Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hoping I Dodged That Bullet

Okay, not a literal bullet, but it almost felt like one at times.
What in the heck am I talking about you ask.

Well, since I am training for another full marathon, what else would I be talking about except for something running related?  Yes, us runners tend to become obsessed with everything running during those four plus months of training...i.e. running schedules, miles we run, how we felt during those miles, sore body parts, what we eat, our speed (or lack thereof), even our bodily functions, etc., etc.  Most of my good friends and family know that if they even bring up the subject of running during my training, they will "get" to listen to me explain how many miles I've logged on my current shoes, or how my hamstrings are tight, or how I just ran 10 miles in a downpour of rain, or that I survived running 15 hill repeats, or vivid descriptions of the road kill I saw last week, etc.  Once you get me started on my running, I could go on all day.  And then once the marathon is over, we runners like nothing more than to talk about the experience.  And it is quite the experience, so be sure you have plenty of time if you bring it up.  Just a friendly warning.  ☺

But back to the bullet...

I am currently in training once again for the ...
 I ran it last year in a down pour of rain.  When they say spring run off, they mean it.  Every single step of that 26.2 miles was in the rain.  I am not complaining about the rain though because I absolutely love running in the rain.  I have always had a dreaded fear though of running 26.2 miles in a rainstorm because I just knew it would be so brutal on the feet if they were soaking wet for that long and I knew it would be something I could never do. I also hate to be cold and it was a pretty chilly run while soaking wet at 49°.  After I DID do it, and realized I could and it wasn't the nightmare I always visualized it being, I felt very empowered and accomplished. Just crossing the finish line of a marathon is an amazing feeling but crossing it knowing you also did it in conditions you never thought you could survive is a feeling that's hard to put into words.  Hypothermia did start to set in about 20 minutes after I finished, but even surviving that made me feel like a boss.

I almost didn't run it because my training last year wasn't even close to being where it needed to be.  I broke my tailbone in December and training was supposed to start in January and so I was unable to start my training until several weeks later.  Once I did, I got sick and had to stop running for another two weeks.  I was very discouraged and just decided to start where I was and see how it goes.  If I had to drop out, then so be it.  I figured I always could run the half.  However, during my training I wasn't even sure the half would be a possibility.  But I was able to get in a couple 20 milers and even though I didn't feel on top of my game and not really ready, I wanted to give it a try.  The day of the race I was over 200 miles behind in my training, but I'm glad I ran it because my time was better than my first full even with all the obstacles.   

 This year, I started my training right on schedule.  I even upped the level of my training one notch to the Intermediate 2 level and I was so happy I had been right on track! Even a few miles ahead.  I had just mentioned to Dave how great it was to be able to train this year without an injury or set back.  The very next week, my right foot started to really hurt.  It felt like a bullet was lodged inside my foot.  I tried to ignore it and just blow it off as a sore foot from the pounding of the 15 hill repeats I had done that week.  He came home for lunch one day and saw me rolling it on a rock to try and get some relief and he asked me about it.  He looked at it and examined it and told me he thought I might have a stress fracture.  I told him I was sure it wasn't one and that it would be okay.  He kept telling me that I needed an xray and I told him that it was just fine.  He then told me that I should give it a rest because if it IS a stress fracture and I don't let it heal I would end up in a boot for three months and there would be NO running.  THAT spoke to me and so I decided to lay off the running for that week.  Sounds simple and like no big deal right? WRONG!  NOT running for a runner, especially one in training for a big race, is HUGE!  That was the hardest week for me!  I was freaking out that I was missing my 16 mile long run!  

The foot kept hurting and so I gave in and decided to have an xray even though a stress fracture most likely wouldn't show up on it, but I needed that first before I could have a bone scan or an MRI to see if it really was one.   We were right, nothing showed up on it.  So I was scheduled for an MRI.  But then amazingly my foot stopped hurting.  I was so happy and so I ran five miles on it to see if it that would bring the pain back and it was still okay.  I decided to do a long run on it today thinking that would be the real proof if it had healed or not.  I ran 13 miles on it today and NO pain!  Looks like I am going to cancel the MRI on Monday unless it hurts tomorrow.  I am hoping that I have dodged the bullet and that week off gave it enough time to heal.

I read somewhere that 90% of runners that run a marathon have had to deal with some type of injury during their training.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised because logging up to 50 miles a week or more in training is hard on your body.  Running a marathon is hard on your body!  I know you are thinking, then why do you do it?  I have no real answer to that one, other than because it sounded like a really good idea at the time I registered!  During the training and definitely on race day, I question my sanity and wonder the same thing myself over and over.  I always say that training for a full is much too time consuming and I am not going to do it again, but here I am signed up for my third one in May.   I do think that half marathons are the perfect distance, at least for me.  They are still challenging and they still take training, but they are not no where near as time consuming as training for a full and the pressure just isn't close to being the same.  

My goal for this race is to really try and smile the entire 26.2 miles and just revel in the fact that even though I am hurting and it is hard, that I am only feeling that way because I am alive, and it's great to be alive!  There is nothing that can describe the feeling of crossing the finish line and having that medal placed around your neck knowing you just conquered something inside of you.  The feeling of wanting to give up and to quit is so strong after about mile 20, that pushing through it all and actually being able to finish is such an amazing feeling.

 What did I tell you about runners liking to talk about their training and marathon experiences?  I could have wrote a short paragraph about the bullet I dodged, but what would be the fun in that?  If you are still here, then you deserve a medal too!
A few pix from last year's Ogden Marathon...
Heading out at 3:30 a.m.
Waiting at the start in our rain gear.

Almost to the finish line!!!

I made it!

My boys came to support me!  Best part of finishing!

Trying to warm up.
Happy we all made it!
Dave is always there at the finish line to cheer me on!
My boys waiting for me to finish.
I wore that medal all day long!

Running for Tyson, Gina, and Boston.
Only two and half more months of training until the big day!


Dawn said...

When I saw your wrist bands I got all tears are amazing, I can't even imagine running that far continuously....I'm proud of you that you are able to. I need to come cheer for you...I'm a good cheerleader ::)

Jodi Wilding said...

Oh I would LOVE it if you would come and cheer me on!!! You can even believe how much that does for a runner to have someone cheering them on and to know that you have peeps waiting for you at the finish line. Sometimes that is the ONLY thing that gets you to that finish line! SO PLEASE COME AND CHEER ME ON!!!! Grab some of the sistas and we can do some pictures after too! hehe!!!


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