Thursday, March 15, 2012

Training for the Half

Last week, I received one of the most perfectly timed gifts of my life.

But, let me start the story at the beginning. And since it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, some important plot points are necessary.

On February 25th I ran 9.2 miles. Also that day, my dear friend Katie turned 25. Katie is training for a marathon and she's doing a half in mid-April. After talking to her, and getting evermore annoyed with my unceasing frugality. I registered for a half-marathon. $93 freakin’ dollars.

I’m going to run the Zooma Half Marathon on March 31st at the Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop, TX.
The training continues,

On Saturday, March 3rd, I completed a 9.1 mile run with a meet up group sponsored by the race. The run was supposed to be 10 miles, but they shorted us a few, and I was unhappy about this. You know you’ve changed when you are upset that you only ran 9.1 miles. Only. I know, I know, ridiculous.

I finished the run and made it back home by 9:30am. Chris was out golfing, so I had the house to myself to lounge around all day. Perfection. March 3rd was also one of the most beautiful spring days we’ve had yet, so after a breakfast sandwich, a protein smoothie, and 3.5 hours of television, I felt like I’d feel even better if I went outside in the sunshine. Then I thought, “ah, I can plant this year’s garden!” And by garden, I mean, a few pots I have on my back deck. We don’t have a yard, but I’ve made the best of what space we have. I leaned over to grab last year’s dead plants and instantly felt a horrible tightening in my lower left-back. Uh oh.

Oh yes. The same horrific feeling I felt last fall. Same spot, same tightening. But on the bright side, the pain level was about half what it was last time. Maybe it would go away with some yoga?
I went inside and tried stretching out in all sorts of ways, but the pain was not going away. I’d hurt my back, AGAIN.

Like I said, it wasn’t as bad as last time, so I tried to carry on as normal. I finished my garden (I already have some growth!), did household chores, and went on an awesome date-night with Chris. Unfortunately, I woke up on Sunday morning feeling even worse. I went to yoga, hoping more stretching would help, however I was pretty limited on which poses I could do. On the bright side, I was able to stretch out my legs without any pain, phew.
Bringing us to Monday, where all day long I fretted about what I should do. I had 3 weekends until the race. Long enough to continue, but not unless I healed up quickly. Should I see a chiropractor? Should I see a physical therapist? It seemed like every person I went to for advice told me something different. I was a mess of indecision and on the verge of tears. By the end of the day I decided I’d do exactly what I did last time this happened, lie on the heating pad on the floor and do some gentle stretching. No running, no weights, no nothing. Just take it easy and heal up quickly.
Needless to say, Katie’s gift could not have arrived at a more perfect time. I got the mail Monday after work; in it was her package.

I started reading it immediately. It’s hilarious, it’s accurate, it’s motivating. And although it was frustrating to read about this woman’s runs while being unable to run myself, I related with her stories and knew as soon as my back healed, I’d be back out there.

And sure enough, by Thursday the 8th, I ran 3.5 miles on the treadmill and did the best yoga class I’d done in a loooong time. That Saturday I didn’t think I should do the 10 miles I’d originally planned on, so that’s the distance I have to run this weekend.

I’m nervous. I haven’t done as well with my shorter runs this week, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do the full 10 without walking. Dawn touches on this in the book, but the run/walk method that a lot of people use doesn’t work very well for me. Whenever I stop to walk it’s like my body thinks it’s done running, and when I try to run again it doesn’t want to do it. All of a sudden my legs are tighter than they originally were. It’s easier for me to just keep running. Or at least, that’s how I've felt during the 93,000 other training runs I've done.

Here’s hoping the 10 miler goes just as smoothly. Here’s hoping.

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