank the night before). And I kept that goal up.
With the last two miles, I looked at the clock and it appeared that if I kept about a 10 minute mile pace the last two miles, I probably could beat my time. I wasn't sure on the time because my garmin wasn't working properly at all! But 10 minute mile pace with a pain in my leg seemed brutal!
At the finish stretch, I looked at the time and halled ass!! (Sorry for the language, but it's true!). I sprinted as hard as I could trying to make every second count!
And guess what?.....I finished and I got a new PR!! My old best time was 2:14:11 and my time for this half was 2:13:31!
My feelings were two fold: First, I was thrilled that I got a PR with the injury that I had! BUT...I was disappointed because I think about the 1.5 minutes I "wasted" on that mile between 9-10 and the fact that if I weren't injured, I may have come in under 2:10!
But I tried not to be too upset and give myself some joy over the new PR!
Here are a few pictures of my friend and her son Josh with me after the run (I look horrible and it was raining). They were the reason I started running for this charity group.
Later that evening, I had to go on my work trip (more on this trip in the next post). Monday, my IT band was still hurting pretty bad. It hurt when I walked and when I went up stairs.
Because I'm part of a running group through CARA (Chicago Area Running Association), we get free injury advice from a group called Nova Care. I called their injury hotline number and told the lady my issues. I told her my foam roller was at home and I'm on a business trip. I asked if there were any stretches I could do to help with this injury. I also asked her if it would be ok to run on the treadmill at the hotel to continue training for the marathon. I didn't want to further injury myself.
She gave me some stretches and emailed me some information. She said with the stretches and strength stuff, I should be able to run.
I did continue my runs this week. I was supposed to do 4 miles, 8 miles, 4 miles. I did that all except I cut the 8 miles to 6 miles. I cut it, not because of the injury but mostly because I hate running on the treadmill and it was pure torture!! Haha!
This weekend is 16 miles. This is the most I have ever run and I'm a little nervous. I can't run with my training group so Mike, my personal trainer, said he would run with me. But I
Have any of the runners in the group here ever had an injury? Did you keep training or did it sideline you?