Monday, October 20, 2014

Perseverance Pays Off!

Traveled to Columbus, Ohio this weekend to run the Columbus Marathon/Half Marathon.  I have been having problems with my calves cramping during the last miles, so the last few weeks have been spent trying to figure out a cure for this problem.  Of course, if you look it up on Google , runner's world etc. you get all kinds of reasons that this may be happening.  I decided to do 2 things, roll my calves several times a day with my "stick" and up my potassium consumption.  I had no idea that the  daily amount of potassium was 4700mg!  Yikes!  I was no where close to that!  Thought it was worth a I have been eating sweet potatoes , white potatoes all baked and making sure to eat the skins.  Upped my yogurt consumption, bananas, apples.  I still wasn't getting the whole amount, but certainly was better than before.  The stick is no treat either, man thats hurts!  I found a couple of places on my calves that were really knotted and worked on these, again, figured it couldn't hurt.  I've been drinking my water, cutting down on the Diet Coke...And, bought a pair of compression sleeves , I read they might help also, something has got to help, right? Unfortunately, I haven't been running as much as I should have been though, a couple of short runs during the week and maximum 8 mile long runs on weekends, since my last half almost a month ago, some weeks I only ran once during the week and the long run.  Was not feeling real confident.  The race started at 7:30 in downtown Columbus.  We were staying with friends, about a half hour drive away from downtown, left about 5:30 and they dropped my husband and I off around 6.  It was chilly, about 48 at 6.  Not too many people there yet,  I love early starts for races, but in these bigger ones, where you have to get there so early to find parking etc, kind of a pain killing all that time, especially when it is kinda cold.  However, no lines at the porta-pottys!!   We walked around and around and around.....sat on the curb for awhile, I checked out the corrals, had our pictures taken a few times.  Finally I decided I might as well get to my corral.  They would not let anyone, besides runners in the corrals so my husband and I parted ways.  There were 4 corrals, I was in the last one of course.  All I kept saying in my head was, Please don't let me get cramps, please don't let me get cramps.  I had been standing for so long that my hips started aching and then it seemed like everything was aching!  Squatting seemed to relieve the aching, so I kept doing squats periodically.  Still dark out and cold, but wait, I think they are starting the National Anthem, thank goodness!  They also had was cool!!!!!   However, that was for the first wave of corrals A and B...darn!   About 20 minutes later they sang the anthem again and more fireworks and we were on our way.  I felt really stiff and the backs of my legs were aching, but that happens frequently when I start off, unfortunately this would be my state for the whole race!  Bright spot...... , I would say between miles one and two I kept thinking I heard my name being called.  I thought I was hallucinating because I didn't know anyone in Columbus.  Looked to my right and there was one of my best friends in the world holding a sign and yelling my name!  Her daughter was also running the half.  I knew her daughter was running, but we don't live close anymore and I had no idea that she was going to the race to watch her daughter.  Almost made me cry.  I have never had a sign held for me!   I have to admit that I did not notice too much of the scenery.  I was really feeling rotten, my back hurt, my legs ached, I had the wooden feet feeling and I was maybe at mile 5, a long way to go! All I kept thinking is that I cannot walk this whole darn thing, it will take me forever!  I tried to look around and take in the surroundings, but my mind was really playing games with me today, things like just sit down and call your friends to come get you, you are such a loser, your legs are gonna cramp up any second now! the next aid station I took a salted caramel GU, which are wonderful by the way, and decided to suck it up!  Started running more, walking less, I could not seem to increase my speed though.  Did start to notice where I was running, ran past Capital University, some really beautiful neighborhoods, parks.  I have to say the crowd support was phenomenal.  I have run In Cleveland and Detroit and although I enjoy both of those, Columbus had the best crowd support!  It was constant throughout the whole 13.1.  A couple of signs that caught my eye were "  You are running better than our government"   " My mother made me sit out here with this stupid sign and where are you going anyway?"  " You feeling lousy?  you PAID to do this!" I was still struggling, but all of sudden is was mile 8 and I started to think I was going to finish after all.  I had been trying to stick with the 3 hour pace people, but by this time they were way ahead of me.  That is how slow I was going.  Right foot started cramping and I am thinking oh no, here we go.  I just kept on doing what I was doing, run a minute, walk a minute and then Mile 9, 10, 11, 12 and finally approaching the end.  There was a mile marker for 13, but I have never run such a long .1 before!  I thought the finish line was never  be in sight, but suddenly there it was and I had done it and did not get calf cramps!  I don't know if it was because I was going slower than usual or my pre race routine the weeks before, all I know is that I did not get the terrible cramps.  Finished in 3:13 something, which considering how bad I felt, I was kind of happy with that.  I really thought it was going to be worse than that.  Actually out of the 4 Halfs I have done since June, this was my best time.  Has not been a great year for time this year.  Came in 61 out of 96 in my age group.    I hope this doesn't sound like boasting, but I learned a lot about myself, I can do more than I think I can and I am not a quitter!!!!!!  The statement on the shirt and medal was quite appropos for me this year!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Running over 60 and with a broken wing!

I have not blogged again in a few months.   I think about it a lot and then I just don't blog.  If I were better at expressing myself, it would be much easier.

I have run two half marathons since my last posting and I also broke my wrist!  Out running early one morning in August, it was really dark, I tripped over absolutely nothing!  In fact, I fell twice that morning.  The first time I just brushed myself off and started running again, the second time I wasn't quite that fortunate.  As I was going down , I am thinking to myself  "okay this is my second fall this morning, I am going to call it quits"  Trying to stop myself, I, Of course, put my hands out, landed on my hands, scraped up a knee, nothing really unusual for a runner, right?  As I was walking home, I kind of figured I may have done something a little more serious this time.  Arrived home, my husband was still sleeping, woke him up and told him that I was going to walk over to the ER as I thought I may have done something to my wrist ( we live a few blocks from the hospital).  As luck would have it 6:00 a.m. must be a good time to go the ER as no one was ahead of me..  x-rays taken, and sure enough I had broken the wrist.  They just wrapped it well and told me to call an orthopedic doctor when I got home.  This was a Thursday, so I called and they wanted to see me right away, husband drove me, Dr. looked at x-ray and wrist and suggested surgery!  I was quite surprised by this, figured they would put on a cast and I would be on my way.  Had surgery the next day, put in a plate to hold everything together.  A week later I go back and they remove wrapping and just give me a brace, no cast at all.  First question I ask is if I can still run....the Dr. kind of shrugs and says " I guess, as long as you aren't doing a marathon or something"....I didn't say "No, not a marathon, just a half"  So, I started walking at first, at a very brisk pace and when that didn't seem to bother me I started running again, albeit very cautiously!  I am still timid about running in the dark.  My training certainly did take a hit, but I had already registered for 2 half marathons in September and I wanted to give it a try.

Run Woodstock Half marathon in Hell, Mi.  Sept. 5

My friend lives in Detroit and has been after me to try a trail.  I have never run on trails and having just broken my wrist I was a little apprehensive, but she assured me that we would go really slow and I would be fine.  I am so glad that I did it!  What an experience, I absolutely loved it!  It stormed like crazy the night before and we were afraid that the trail may be really slippery with mud, but for some unknown reason the course seemed to not have as much rain as we had thought.  The first few miles were rail trail, so it wasn't paved really, but it wasn't trail either.  I didn't feel too good at first, had trouble breathing right and getting a rhythm, but started to get into it.  After a few miles we veered off into the woods and this is where the fun began!   It was quiet and peaceful.  My friend ran ahead and warned me of roots and rocks that I may trip over.  Running the trail is so different.  I just didn't care how fast I was going or how many miles I had run.  There were trees to be jumped or climbed over, hills to ascend, mud that wanted to suck my shoes off and so serene and quiet and breathtaking at times.  At one point we were in this forest of pines, it felt like I were in a cathedral, pine needles muffling are steps, sun filtering through, it was breathtaking!  At one point I question my friend on whether we would be going back out on the trail, when she said No, I was so happy, I could have stayed in there for a long time.  We were starting to hear music and voices, so knew it was coming to an end.  I think this is the first time that I was not begging for the finish line.  It was amazing.  It did take a long time, 4 hours, but that was what my friend had predicted, because of my wrist, and never having had run trails before, there was a lot of walking going on.  You know, even with the 4 hours time I was not last in my age group!  I would say , it was almost a life-altering experience and I am sold on trails!  Now all I have to do is find trails!

This is this pic!

Mighty Niagara Half  Marathon , Lewiston, N.Y.  Sept. 20

A few weeks later I am on the half marathon trail again, only this time it isn't a trail, darn!  I ran this half last year also and it poured rain the entire time.  This time it was a beautiful day.  I really didn't go into this half with any expectations because I just have not been training as I should.  Partly because of my fear of running in the dark still and I am definitely a morning runner and part laziness.  This is a really nice race, very flat and beautiful scenery again.  The half follows the Niagara River below the Falls.  Beautiful , huge homes, the leaves were just beginning to turn.  Ran through a couple small , quaint towns and I was feeling okay, not great, but okay.  Ran very slowly and used a walk/run.... I felt pretty good though, up until mile 10 and my foot started to cramp and then the calves again!  Just like my Cedar Point Half!  As soon as I would start to run I could feel the calves starting to cramp up, so I just walked the last 3 miles.  I came as close as I ever have to DNF, but I talked myself out of it and just kept going, but I was disappointed.  I don't know what to do about these calves.  Now, the trail race did not bother me at all, probably because we walked so much, not sure.  It was still fun, but feeling a bit discouraged.

Okay, I am doing another Half this coming weekend in Columbus Oh.  Yes, I am a glutton for punishment!  Just hoping the calf problem doesn't rear it's ugly head this time.  Just not sure what I am doing or not doing that I am being plagued by this, so it makes it hard to predict.

Wish me luck!

Okay, I feel like an idiot!  Just realized that I had already posted a RR about my trail run.  The memory is the first to go, right?