So like almost a month ago I ran my third Monumental half marathon and then this happened and I couldn’t bring myself to blog about my stupid slow race times anymore (even though I believe running\fitness is a totally legit way of both coping with and escaping from life’s horrors).
I still kind of feel that way but I’d like to get back into a habit of writing for fun again. I haven’t really been spending my free time in a useful way (partially anxiety related and partially just laziness). But I need a recharge, so I’m probably gonna do what I do every few years and start a new blogging challenge. I’m going to try to write something every day for the rest of the year. OMG ROFL RIGHT? But I’m going to try. It’s more productive than angry shitposting on Twitter (but maybe less cathartic, haha.) I’d also like to share more of what I’m reading because I love when other bloggers do that.
Anyway, I’m going to cram two race reports into this one post today since they’re both so long overdue. (Although maybe that’s unwise since I just vowed to start blogging every day…?)
The Monumental Half
I finished in 1:59:37, 163/798 in my division, 905 out of 4798 women and 2459/8114 overall. My PR (STILL, FROM 2012, IS 1:58:36.)
While it’s annoying to hit another 1:59 when I feel I could have done better, it was a really beautiful day and a nice race so I’m trying not to feel too discouraged. (Especially since there are far greater things to feel discouraged about these days.)
I think coming away from a bad cold and signing up for three halfs in three months was too much for me. My legs were really beat up after the race; both my heels were in plantar fasciitis hell, and my knees, right quad and my left hamstring were all aching. I felt like I’d run a full marathon instead of a half.
And all for naught! Pretty much the same thing happened in this race that happened in the Indy Half in October: I ran at my goal pace for the first 10 miles and then crashed at 11 and couldn’t get it back. Miles 11-13 were 9:14, 9:14, 9:12. And this time it had nothing to do with fueling or hills. I kept up with my gels and this course was flat as fuck. The plantar fasciitis didn’t really impact me much while I was running, but afterward it flared in both heels and there were moments in the following week when I was in bed and they were throbbing and on fire. My right quad was still tender and tight.
I took some time off after the race to just work on conditioning, rehabing my heels (it is kind of astonishing and funny just how well the tennis ball thing works) and maintaining my lifting routine. I also ate a whole lot of junk food and gained five pounds.
My first run after the race was a week later, three miles outside that felt like total garbage. I did another week of garbage runs outside and my heels ached after every run. And the quad pain persisted. But then something weird happened: I started running on the treadmill and all the pain vanished almost overnight. (Only slightly exaggerating!) I also started wearing an old pair of running shoes around the house at all times and I think that helped too.
I’d been doing some half-hearted foam rolling on the quad, but I finally laid down on the roller and did a really LONG, HARD quality session and I FINALLY got it. I literally felt the kink smooth out. And so that felt better too. I continued doing short runs on the treadmill and the heel pain stayed away. So there’s something about the treadmill that is changing/improving my foot strike in a way that doesn’t exacerbate the heel issues. I HATE running on the fucking treadmill, but I’ll take it.
Gobble Gallop 5k
This race actually went a lot better than I thought it would, mostly because I went into it with super low expectations. I had done literally no 5k training whatsoever. I hadn’t run outdoors in almost a week but I’d done a couple really good treadmill runs and I thought maybe I could finish around 26:00
I finished in 25:23, 139/974 overall, 33 out of 551 women and 6th in my division. So while it was just one more race this year in which I fell just short of a PR, I’m not even mad because check out these splits: 8:05, 8:08, 7:57, and the last .19 was in 6:46!! A girl approached me after we finished and was like, “daaaamn, you were hauling ass there at the end!” (I’m paraphrasing, I don’t think she said “damn” or “ass” but you get the idea.) It made me feel so, so good.
Of course the PF came right back after the race and I’m struggling with that again, but it’s only mild compared to what I was experiencing earlier this month, and I’m staying on top of it.
All that being said, I have to think that if I can get in shape and do a little training, a January or February 5k PR is within my grasp. (I know I also said in October I was just SURE I’d PR, but FOR REAL THIS TIME.) I’d be thrilled just to finish in 24:59, but something like 24:15 would be really cool.
And last, off topic but I just want to thank everyone who has taken the time to publish their thoughts on the election and the horrifying aftermath, and other issues related to racism, privilege and social justice; among them Sonia, Elle, Caitlin, Angela and Sybil. One of the main reasons I love blogging and have been hesitant to stop even though my creative juices have basically dried up is that I adore the connections I’ve made online. Whenever I feel like an outsider in real life, there are always people I can connect with online and I’m so grateful for that. (Edited to add: and for those of you who are just trying to get through it, I’m grateful for you too.)