Oh, running, what a roller coaster relationship we have. Let me catch you up.
November was my first half marathon. I went with two friends to Tampa, FL where we ran a half and celebrated my birthday. It was a fun weekend. Let me just say, Florida is where it's at for November running. The temps were perfect, and it is so FLAT!!!! We came to a bridge at one point that had a little rise and I heard someone say, "there's a Florida hill". They weren't joking. That's the most elevation I saw the entire time. It was awesome!
I really had no idea what to shoot for time wise. Our training runs can be all over the place, but I'd say normally average between a 12:30 and 13 minute mile. So, I went in with a hope of being under 2:45. I didn't run all the long runs I should have. I could give you excuses, but it just didn't happen. However, I did run a lot of miles leading up to the race. I was running 4-5 miles a day 4-5 days a week.
When the race started, I felt great! It was all I could do not to sprint the first 3 miles. When I got to mile 3, I was running an 11 minute pace. Between miles 4 and 5 I slowed down a bit. When I reached mile 5 I was still under an hour. Miles 5-10 I still felt really good. I walked thru all the water stops and ate a Goo at Mile 8, something I probably shouldn't have done since I had never tried one before, but my problem tends to be running out of fuel. I paid for it later, but during the race, I really think it helped me. At Mile 10, I was still under 2 hours and under a 12 minute pace. Mile 11 is when I started fading a little. And either mile 11 or 12, they had us run thru the Tampa Bay Rays stadium. It was neat, but it was AstroTurf and it was like running on a rug, just weird. Once we made it out of there, it was mile 13, and I was just excited. My shoe came untied somewhere during 13 and when I tried to lift it up to tie it, my leg was shaking like crazy. Got it tied and trudged on. I really believe my least favorite part of a race is the last few tenths. It seems so close, but it's so far, and you want to sprint, but there is nothing left. I crossed the finish line in 2:40, woo-hoo! Now I have a baseline and something to beat! I spent the first 5 minutes after crossing trying not to die. I must have looked horrible, because this woman came up and asked if I needed medical attention and started patting me on the back :-)
Overall, it was just so much more enjoyable than I expected. There were lots of spectators, especially in the last half and our bibs had our names, so they would cheer for you by name, how great! They also had live music at different places along the race. I would definitely give it a big thumbs up and I'm looking forward to my next one.
Since then, I ran a 5K in Huntsville thru the Christmas lights in the Botanical Gardens. I really enjoyed it. It was a night race, which I LOVE, and I just felt really good the whole time. I haven't a clue what my time was, and I ran with a friend who had been out with an injury so we slowed down a bit a few times, but it was just fun. I hope they do it again next year.
Now for my injury... My foot is mended for the time being, but now my knee is in a bad shape. The Wednesday before the half, it started hurting all the sudden while we were running. It didn't hurt too much during the race, I think adrenaline had a lot to do with that, but since then, it's been a booger. It's so weird, walking doesn't hurt and sprinting doesn't hurt, but anything in between makes me want to cry and scream. I think it's probably IT band and I've been researching some exercises, but I finally broke down and went to the doctor today. The x-rays were normal, which I am thankful for, but I thought they would be ok. Now he wants to do an MRI. He is also sending me to the physical therapist, which I'm excited about. I really think this is something that can be treated with some good exercises, at least I really hope so. Bad part, he said not to run until after the MRI and I see him again. Boo hiss. I, of course, am already trying to justify running in my mind, but I guess that isn't the thing to do so I guess I'll just walk, and maybe this will inspire me to work on my abs and arms.
Speed... as I said above, I can sprint with little pain, so I've been working on speed some. I did a 10:06 mile one day last week which is booking for me! Now I want to get one that starts with single digits!!!
So, that's been the running story for the past few months. Hopefully this knee issue is minor, and I'll be pain free again soon!