Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I do still blog...really: A very long, semi-disjointed ramble about where I've been...

Really, I do. It's just been stuck in my head for umm...5 months and 2 weeks. Yikes, has it really been that long? I've reread my last post regarding getting ready for the Providence Marathon probably a thousand times this summer in preparation to write something about that (not so pleasant) experience, but each time I was unable to get the words out of my head and down in a coherent fashion. So instead of writing a big lengthy piece about it, filled with emotion and an in depth analysis of the inner turmoil surrounding the unfortunate turn of events that caused me not to run Providence, I'll just stick to the facts so we can move on.

1. I came down with a fierce stomach bug the Wednesday before the Providence Marathon and spent 12 hours in the bathroom, sick in all ways (won't go into more detail than that).
2. I was unable to eat until Saturday afternoon (no food, except for a donut D convinced me to eat on Friday, for 2.5 days).
3. I knew I shouldn't run, but I also knew I couldn't NOT run. So I did. And with 100 meters I knew I wasn't going to finish. But I kept running. And decided at mile 8 I had gotten in a good enough workout to call it quits as I had probably sweat out any remaining sickness at that point...but apparently there was no "aid station" until mile 15...which wasn't even an aid station but an ambulance that would only take me to the hospital.
4. So, in a "holy crap, I am so effed" moment, I hitch-hiked. Yep. Jumped in a car with total strangers. And they brought me back to the start/finish. At least I can know cross hitch-hiking off my bucket list.
5. I got my first DNF. I was ok for a few days, because I knew there was no way I was finishing that race without ending up in the hospital first. Then, I suddenly was not ok with it. I was angry. Not angry at the DNF. But angry that I had got sick. For Providence. AGAIN. (brief overview of that disaster here).
6. I decided Providence is indeed cursed and most likely will not be making a return trip.

Ok, the end.

But then, the best thing happened. A pain in the butt injury (literally) I'd been nursing all through Providence training became very real. I finally rested up after my "non-marathon," as I've come to call it, thinking this niggle would heal. But when it didn't, I went to see my good old friend Dr. Sedgwick (his response - "you's only been 5 months this time"). After X-rays and poking and prodding he said that I most likely had hip bursitis along with some tendonitis and referred me to PT. PT was beyond awesome. Seriously, the best thing that ever happened to me. It was my wake up call. My PT was blunt and honest and I loved it. He told me I had some very weak glutes. We worked together for only about 3 weeks and I was religious with my home exercises, but the pain went away almost immediately, and I instantly caught the strength training bug.

So, since we've last chatted, I've completed this book TWICE through...

And then started PiYo. (More to come on this later).
I felt stronger and better than ever.  I had finally stuck with strength training for more than two weeks and was proud.

But just as my strength training started to take off, my running got sidetracked, yet again. I was struck down with Planter's fasciitis in late July and had to take about 9 days off. It took almost 6 weeks to heal, and although I was lucky to be able to run through most of it, I had to stop doing workouts, as speed bothered it, and was resigned to slow miles. I had also gotten some health related news in early July that threatened to put the kibosh on my marathon training (don't really want to get into this yet - maybe someday) and just really took the wind out of my sails for training in general.

One step forward, two steps back.

As Chicago approached, I was really at a loss for a goal, and decided just to run what I felt that day.

Race day happened, and I somehow had the race of my life. No wall hit. No need to walk. First marathon I've run in it's entirety. First marathon done on heart rate, and done way UNDER heart rate levels (ave 159 - 9 beats below lactate!).  Present the whole time. A PR (ok, it was only 9 seconds, but it was a hell of a lot easier than my last marathon at almost the same time!). And, a very unexpected, second Boston Qualifier.

I was lucky enough to have the company of Danielle for this race experience. She sums up the race much than I just did in her blog. What was so neat about it, was that Danielle had a similar experience to me at marathon 10 (cursed marathon number 10). A damn DNF.

After the marathon, she posted this on her facebook page...

I kept going back and rereading it in the days after the marathon. I'll be honest, after Providence, I really questioned if I wanted to run marathons anymore. ALL that training, ALL that hard work...for one, flipping day. And then, if you get a stomach bug, get a chest cold, aren't hydrated enough, there is a freak hurricane, is such a let down. But even though it is a let not all for nothing. My DNF and subsequent injuries laid the groundwork for strength training I would have never done otherwise. I am a stronger runner, and person because of it. Mentally and physically.

I've been reflecting on the Providence non-marathon, and the Chicago AWESOME marathon all week, and I was reminded of this picture I've posted before in my blog.

Yea...I may have "failed" in Providence. But it was just fuel for the fire. Fall down 5 times, get up 6, or something like that. I'm back on the horse again, and now I'm on a mission...

 Stay tuned!

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