Its hard to write a running blog when you aren’t running. I just can’t seem to get my brain to want to create. You don’t really realize how important running is to creativity until you can’t for a while.
Late August, during a long run something just went wrong in my ankle. Turns out – it was, according to the doctor who didn’t seem to realize he had a marathoner in his office, peroneal tendonitis. His advice? Just bike for a few weeks.
I’m like ummmm yeah cuz you know, its not like I have fall races planned! Especially the half-marathon that was roughly a month after I saw him. But I took a deep breath, trusted that my body would remember….and got my butt on the bike. And it helped. And I slowly eased my way back into running.
Since late August I have iced and rolled and worn compression socks and tried biofreeze and tiger balm and anything that “doctor google” recommended.
I have also completed three races. One good, one better, one best.
The first was a 5K – the Irish Cultural Center half-way to St. Patrick’s Day 5k. I walked it. I walked it FAST…in sparkly green and white and my custom design “Irish as Heck” shirt. I played tag with a run/walker, who called me a leprechaun (but had a net time 2 seconds slower than me. LOL) and I had a great post-race craic with my run posse.
It was GOOD.
Then came a 10k – the Ocean Road 10k. This I ran/walked with my pirate posse. It was my friend Linda’s first 10k, and knowing I couldn’t race yet, I choose to party with the pirates. There were four of us following a Galloway interval (a first for me in a race) and we had an absolute blast – plus looked Ah-dorable. 🙂
That was even BETTER.
Then came the big one – the final leg of the BAA Distance Medley….the BAA Half Marathon. I had 3 hours to finish this. Which is about a 13:44/mile pace. And I was terrified. It had been 6 weeks since i’d run more than 8 minutes straight and I had no idea if I could pull this off. I had to trust in muscle memory and willpower, and hope that I could most of the first few miles to give myself a cushion for when I inevitably imploded.
I started with friends…
And we all split off to run our own races.
I totally crushed the first mile – as it was all downhill. The ankle held pretty well but I stopped myself 13 minute in to walk 2 minutes. I didn’t trust it yet. And didn’t want to do anything stupid. For the next few miles I ran 8 minutes/walk 2 and was really surprised to see I was still averaging a great pace.
By mile 5 I pretty much knew I had this. By mile 7, I definitely knew. I had banked myself enough time that I could walk the rest of the race and be sub-3. But where’s the fun in that?
The intervals got shorter… down to 5 minutes running or walking longer than 2 minutes when needed. Heck by the end I was convincing myself even 90 seconds of running was good because it was cutting down my overall time.
At mile 12, cruising through the zoo (yep, this race actually goes through a zoo – and I passed a warthog and a wildebeest (what is this the Lion King?) I realized I had a chance to go sub 2:30. And suddenly, I REALLY wanted that.
We came out of the zoo and toward the stadium we were going to finish in. It had a lot of downhill and I just cruised along to almost to the entrance. I could see the 13 mile marker and I wanted to be able to finish strong. So I walked for a smidge. Of course, the spectators were ALL over that “Go Kelly, come on, you got this, you look SO cute, you can totally do this” Awwww – my adoring fans!
I started running, though the gates onto the track and smiled. Just a little jaunt around the turn and then kicked to the finish… every last drop. I crossed arms raised.
And then went to claim my unicorns.
I may have cried a little when they hung my Distance Medley medal around my neck. Because I worked so hard for this one. I gave it everything I had to finish, and finish well. Its about giving 100% of what you have, even when you don’t have 100%.
This? Well….this was the BEST!