Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Leading Ladies Race Report

So this is a rather sad race report because it ends with a DNF (did not finish). As you know, I injured my foot a few weeks before race day. My doctor had cleared me to run, and I spent a frantic few days trying to get my leg loosened up after 11 days on crutches.

My mom and I left early Friday morning for the 15 hour drive to Spearfish, SD. We spent Saturday walking around Mt Rushmore and picking up my packet at the Expo. I got a $500 gift card in my goody bag! I must have gotten the lucky bag, because that's a lot of money to give 700 participants. I also got to meet Yolanda Holder, who has the Guiness World Record for most marathons run by a woman in one calendar year (106). She's in the process of breaking her own record, and Leading Ladies was number 67 for the year. I got an autographed copy of her book. Really cool!

I got up around 3:30 Sunday morning and headed to the bus that would take me to the start line. It was about 55 degrees outside, not bad running weather. And then we drove 3000 feet up the mountain, where it was 42. Brr! I like running in the cold, but as the sun came up the temperature in the canyon quickly warmed up to almost 80. The wide range of temperatures was pretty difficult on top of everything else.

I started off slow but picked up the pace as my muscles loosened up. Things seemed to be going well, except for one problem. I had pain with every. single. step. It wasn't what I would call a "damage" pain, but it was uncomfortable. Despite that, I was still doing really well, finishing the first half in an even 3 hours.

I really enjoyed the beautiful course. There was a mountain stream next to the road for the first half, and you could hear it bubbling. There was a fresh pine scent in the air, and you could see the sunshine move its way down to the bottom of the canyon. This song kept running through my head as I ran.

Horrible pic, I was crying

While very beautiful, the course was absolutely brutal for someone with an injured foot. Because it's so small, and because it's run on a scenic tourist drive, they did not close down the road for this race. We had to run on the far left side of the road. If you've ever run on a highway, especially on a banked curve, you know it angles down at the sides. My bad foot was turned at an angle the whole way, putting the most pressure on the worst possible spot. I tried to move toward the center of the road where it's flatter when I could, but a car would always come along right as I got into a rhythm. I also tried running in the grass next to the road, and that was my undoing. Just after the 21 mile marker, I stepped on a clod of dirt directly under the spot where it hurts. I had immediate sharp pain that continued for the rest of the race. I had to walk another two miles to get to the next aid station, where I asked the ambulance for a ride to the finish.

It was so disappointing not to finish. However, 23 miles in 5:30ish on a bad foot is pretty awesome! As they say in Boston, I am wicked hard core. Thinking of my PE Sisters really helped me push through as far as I did. The race director still made sure I got a medal and a rose.

Mom and I headed back to the hotel for a quick shower, then had a 15 hour drive home so Mom could get to work Monday. I'm mostly recovered. My foot still aches, but hopefully is heading in the right direction. I'm taking a few weeks off before I start training for my next race, and I'll do that very carefully.

The most important thing is that I raised $4000 for the Preeclampsia Foundation. Thanks to all who donated and who prayed for and encouraged me during my training.

One more item of business. Since I did not have a finish time, I put the names of everyone who had submitted a guess into a hat, and Smartie pulled out Melodee! Mel, I'll make sure to give you your gift card on Friday when I see you.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Guess My Finish Time

It's time for another game of Guess My Finish Time. All you have to do is leave a comment under this post by 6:00am CST Sunday (the start of the race) with your guess in hours:minutes (and I guess seconds if you want to be that specific). Price is Right rules are in effect--closest without going over. Winner gets a $10 gift card to Starbucks. Encouragement is appreciated.

I got four miles in tonight, and it went much better than yesterday. Still not great, but I'm not *quite* as terrified of the bus of shame. If I were healthy, I'd be shooting for a finish time of 5:50. Running wounded, I think anything under 6:30 would be pretty darn good, and as long as I'm under the 7:00 cut off, I'll be happy.

It looks like I'll only have roaming service for my phone, so I probably won't update until I get home Monday. Can't wait to post my successful race report!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's Not Broken!

Yep, we're dancing here! I spent 11 days on crutches thinking it was likely my foot was broken, but praying desperately it wasn't. I figured if it was broken, I'd be ahead of the game on healing, and if it wasn't, I was only inconveniencing myself.

I had an MRI yesterday, and the tech (with a lot of disclaimers) said she couldn't see a break. I tentatively started walking on my foot last night. Wow. My ankle feels weak and my whole leg is stiff.

I got the official call this morning. Doctor says it's not broken and to go ahead and enjoy my race! After screaming, texting my family, and posting on Facebook, I got right on the treadmill for an easy mile. I did another mile this afternoon, then met up with my team and coaches this evening. We worked out a plan for the next few days, and I did another two miles with them.

Now my right leg from toe to lower back is so stiff and tight it feels like I've already run the marathon, while my left side could easily go another ten miles. This is not going to be a pretty race, but that's okay. A finish is a win. As long as I can get across the finish line within the 7 hour time limit, I'll sing all the way home.

Thanks to everyone who prayed over the last two weeks, and if you feel so moved, I'd appreciate more prayers over the next few days as I rehab and then run.

Friday, August 3, 2012

This is a Nightmare

After a really awesome 20 mile run on Saturday with minimal discomfort, my foot started hurting Monday. Like, really bad and getting worse. So I went to the doctor today, and he said if it were up to him, he'd assume it's a stress fracture and boot me for six weeks. But since I REALLY, REALLY want to run my race in two weeks, he ordered an x-ray and MRI. The x-ray had no obvious fracture. The MRI is scheduled for the 13th, and in the mean time I'm staying off my feet as much as possible (says the mom of four active children!) I'm holding out hope that I can still run, or at least walk at least the Half. This is just terrible timing.