Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I haven’t been entirely truthful about what’s been going on with me, but since it nearly had me on the verge of tears a couple of times, it’s probably important.

It started with some shin splint-type pain in my left leg shortly after the Women’s Half Marathon. I immediately freaked out knowing that I had the Middle Half coming up. I rested but not really. I took Advil. I iced and foam-rolled. It got better enough that I ran 7 miles the Monday of Middle Half without too much pain, and I made it through the race with minimal discomfort. However, I could tell that my right leg was overcompensating.


Then I developed a hacking cough. First it was only in the morning and at night. Then I started coughing during the day. Then I bruised a rib (right side this time), which was also aggravated by the Middle Half. Don’t I look like I’m having fun?


The Sunday after the Middle Half, I treated myself to a pedicure, and I got some of the extras including the sea salt scrub. The guy doing the pedicure was scrubbing the heck out of my legs but in a hurt-so-good way, that I didn’t really think about it. That night, I slept in my Zensah calf sleeves. When I woke up on Monday morning, my lower legs were red & itchy. It turned out that I had quite the case of folliculitis. I will definitely spare you all pictures, but my legs were hideous. Even more than a week later, I still look like I had a bad bout of poison ivy.

Later on Monday I was at work (where two other staff members had called in), and I started feeling clammy and feverish and completely lost my appetite. With no one else around, I tried to push through the rest of the day. On my way home, I stopped by Walgreens to get some Benadryl, took some, and promptly changed into my pajamas and went to bed. Of course, my doctor husband was out of town. I woke up at 9 pm feeling horrible, drank some Gatorade, talked to my mom and my husband, and went back to sleep. I made it through a presentation the next morning but left work that afternoon. I had a 102-degree fever for a few days, and I rarely get sick. Fortunately, the antibiotics I got seemed to work their magic quickly, and I was okay to return to work on Thursday. But I have rarely been taken out that thoroughly by an illness.


Thursday was my first run since Middle Half, and I did 4 miles around the greenway at about an 11-minute pace, though my heart rate was so high, you would’ve thought I was racing it. Slowly but surely, I’ve been recuperating. I’ve diagnosed my shin issue as being related to my weak hips that are allowing my left leg to overpronate. Between rolling out my calves with The Stick (thanks Abby!), taking Advil, and doing some hip strengthening exercises, I’m almost as good as new.

It’s been hard for me to ACTUALLY listen to my body and be patient with it as I recover from sickness and injury. I want my body to do what I want it to do rather than what it is capable of at this time. It’s also disrupted my enjoyment of running. When running is painful, it’s incredibly frustrating and saddening. I was feeling really burned out. So I’m shelving speedwork and tempo runs for a while and am just going to run fun miles with my mom or my husband or by myself. And I’m going to try not to care if those miles are slower than I would like. By the end of October, I’m hoping to have run 850 miles this year, which means November and December will be 75 mile months, and that is totally doable to reach my 1000 miles for the year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

To Marathon or Not To Marathon

That is the question.

I’ve been running regularly for over a year. This calendar year, I’ve averaged 15-25 miles a week. I’ve completed 3 (hopefully 4 by noon on Saturday) half marathons.

But am I ready to make the leap?


This is the one that’s on my mind. May 6, 2012. I would start training around the first of the year, and there’s a scheduled meet-up of an online women’s running group I’m a part of, so I would definitely have company.


  • Training in the winter means that I don’t have to get up a 5 am to get my runs in before it’s 8000 degrees with 100% humidity.
  • Joe has shown interest in the half, so we could potentially do some parts of training runs together.
  • Training groups for Country Music Marathon in Nashville tend to start up around that time as well, so I could look forward to group runs.


  • Time - I work 6 days a week and am on house-call every other weekend. Getting called to a death in the middle of a 16-mile run is not ideal.
  • Training in the winter is cold and potentially rainy and/or sleet-y and sometimes dark.
  • What if I get injured?
  • Running a marathon is hard.

Other things:

  • It seems like everyone is doing it, and after Chicago, reading people’s race recaps is so inspiring.
  • It would be a real test of my mental and physical strength, for better or for worse.

Help, please? Encouragement? Warnings? How to prepare to run a marathon?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Race Re-cap Part 3: The Race

Saturday came bright and early…and chilly. It was perfect running weather, but that nip in the air wasn’t quite as welcome standing around. I went back and forth between wearing a tank top and a short-sleeved shirt and came down on the tank top. My mom and her neighbor showed up shortly before 6, and we were on our way.


We nabbed a sweet parking spot, which meant we didn’t have to wait in the interminable gear check line to ditch our jackets. So we did our pre-race business where I ran into two of my husband’s co-workers.


Downtown was beautiful, even if we were a little chilly. I had a feeling it was going to be a great race. My mom and I discussed our plan. We wanted to have fun and take pictures…but we also lined up in front of the 2:15 pacer with the goal of keeping him behind us.


At the start with the Pinnacle building on the left and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on the right. Jo Dee Messina did a bang-up job singing the National Anthem, and we were off. It was a true wave start, and we were in the 3rd corral, so we scooted up to the start line and were given the go ahead. The first mile was slow because we were weaving in and out of people and trying not to trip on the potholes along 2nd Ave. 10:15 pace at the 1st mile marker.


I remarked that I had actually looked up what a sub-2:10 pace would be the morning of the race, you know, just for fun. In case you’re curious, it’s a 9:56 pace. 2nd mile – 9:19 pace. Hmm, how did that happen? We should probably slow down a touch. We headed into and out of Centennial Park and up and over some not-so-nice hills with our pace holding steady around 9:50. Most of the aid stations had people dressed up and cheering, and the bands were great. The men in the group I occasionally run with had planned their Saturday run so that they intersected with the race and cheered us on.


We hit the out-and-back portion of the course just in time to see the first runner heading back downtown. I knew I would start feeling better after five miles, and I was right on. I hit my stride and felt awesome up and down Belmont Blvd. It was also motivating to see everyone else. I took a Gu close to the turnaround. Miles 6-7 got a little speedy under 9:40. Once I hit mile 8, I felt confident that I wouldn’t die. My mom kept telling me to go ahead, that she didn’t want to keep me from my PR, but I would pull ahead for a little while and she’d catch up again.


We ran together up Music Row to the statue at Musica, and I was feeling pretty good so I pushed the pace a bit back into downtown. Mile 9 – 9:30. Mile 10 – 9:33. We ran down Broadway, and I remarked to a woman I was running with that I could really use a beer. Then we hit the big hill up 2nd Ave to the bridge over the river. I stopped to walk through the aid station and then picked it up again.

Miles 12-13 were a mental battle. We were so close to the finish line downtown but had to cross the river and go around LP Field before finishing. I had spent the whole race dreading the Korean Vets bridge back into downtown. When I hit mile 12, my mom told me to go again, but I could hardly feel my legs. We got to the bridge, and, like everyone else around me, I started to walk. My mom pulled up beside me and coached me into starting to run again. Little steps up and over the bridge. Somehow, mile 13 was the fastest mile of the race at 9:10.


Right now is when I start thinking, “Where the EFF is the finish line?” Finally, we turned a corner, and there it was so I tried to kick it in. Garmin time (and what ended up being official chip time):


Pretty solid PR for a race I was not planning to PR.


Joe was at the finish to take a bunch of pictures of me and my shiny medal.


Despite the hills, I really like this race. It’s got a good energy and is well-organized. It’s the perfect size to where there is crowd support, and you’re never alone. The volunteers were super enthusiastic, dressing up in costumes and dancing and cheering for all the runners. I was very happy with how it went, but I was ready to get to breakfast.


Happy running and racing, fellow WHM runners! It’s been a pleasure being your official blogger. Keep reading for my next running adventures.