Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lakes of Love 4 Miler

Slow and easy was my motto for this race. Over the last two months, with the help of my physical therapist, I have gone from not being able to run one mile pain free to building up to three miles. It hasn’t been an easy road, but each step I can take without pain is a victory to me.

Lakes of Love 4 miler had originally been on my race calendar, but I took it off when things got rough. Two days before the race, I registered. I lost zero sleep over this race. I promised everyone, including myself, that I’d take it slow, do my walk/run intervals and stop as soon as I felt any pain. If I didn’t finish, no big deal, all proceeds were going to cancer research.

The course was almost identical to the Super Bowl 4 miler I ran earlier this year. There were some small changes, but overall almost the same route. The morning was beautiful, sunny and breezy. 

Yes, my shirt says "Running Geek"
It was a small group of runners that morning, probably roughly around 100 of us, plus a couple dogs. We all lined up and when one of the volunteers yelled “Ready, set, GO”, one of the dogs in the crowd went crazy. He was a little chiwawa mix with tiny short legs and he was doing a good job of dragging his owner and trying to get to the front of the pack. Everyone turned to look when he went ballistic with excited barking. I love dogs.

I started a little fast (like usual), but quickly corrected myself. Things were going smooth and easy, but I couldn’t help but start thinking of time goals. I set out to do intervals of 5-1, but with the excitement of racing, I increased it to 6-1. We hit a steep downhill around a mile and a half and I felt a couple pangs from my knee. I played tag with a couple people not intervaling, but others were pulling away.

Around mile two, the route swung us by the park where the race finish line was and for just an instant I considered bringing it in. No one would blame me, but me. It was in that moment that I realized I was loosing my carefree attitude and getting wrapped up in the race attitude which I couldn’t afford to do. I gave myself a little mental lecture, slowed it down and focused on the sound of my feet hitting the ground and the beautiful morning around me. It was the perfect time for a change in perspective, because just down the road the route changes from street to trail and took us on a path by a gorgeous little lake.

I finished the race, out of breath, out of shape, with a smile on my face. The Geek Girl Runner is back!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Miss Running So Much I Could Cry

Things are a little rough right now and I can’t wait to have this trial behind me. I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, piriformis syndrome and IT Band syndrome. For the first week after the LA marathon, I couldn’t sleep through the whole night due to the pain. I started physical therapy at the beginning of April and have been working hard since. I totaled 20 miles last month and it was the most challenging 20 miles I have ever done.

I attend physical therapy two times a week. Eli, my PT, works my muscles so hard, that I have finger shaped bruises up and down my leg and I usually leave the office on shaking legs from the exercises he pushes me through. One of the student workers told me that I have the hardest exercise regimen that she has seen and I was happy to hear it. I’m willing to put in the work, no matter how hard or painful it is, if it means I can run that much sooner.

Eli worked his magic on a knotted muscle

It will be a long time before I take running pain free for granted again.