Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Run To Be ~ NWM Race Report

I have been excited about this race since April. I love San Francisco. I love chocolate. I love firemen, in fact, I found my new boyfriend. We hit it off like a house on fire... grin.

I love spending time in the city. Of course we had to go to Fisherman's Warf and Pier 39.

We flew in to SF on Saturday, the day before the race. I think that is when everyone else came into the city as well. The expo was so crowded...the line for the packet pick up was crazy long.. It was worse than the lines at Disneyland in the middle of summer, only it was cold. Oi Vey! But they were efficient and the line moved quickly, we were only in line for about 20 minutes. With packet in hand we left to explore the city. 

Each street seemed to have a bigger hill than the last. I was getting a little worried about how I was going to handle the hills with my knee, it had been aching a little all week...I did just run the STG marathon two weeks ago. I was running this race against doctor's orders. (8 weeks in between races is what was recommended). But since this trip was already paid for and the bling came in a little blue box, I had to do it! 

By the time we got back to the hotel, I had myself all worked up. And not in a good way. I was feeling apprehensive and nervous. I was having self doubt. I don't like feeling that way, so I pushed it away. I took my GABA and went to sleep, and slept surprisingly well. 

The alarm went off at 5 am. I went through my routine. Ate a yogurt, a banana, took my vitamins (multi, B12, vitamin C, which aids in the absorption of the B12, fish oil, and glucosamine chondroitin. AND I remembered my immodium! (: I  got to Union Square about 6:25. I was still feeling a bit uneasy.

I turned on my Garmin and it couldn't find the satellite, but I started the timer anyway as I crossed the start line. (I ran 1.75 miles before it found the signal). As I started running, all the uneasy feelings went away. I had this! It felt like clockwork. Nothing mattered any more, because I was doing what I love. I was running and it felt so good! The course was great. The hills were not as bad as I had anticipated! We started at Union Square and made our way to The Embarcadero..we basically ran the whole coastline of SF. I absolutely loved running through Golden Gate Park. The Eucalyptus trees smelled so good in the rain. We ran around Lake Merced and ended on the The Great Highway.

I was really emotional during the last half of the race. I don't know if it was because of all the estrogen around me, but I kept getting teary. And then when I finally saw the finish line I started weeping. I tried to stop and I was doing a pretty good job until I crossed the finish line and then all the emotion came out! The first thing I noticed were the beautiful firemen..then I notice the red carpet...then the beautiful firemen...very nice. I accepted my little blue Tiffany's box from a handsome man in a tuxedo and made my way through the finish area. I was trying to hold back my tears. I was freezing, and they were out of mylar blankets! One of the volunteers said, "If you had come in an hour ago, there would have been a blanket for you. Why did you come in so late?" I wanted to kick him in the balls! But I restrained myself..I went to the medical tent and the kind man looked at my teary face and asked, "Do you need a blanket?" He unfolded it and wrapped it around me and tied it, all while I just cried. I have never been so emotional at the end of a race before. Estrogen? I think yes! I didn't even stop to get a finisher's picture...ah well, they all turn out ugly anyway, right? (:

And later, when I opened this...

 I cried again...
Keep running!

Thank you Little Caesars!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Coming Clean

I've been keeping a secret. Back in June, I went to see a doctor for my knee. Some of you may remember that this doctor was a complete idiot and told me I was "too old to be running and you should take up cycling..." Hmm that didn't go over very well...any way, long story short, he diagnosed me with ITBS. I still took a DNS for the Utah Valley marathon, even though he told me I could probably run it, "but I would pay for it." 8 weeks later I ran the Missoula marathon with relatively no pain, but after that race I was really sore. I was supposed to run the Deseret News marathon that month as well, but with the pain in my knee, I wasn't sure how it was going to happen. Since I was going to be in SLC anyway, I made an appointment with my REAL sports medicine doctor...Dr. Toronto...let me just say, I love Dr. Toronto! 
Of course I told him what the other guy said, and the diagnosis he gave me. This was our conversation:
Dr T: He said it was ITBS?
Me: Yep
Dr. T: Did he take X-rays?
Me: Yep
Dr. T: Do you have them with you?
Me: No (I have since acquired them, and they look very similar to the ones Dr. Toronto took).
Dr T: And he said it was ITBS??
Me: Yep
Dr. T: Hmmm, he said it was ITBS..? Wow, that is surprising, let me show you why. (as he put my x-rays up to the light)

Those are my knees. Can you see the difference? I sat on the exam table while Dr. Toronto explained that my right meniscus is shrinking and it is half of what it should be. I have degenerative joint disease. He sat down next to me and looked me in the eyes and said, "I am really sorry, if I could change it I would." That is why I love Dr. Toronto. He gets it. He is an athlete. He runs marathons. He has treated every one of my sports injuries over the past 15 years and each time he says something like, "give it a rest for a few days, then on Wednesday run 3-4 miles and call me and let me know how it goes." Then he gives his advice for the next run... etc. He is very pro-active. But the best news was that he said I don't have to stop running! My 40 by 40 goal will have to be tweaked, it is going to take me a little longer, but I can still run! He gave me a cortisone shot, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and it helped a lot. 

Over the past few months he has been treating me over the phone. I have been on prednisone a couple of times, but things seem to be going well. I am learning how to adjust my running/training/racing  schedule. The elliptical machine has become my best friend. I will eventually have to have surgery, but for now we will take care of it like this. I am really grateful that Dr. Toronto was the one to give me the bad news. It really could have been ugly for me getting this news from that first doc. My knee has slowed my goals down a little bit, but I am definitely not giving up! So that is my secret.

Keep running!

Oh, and go check out Beth's $100 giveaway for fitness at Shut Up And Run!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1. Did you know October is national pizza month? I am a little partial to Little Caesars...(: So go celebrate national pizza month and eat some pizza...don't forget the crazy bread! 

2. We have been singing the song "Goodbye Earl" by the Dixie Chicks at our house for days! My girlie loves it, knows all the words, and sings it A LOT! She even sings it with that country "twang."

3. I will be running the Nike Women's marathon on Sunday. I always love visiting San Francisco!

Want to know why I am especially excited for this race? The "bling" of course!

These guys hand them out!

And add a little chocolate into that mix...what could be better?
Keep running!

Monday, October 4, 2010

St George Marathon 2010 Race Report

I know I have said it many times.. I LOOOOOVE the St. George Marathon! I love the course! I love running in the desert! I love how the sun hits Snow Canyon in the morning! I love running by the volcanoes! I love running 26.2 miles! Saturday was a great day for me!

Half way up to the start I realized I forgot my Immodium! At that point my only thoughts were of Beth over at Shut Up And Run. No need to say more..(:  After the initial panic was gone, I relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the bus ride. And as it turned out I only had to stop off at the loo once (mile 16).

As I got off the bus, I knew it was going to be a hot day. I didn't even need my gloves! Someone said it was a record high for the STG marathon. In the six times I have run this race, I don't remember it ever being as warm as it was on Saturday.

I felt great from my first step. Everything seemed to just gel and there were no problems with my knee, in fact, there was no pain in my knee the entire race! Yay! I had to shed my long sleeves a half mile into the run. At every aid station I took two cups of water, one to drink and one to dump on my head. And towards the end I was dumping 3 cups on my head. I know that is what kept me going. I saw more full shuttles and medical help this year than in years past. Lots of people were affected by the heat.

Can I just say, if you are going to wear pea green, you shouldn't wear it from head to toe. Especially if you are a man. (You know who you are!) But more importantly, if you are going to wear pea green and fart repeatedly for six steps please have the common courtesy to keep it muffled... Now let me explain. As I was running up the Veyo hill I saw this guy who reminded me of the Jolly Green Giant. He was wearing green shoes, green compression socks, green shorts,  green head band and green wrist bands. As I got closer, over my music, I could hear him farting with every step. I  know we all do it, but I think most of us try to do it with a little discretion. We've all been running along and realized we just got a mouthful of fart, but when you get the audible with it... I quickly 'changed lanes' and passed his green arse.

The race was pretty uneventful for me other than "The Green Machine." The miles seemed to fly by and I just enjoyed the day. The last 3 miles seemed harder than usual. I appreciated so much the energy and encouragement the spectators gave. I made the final turn to the finish line and I was really feeling the heat. The National Guard was there along that last stretch. I was comforted knowing that if I needed help, they were there.  As always, the St George marathon was awesome! If you haven't run it, make sure you put it on your to do list!

22 down...18 to go!  Keep running!