Archive for November, 2008


After months of training, this chapter of the blog is coming to a close. I think that I will continue on with the blog, but since I won’t be training for anymore races for some time, I may repurpose the blog into something else, I just don’t know what yet.

On Saturday, I completed the McDonald’s Half Marathon down in Richmond (yes, McDonalds – embarrassing I know :P). For the past month I had been having terrible IT band issues, which made running impossible and I was unsure that I was going to be able to run it at all. But, as I told the boy, even if I have to walk the whole thing, I am going to that race and I’m going to finish it.

So for this past month I focused my efforts on the elliptical machines in the gym to keep up my endurance and took every opportunity to stretch. During the last week in particular I used a foam roller to roll out my hip and leg a couple times a day. In addition, I used my TENS unit on my knee to assist in healing the IT band down there. I abstained from nearly all cardio for that last week as well, not willing to do anything that may injure me more while allowing time for my IT band to heal. Luckily, all this was not in vain because my leg/knee/hip held up fairly well during the race.

Rain was predicted for about a week before the race and then was elevated to thunder storms. So, planning ahead I decided to bring my long pants/skirt combo and my capris as well as a long and short sleeve shirt option. We awoke on race day to see that the storm was expected to go just east of us and miss Richmond entirely. YAY!

With this in mind I decided I was going to wear my long pants/skirt, which I discovered I left at home so capris it was :-/. I also discovered that I left my new heart rate transmitter at home. I was really flustered by these two things – especially no heart rate. Luckily I did bring my watch and foot pod so I could at least track my pace.

We ended up leaving the hotel a little late, which was made even later by the fact that we left our cash (for parking) and our room keys in the room. I had to go get another key made and go get our cash before we could leave. Now, we were only 10-15 minutes away and we left the hotel by 6:15ish. Obviously this wouldn’t have been a problem if EVERYONE wasn’t taking the EXACT SAME EXIT as us! But they were. And we waited and watched the clock tick. The boy’s 8k race started at 7:00 and by 6:50 we still weren’t sure how close we were to the parking garage. Talking it through, we decided that the best idea was for him to hop out and run to the start line, I would park the car and check his bag. He hopped out of the car and raced away…. the garage was the next turn DOH! I hurried and parked and rushed to the start line, nervous that he didn’t make it, but I made it before the start he must have too, but I didn’t see him…. After they did a last call at about 8:10 I felt better knowing that he had to of been in the starting pack, so I finally started to relax. I spent the next 20 minutes putting on my IT band brace, walking, stretching and mentally preparing.

At the 1 minute warning I filed into the back of the pack and when the gun when off the crowd started into a walk, then into a jog past the start line and I finally fell into my running stride about a quarter mile later. It was really hot and muggy the first couple miles, but I was enjoying my tunes and trying to block that out. I rolled through the first water break because my tummy was still uneasy due to eating first thing in the morning. Near mile 3 I felt a twinge in my knee, but it passed, the pain in my hip didn’t however. Around this time my ipod died as well. For the remainder of the race I struggled with my hip, the best thing I did though was I made a point to walk through every water break and take 30 seconds to stretch my hip. This hip stretch was so refreshing each time I did it and really made it possible for me to keep going. In fact, I suppose that I wasn’t focused so much on 13 miles, but more on getting to the next water break.

I also had to be very aware of the slope of the road. The course winded through a lot of residential areas in which the road was sloped greatly to the right, which is the absolute worst thing to run on with my right IT band having issues. After even the shortest time on the sloped road my hip would be screaming and I would finally hop up on the sidewalk, which eased the pain considerably.

Once I hit Mile 10 all I wanted to do was speed up so that I could finish. I knew that I had to remain steady and focus or I would burn up anything I had left. Somehow I missed the Mile 11 sign (others did too). I looked at my watch and it registered about 11.6 miles, I just kept thinking that if the next sign I saw was 11 instead of 12 that it may just break my spirit. Luckily, it was Mile 12 that I saw next. I kicked up my pace to under 10 min/mi, my heart rate was racing, and my stomach started to turn. I turned the final corner and finally saw the finish line. The approach to the finish line was probably a 1/4 mile, downhill. I kicked it up, worked with the hill, lifted my feet and seemingly flew down the hill. I heard the boy cheering me on seconds before the finish line.

I accepted my medal after finishing and proceeded to walk dazed, and found the boy, then we walked to the food tent and I grabbed a bagel and banana. I learned that he completed his 8K in 50:36 and could not have been prouder of him! It took about 15 minutes for me to nibble 2/3 of the bagel before I tossed it. After stretching and walking we made our way to the car, then back to the hotel, and finally home.


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