A couple of weeks ago I ran the Orange County 5K. It was my reluctant backup plan after deciding to forgo the OC half marathon because my abbreviated training plan after my knee injury hadn’t really prepared me for it. Actually, by the time race day rolled around I probably could have handled 13.1 miles, but it was better than I didn’t try. (This was a huge benefit one week later when I ran the Tinkerbell 10K and half marathon, but that’s a story for another post.) One of my co-workers ran the half marathon wearing my bib so at least my registration didn’t go to waste. May 3rd was perfect running weather – cool, cloudy, and calm. May Gray has been kind to us so far this month. (Another thing I’ll write about in a later post.) This was in stark contrast to last year when we were at the tail end of an unseasonably hot week. Actually, the 2014 Orange County 5K was my first 5K, and only my second race ever. I’d like to say I was faster this year, but that wouldn’t be true. After my injury back in January I was just happy to be running without any pain! I was slow, but fairly steady, and I crossed the finish line with a smile in my face. Maybe it was just a 5K, but I was still proud. My running regimen was finally back on track!
P.S. My co-worker finished the OC half marathon in less than two hours! Crazy!
Spring has been nuts so far. My initial foray back into running post-injury went well, but I wasn’t very consistent. However, a few weeks ago I started running regularly again and for a while it was going well. I ran four miles, three days a week and my knee didn’t hurt at all. It was fantastic. But then I started increasing my mileage. About three weeks ago I ran six miles in my attempt to start getting ready for my next half marathon. It wasn’t a great run because it was a bit warm and the Powerade Zero I brought with my made me nauseous. During my walking breaks I stretched a bit to keep my knee healthy, and when I thought I had succeeded. But the next day I was really disappointed that it was hurting. I went to spinning that Monday night, which helped a little, but my knee still didn’t feel quite right. So I took a week off from running. I also went to the chiropractor which helped a little, but not nearly as much as I was hoping. Unfortunately the best therapy for my particular problem is rest, which is frustrating with so many races coming up I May. So I made a difficult decision. After weighing all of my options, I decided to forgo the Orange County half marathon on May 3rd. Mostly because I won’t be anywhere near prepared to run 13.1 miles that day, but also because I don’t want to risk getting injured before the Tinkerbell races at Disneyland the next weekend. Fortuitously, one of my co-workers wants to take my OC half marathon bib so it won’t go to waste. As a consolation prize I decided to do the OC 5K instead since I still want to get a medal that weekend. I’m still worried about not being ready for the Tinkerbell 10K and half marathon on May 9th and 10th, but at least skipping the OC half marathon will give me a better chance of being uninjured. I paid a lot of money for the Disney races and I am going to get my medals! The good news is that my run last night was the best I’ve had since I got hurt in January. Everything clicked. Granted, I ran really slowly (even for me), but at least I wasn’t exhausted and gasping for air the whole time. Hopefully this trend continues. Fingers crossed!
Last night I went on just about the most pathetic run of my life. I knew things were going to be bad when I started getting winded after only about a quarter mile. And it didn’t get any easier after that. It was one of those runs where I just couldn’t catch my breath. Very discouraging. But throughout the misery, I kept telling myself that every run helps me get ready for my next race. Some people say a bad run is better than no run, and most of the time I agree with them. (There are other times that I’m pretty sure I should have stayed on the couch eating junk food, though!) I’m still seriously out of shape since getting injured back in January (sometimes Disney World is not such a magical place), but the Orange County half marathon is on May 3rd and I’d like to be at least somewhat prepared for it. It’s going to be tough, but my plan is to ramp up the mileage of my weekend runs between now and then so that 13.1 miles won’t be such a shock five weeks from now. I’m definitely nervous, but I think I can do it. Unfortunately awful runs like last night make my confidence wane. But as I was recovering from those 4 miles that I barely survived, I looked back and realized just how far I’ve come on this journey. First I got horrible blisters from my Nike Frees so I bought several other types of running shoes to try. Then I started getting really bad ankle pain, which led to a podiatrist telling me I was a severe overpronator. Luckily a pair of orthotic inserts and some stability shoes fixed that problem. Then I developed tendonitis in my foot. I have to lace my shoes up pretty tightly because the orthotics prevent my running shoes from fitting too well. The good news is usually I can keep the tendonitis at bay by keeping my laces a bit looser. Finally, my January injury during the Disney World half marathon. What I initially thought was a knee problem turned out to be iliotibial (IT) band syndrome. It took several trips to the chiropractor and an appointment with an orthopedist to figure that out, but at least it’s a problem solved. Rest and lots of stretching was the cure. There have definitely been a lot of obstacles so far! What’s next? Hopefully nothing serious! I’ve registered for way too many races already this year and I don’t want to miss any of them!