Nike Women’s Half Marathon (#19)

Signed up for this race a long time ago. I have not run over 2 miles since my full marathon two months ago.

Nike Women's Half Marathon Elevation

Nike Women’s Half Marathon Elevation

Nike Women's Half Marathon Splits

Nike Women’s Half Marathon Splits

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 8.08.24 PM

Advertisements

Santa Rosa Marathon (#1)

There was very little social media lead up to this event because I had my doubts about finishing. That a DNF was entirely possible given the training the past month and my injury status. So it’s understandable that my friends didn’t know it was my first full marathon!

It’s a pretty phenomenal feat. I am still pinching myself because it feels like it was a dream. It is definitely not something to take lightly and think you can finish without training. Deep respect for the 26.2.

The race started a little below 60 degrees. I started in the back of the pack (at the finish line) and chatted to a couple people as we left the streets of Santa Rosa and entered a park.

I’m delirious when I have to get up at 3am to make it to a 6am start. I started in the back near the finish line.

Along the course, I started talking to a woman who kept leap frogging with me. She was doing intervals too. So I made a new friend, switched to her intervals around mile 6 (90 seconds run/45 seconds walk) and we ran to mile 25 together. It was great to have a distraction from the miles. I bet my mood would have gone south had she not been there to talk to.

The weather was overcast until about mile 24 when the sun started to peak out and it started to feel a little more like 70 degrees.

During the run, my right foot swelled and I had to loosen my shoe. I loosened it 3 or 4 more times and even at its loosest the top big toe joint was still pushing on shoe. My left Achilles starting hurting around mile 14. My back was tight during the run and I stretched it a couple times at aid stations. I did my usual high knee kicks every once in a while to keep things loose.

The course was pretty with all the vineyards around that were pumped full of grapes. It made me very excited to run the Healdsburg Half with my sisters next year when the fall leaves will be turning.
 I had a 1/2 banana on the route, along with my two packs of chews and I drank Gatorade plus a cup of water after mile 20. There was an aid station every 2 miles, which was awesome! I drank water at every aid station except the last one. I started drinking two glasses because I could feel the thirst. In previous races, I never drink at every station and rarely stop at stations to drink for halves. I ate two chews every 2 miles after mile 4. I didn’t use the porta potty along the course.

We slowed at mile 17 then by mile 24 I was pushing the pace again – I was ready for the race to be over! With a blessing from Carla, I took off. Luckily, we had just caught up to her husband so she had company for the last couple miles.

At mile 25, after I had given up hope that I’d see the NP tribe along the course… thinking that they had gone off to brunch with the other finishers. I was on a walk break and fairly tired then I heard someone calling out my name. It took a decent amount of coaxing and two tribe leaders flanking me on both sides to get me to run again. We ran to the finish together and I found my last and final wind.

The photographer at the finish wanted me to raise my hands. It wasn’t going to happen. I was spent.


There was no food at the end. No bagel. No banana. No milk. No foil wrap (not that it was needed). It was all gone except for watermelon and bottled water.

Never try anything new on race day. Except I did.

  • I had oatmeal breakfast cookies, which were similar ingredients to my typical morning meal before a race (additional egg whites and banana).
  • I also wore two pair of socks, the outside layer being compression socks. I’ve never run in compression socks and never doubled up my socks.
  • Also, I pinned snack baggies to the front of my skirt, put my chews inside them and flipped the baggie inside between my underwear and the skirt. This worked out well for grabbing my chews on the go.

Post Race Assessment:

  • I have some sore spots. Some new spots creeped up during the run, but nothing that kept me from completing it.
  • After the race, the right foot, left Achilles and knees received brief ice.
  • My back and groin received ice on the 20 min drive to breakfast.
  • My right knee hurt the most on the drive home – the one stretched out for the gas and brake.

Retrospective:

  • I would change my morning caffeine to decaf. My pee was bright yellow after race and was thirsty half way through the race.
  • Otherwise, I think fueling was decent.
  • Definitely liked the baggies pinned on the front of my skirt. There was one point where it started to chafe my leg but adjusting the baggy fixed it.
  • Having someone to talk to while running the race definitely made it feel like a breeze.

Outfit Report

Fuel Report

  • Morning Of: Oatmeal Breakfast Bars: ½ c oats, 1 banana, 1 tbsp honey, ¼ c blueberries, 2 tbsp slivered almonds, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 2 egg whites. 1 cup cold caffeinated tea
  • During: 2 packages Pro Bar Bolt one with and one without caffeine; water; Gatorade after mile 20 aid stations; 1/2 banana.
  • Right After: Muscle Milk; black grapes.
  • Later after race: gf waffles with peanut butter, almonds, bananas, blueberries and syrup; water.
  • Tried eating but body said NO!: I looked at the picky bar in my bag and decided to forgo it.

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: The weekend prior my right calf seized which kept me from running the full mileage the last week.
  • Taped: Both knees, groin, hamstrings, calves, shins with KT tape. The PT put arch supporting tape on both my feet.
  • During: Left achilles, right top of foot, twinges of pain here and there in my right calf and right shin. My back was tight. Toward the end of the race my glutes were burnt out.
  • Post Race: Did not stretch after race.
  • Day after full: Calves were fine and so were shins. Top of right foot was achy and stiff. Left Achilles hurt when wearing shoes. Groin is a little sore. Iced knees and Achilies and top of foot.
  • Two days after race: Bottom of right foot stiff. Left lower IT Band sore. Top of right foot was achy and stiff. Left Groin is a little sore. Achilles and knees were slightly sore. I was feeling phenomenal otherwise, and wanted to go run a couple miles. Iced knees and Achilies and top of foot.
  • Three days after race: My right foot felt like it was being pinched of circulation and that it would go numb at any moment. The PT said my right leg was entirely swollen and did electrodes + ice. I also ice massaged that even and the next day.

Course Elevation

The race directors said it was a flat course; Nike plus said the elevation was 524ft.

Santa Rosa Full Marathon Elevation Map

Santa Rosa Full Marathon Elevation Map

Rock ‘n’ Roll SF Half (#15)

Birthday Half marathon!!

Weather Forecast

The weather was predicted to be the same temperature as yesterday’s race, but I wasn’t going to be fooled. And I was right. Because of the clear night sky overnight, I was quite chilly in the start corral with my sleeves and headband on. At gear drop off for the previous day’s half marathon I knew I wouldn’t need the sleeves even though there was a slight chill in the air. Today, however, I kept them with me!

Race Report

There was a small group of November Project folks who gathered before the start for a photo. I ended up seeing the twins at the end as they walked back up the course with their medals and they called my name out. =)

First hill of the race! I had to pause to get a picture of this. The streets of SF are so dead on Sunday mornings. It was almost eerie. Also, the run crowd for this race were not talkers. Usually there are little conversations going on and there’s a low hum of noise, but this crowd was quiet for the WHOLE race.

Half way through the race, on the other side of Golden Gate Bridge, I was able to pull down my arm sleeves and take off my headband. What a great picture. I love the lone rock in the water.

My friend sprinted the last 1/2 of a mile to the point where it was difficult for me to keep up with her. What an accomplishment! I’m so happy for her and glad she chose to spend my birthday morning with me. Here we are, very happy and tired in front of the courthouse.

I received a handful of happy birthday wishes today, and even more yesterday when I wore this sign. People were so friendly in Livermore.

My new visor is a birthday present from my friend who ran with me and worked out perfectly for the first time wearing it!

Outfit Report

Fuel Report

  • Morning Of: Oatmeal with crasins, almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon; 1 cup hot caffeinated tea with splenda.
  • During: 1 package Pro Bar Bolt without caffeine; water; Gatorade at aid station mile 4 and 10.
  • Right After: Banana; chocolate milk; Zone bar, chocolate mint; Nuun; Sambazon Strawberry Lemon Acai drink;
  • Tried eating but body said NO!: N/A – I did not eat anything that my body revolted at

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: Sore calves and back from the half marathon the day before.
  • Taped: Both knees (1 strip each), hamstrings (2 each), groin (1 each), calves (3 each).
  • During: Calf soreness the entire race. Top of right foot hurt (like shoes were too tight).
  • Post Race: Stretched well after the race (thanks to T). Hung out with NP in Hayes, stretched, stayed mobile then commuted home. Took a ice bath after I got home. Knees were swollen and hurt walking down hills and after sitting for long periods. Hung out in Dolores and kept shifting positions. In the evening, iced knees, calves, and back. Calves stiffened after ice (ice for knees, heat for calves?).  Lightly stretched before bed.
  • Day after Half #15 (two days after Half #14): Calves, back, knees were a little stiff in the morning. Sore calves all day long. Knees hurt when going down stairs. Right foot near big toe swollen and hurts when I lift up big toe. Went to PT who massaged calves and said metatarsal is stiff on right foot. She advised to not do any hills for awhile and do easy runs to allow calves time to heal. Strength training is needed for calves.
  • Two days after race #15: Ran slowly for 1/2 mile and walked 1.5 miles. My foot is still hurting and swollen. My calves when warm are not sore. My back still has some soreness.

Course Elevation

Rock n Roll SF Elevation

Livermore Half Marathon (#14)

Birthday Weekend Half Marathons (double trouble)!!

 

The last long run before this race was Monday at a quick clip of 5 .5 miles.  The weather looked cool but at the pre-race warmup, realized that I didn’t need the sleeves because it was on the humid side. Warmer than expected.

 

 

I taped everything because I didn’t want to feel the calf soreness since Monday and didn’t want to strain anything because I am running another 13.1 tomorrow.

After mile 6, I slowed down. It was a warm day, there were hills, there were long stretches, I was tired. But! At mile 12, T was waiting with this sign which fueled the last mile of the race – I did it without stopping to walk.

Goal was under 2:15 and I accomplished it!

My two friends were waiting for me at the finish. So glad to have them with me on my birthday weekend.

Outfit Report

  • Pearl Izumi hat
  • Athleta headband – the next one I get will be from Pearl Izumi
  • Last year’s Livermore #RunLiv premium t-shirt
  • Champion Sports Bra
  • Sports Basement Pace Band tattoo
  • Manzella lightweight Gloves
  • Nike Plus Sport Watch
  • XtremeMac iPhone holder
  • RoadID Slim Wrist band
  • Orange Mud Race belt – This allows for all sizes of bibs without puckering. Also, I love their hydroquiver.
  • Skirt Sport Skirt – the one with the long pocket down the right side, perfect to hold my chapstick close at hand!
  • A standard money belt that you would take traveling to carry Pro Bar Bolts, money, ID, keys, (chapstick), and tissues.
  • Patagonia Active Hipster Briefs
  • Lucy Run Capris – I love that they have reflective strips on both sides!!!
  • Kinesio Tape
  • Injinji toe socks – they just came out with a women’s specific run sock that I can’t wait to try out.
  • Newton Distance U (retired by Newton)
  • Shwings

Fuel Report

  • Morning Of: Oatmeal with crasins, almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon; 1 cup hot caffeinated tea with splenda; nature valley crunchy oat bar.
  • During: 1 pack of Pro Bar Bolts with caffeine; 1/2 package Pro Bar Bolt without caffeine; 1/2 kidz clif bar, chocolate chip; water.
  • After: Banana, Purity Peach, Kidz clif peanut butter protein bar; french fries; fruity drink;
  • Tried eating but body said NO!: Kind bar; Pulled pork; baked beans

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: No injury. Sore calves since Monday after 5.5 mile 10 min/mile run.
  • Taped: Both knees, hamstrings, groin, calves.
  • During: Calf soreness @ mile 10.
  • Post Race: Stretched well after the race (Thanks to T). Lunch in Livermore, 1 hr commute home. Took a ice bath after I got home. No stretching or exertion after that.
  • Day after (and before next half marathon): Sore calves. Stiff back in starting corral.
  • Two days after race: See Rock n Roll Half Marathon Report

Course Elevation

Screen Shot 2015-03-29 at 9.37.36 PM

Hot Chocolate 15k in SF

Expo balloonMy first 15k. I was surprised by the number of people who were running it because 9.3 miles is not a short distance.

There was lots of chocolate at the expo and after the race. Even the medal was in the shape of a chocolate bar. Certainly an experience.

Race medalThe Expo

My friend and I ran at a pretty fast pace and I was under trained so for the week following my calves were tight and injured.

At the start

RunOak Half Marathon (#8)

Back on the running band wagon, or so I thought.

The 10 miler went well, since I had a running buddy who kept me at a 12 min/mile pace and I stuck to the 2 min run/ 1.5 min walk strategy. I used the same strategy for this half marathon and stayed with the 2 hr 30 min pace group for the first 7 miles doing my run walk, which kept me at a comfortable 11:26 pace. At the hill I pulled forward as everyone slowed and then raced down the hill.

After the hill I spotted two women wearing matching shirts and I recognized the design of the shirts as the same company that my two sisters and I just bought our matching shirts from for the October half we are doing together. I asked them if they found the shirts to be comfortable and they both said yes. Then they continued to talk to me. They stopped to refill their water bottles while I passed up the aid station and surged forward. They caught up to me though and started chatting again.

I’ve made some new friends and we plan to go running in Marin on some trails soon so they can train for their 50k endurance trail race.

My calves were sore right after the Saturday race and so was both groins. It was Tuesday when I went for the first run that I noticed my right groin was indeed injured. I’m sad, frustrated and confused. This is the opposite groin that was injured last time.

Questions circling to find the cause, overtraining? Yes. Running down hill during the half? According to the last runners world magazine, running downhill creates elongated quad muscles and micro tears so probably contributed. Lack of stretching? Maybe.

I had taken care between the 10 miler and half by running short distances and continuing the longer walk breaks. I think my competitiveness came out and was the ultimate cause.

Now to skip my long run this weekend and rest till this groin injury is over because I don’t want a repeat of this spring where it lead to SI pain. I have a PT apt scheduled for the day I return from vacation.

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: No major pain, even the mid-back pain I had had weeks earlier had subsided
  • Taped: Both knees.
  • During: both groin soreness mile 4-13. Calves a medium soreness mile 4-13.
  • Post Race: Stretched a little while waiting in line with friends, cool breeze. Both groin low pain, calf soreness, wore compression sleeves when I got home.
  • Day after: walked 18 holes of hilly golf. Aleve all day. Groin pain was low, and calf soreness low – just a few awkward steps after waking up.
  • three days after race: went for a run and only got .5 mile before realizing it was an injury and not soreness.

SI Joint Pain

I’m still quite injured.

This is the injury that started out as groin pain in mid February.

Three weeks ago, the Physical Therapist said I could run again and strength train, so I did. The SI pain hasn’t gone away though. Today, I woke up early, was so excited to get out on a run and as I leaned over to put on my running shoes I felt the pain. My shoes never made it on.

It’s not stop-dead-in-your-tracks pain, but I don’t want to have this injury the rest of my life like my sister has. Through the years, I’ve heard how debilitating it is for her.

I am extremely sad about this. About not running. But the consequences are just too great.

Hammy

Right now I’m dealing with an insanely tight hamstring and hip flexor and even groin.

The trainer at the gym, who had no knowledge of my hip/groin injury, spotting me overcompensating for something going on in my hip while doing the leg curl. Disappointing news bc that means when I run I’m overcompensating.

Nonetheless I have a 6 mile run planned for tomorrow 🙂

Any tricks to remembering to do physical therapy exercises?

Cross training

Cross training. That’s what I’ll be doing for the foreseeable future.

Had a good hard run last Thursday but was sidelined. Went to my physical therapist and had some work done. Then on Sunday ran 4 miles easy. Waited till yesterday to run again and with the first few steps I knew I wouldn’t want to run 26.2 miles with this uncomfortable feeling.

I’m going to bow out of my goal of 26.2 for this year. I was crying, not from pain, but sadness on the last half of my out and back 1.5 mile run. Defeated is a good word. And I don’t even understand how I got here.

People are trying to encourage me: to cycle, to get massages, to stretch.

I would like to see an article where someone completed their first half while only cycling for the first two months of training. That would life my spirits.