Respect the Run: Getting to 500

Happy Tuesday Lovies.  I ran the One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon last weekend on Saturday in temps above 70 and  90% humidity, it was great and it sucked all at the same time.  Pretty sums up any 13.1 run right?   According to Runkeeper the race pushed me over the 500 miles run mark since I started running in November of 2010.

Race Recap

The One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon is the nations largest Mini capping entrants at 35,000 each year.  It is held in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana as part of the month long festivities for the Indy 500 and part of the lure of this course it the privilege of walking on the track for 2.5+ miles of the race.  I can only liken it to running in a 3 ring circus or festival.  There are bands at regular intervals all along the course and spectators are plentiful  throughout the course as well.    There are so many walkers and runners that you are always moving in a mass of people.  The line of those currently on the course stretches for miles, the starting corrals go from a-z and stretch for blocks  past the official start gate.  There are TV crews, the water stops are manned with giant crews of people, in short it is huge.

I was nervous about this race for the entire week. I had no idea how my legs, foot, hips were going to cooperate.  The forecast of heat, humidity and possible thunderstorms was freaking me out.  I’d (still) really like to have a half marathon where I run the entire thing with only walking at the rest stops.   I seem to  lose it in the last 3 or so miles every time when my mental and physical strength are low.  I made sure to hydrate and get outside to get acclimated in the days leading to the race.  Babu and I got plenty of relaxation and sleep, we got up on time  and  I noticed I felt pretty good.  I took a trip to the Chiro the Monday before the race for an hour deep tissue  and adjustment tune up.  I’m going to do this before every big race now because I think it really helped.   Saturday morning when I got up I was able to dress and walk around with zero pain or tightness.  I can’t tell you how long it has been since I had a morning like that.  The early morning was plenty cool and comfortable.  I knew it would be closer to 80 by the time we hit the last hour of our run, but I was counting on adrenaline for the end and the bling to get me by. We crossed the gate at exactly 23:23 in and I took that as a little sign. We started running and I felt GREAT! Like giddy great. I could breathe,  I wasn’t sore, the foot stopped hurting in the first 5 minutes.  This is the run start feeling I have been craving and missing for the last 2 months of training.  Before mile 2 I had sweat dripping off my arms, my first indication that it was humid in spite of missing that chewing your air feeling that comes in July.  We stopped at every water stop and in the beginning I mostly did the swish and spit, take a few small sips, then pour the rest on my wrists and hands trick.  One stop I put half the glass on my head.  I learned not do do that do much though or by the end my running skirt weighs about 5 pounds.   I ate my Sport Beans before we got into the track and wished I didn’t make that pit stop to pee when we got in. It cost me about 5 minutes and I don’t even think I had to go that bad.  Discovering my running skirt felt like an extremely wet swim suit of sweat was my confirmation that it was really humid.   The thing was in spite of the humidity we were keeping a sub 13 pace.   I even got high!  The  rush started at mile 3 and took me all the way to about mile 9.  Right before mile 9 we came out of the track.  I didn’t notice any big difference in weather or terrain. My legs still felt great, my foot still felt good, my attitude was in check.  We were only 4 miles from the end.  I  spent the first 9.5 or so miles feeling like the race was going great and it was pretty easy to do. At this point I even started cautiously calculating if we could make my goal of 2:45.  Out of the blue it seemed like it got really hard.   Not muscle hard, they were tired but no pain, I had no worries about my legs or foot making it the whole way.  I could still breathe, my mouth stayed wet, my heart rate was nice and steady. In truth if the weather had been different I could of pushed all of those things harder and I wanted to. But in order to force your body to make that leap you have to have either physical or mental boosting. You have to trick your body into giving you more, because it really doesn’t want to.     We didn’t get the 2nd package of beans onto our race gear so I didn’t have anything for a boost. Next time I’ll  make sure we have enough for me to take them at 6 and 9.  My ear buds were toast from running under every mist station they provided and I couldn’t get a music boost.   I have the worst wear bud luck at races. I noticed that in spite of the increased heat of the later time I was sweating less.  I started to get paranoid about feeling light headed.  I wanted to finish more than I wanted to finish at a 12:45.  I have 2 more races to run this season.  So I started walking.  When I noticed the feeling go away I’d start running again. this went on for another mile or 2 and it got harder and harder to run.  I made the call that we were walking to  mile 12 and running as much as the last 1.1 as we could.  Every mile from 10 on  our pace climbed higher, but I still felt great. I just could not for the life of me get a run going and maintained.  Those first 9+ miles were some of the strongest I’ve run in my life.   I wish I’d talked myself into trying harder to keep running at 10 and see how long it took to push through.

Babu isn’t good at giving me a mental boost during running.   He just kind of goes along with whatever I say I am doing.   He sometimes tells me to back off if I am spurting too much and that often annoys me, even though he is right.   He doesn’t push me too much to keep going and working through things when I want to back off.  He won’t do it just because I say it, he will wait until I actually do it and follow. he figures it isn’t his job to get in my head and make me push through. This is where girl running buddies are amazing.   We understand our mental run battles, and how to gently push and distract each other.  Babu doesn’t have this skill and he isn’t going to magically get it, he can’t grow it.  I’ll have to focus on my mental state those last 3-4 miles. I think  recognizing it is the first step because I think I could of run those last 4 miles at a sub 13 pace in spite of the weather.    It’s not like I haven’t had practice  pushing through, I took 2+ months training myself to run on tight legs for 4 miles.

We finished at 3:03 and I was a sopping, wet, stinky, super hot mess. But I  still looked good with my shiny new medal!   I feel much better knowing it was the slowest Mini in 20 years and finding out post race that  they put a yellow flag on the course at 10:15 am.   One day I will run an entire  Half and get that 2:45.  I am dreaming of a 2:15 some day, maybe in my 50’s!

My legs  are run ready this morning.   But my foot is not. I went to a new sports doc, I hate him and will be giving  him a little come to Lola talk on my follow up before deciding to part ways for good,  because my left foot finally cried uncle after the race.  It’s the same place I’ve been keeping an eye on since February.   Now don’t get all new sports doc on me.   When it hurt it stopped within 5 minutes, it didn’t start hurting after runs until the 10 miler and it was always pain free by the next run.  But yes I knew this was coming. I just hoped it would hold off until after the Mini, giving me time for 4 weeks in a boot and 6 weeks to train for the Rock N Rock Half Marathon in Chicago.  Turns out I have arthritis, bring on the old lady jokes. I also have an inflamed node and/or a Sesamoid  fracture. New sports Doc emphatically states if it is a  Sesamoid fracture I won’t be running in 10 weeks either.   If that is the case I’m transferring my Rock N Roll Bib to Babu who hasn’t registered yet and going to cheer him on.   I’m bummed about the injury, but it isn’t the same end of the world that it was last year.  I hate the boot, it really sucks for many reasons. But I will wear it and heal and try to concentrate on staying active in spite of it. New sports Doc says  no running for 4 weeks but I can do anything else as pain allows.  I got a stern warning about if it hurts during or after I’m not to do it.  I will be good, promise.  I have 2 more races to run this year!


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