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Monday, March 26, 2018

A Hero's 5K: Chasing PRs

I am not sure if anyone reads my blog anymore, but I plan to keep on writing these race reports simply because I  enjoy it.  I enjoy the process of putting pen to paper (or in this case, fingers to keyboard) and I enjoy the act of reflection after the race, where I think about how I did, what I could have done better, what I did wrong, and what I should do in the future.  I think of it as closure and in looking back at past reports, I can see how I have evolved as an athlete over the years.

For the past year I have been chasing a sub 25 min 5K.  This used to be an doable feat.  This used to be no big deal.  But then when I got sick everything changed; 25 minutes in a 5K suddenly became impossible.  Sub 25 became my carrot.  It loomed over me, taunting me, teasing me, always within reach but never quite attainable.  I came close on several occasions:  a 25:17 in 2017, 25:35 this past January, and my off course snafu in February that would have been sub 25 had I not gone off course.  Being so close has driven me crazy so when I didn't hit my goal at the St. Paddy's 5K last weekend, I decided to enter in another 5K the following Saturday.

A Hero's 5K is a race that I am particularly fond of.  It takes place at Furman, all proceeds go directly to Upstate Warrior Solution, and it is one of the first stand alone 5Ks I ever did.  I wasn't too happy with the weather report for race day...rain, but the temperature was at least in the low 40s which is perfect running weather minus the rain.  However, when I rolled out of bed and looked outside I saw the ground was wet, but it was not raining.  Rain was still in the forecast so I brought a couple extra shirts to change into since I was planning on doing a warm up then the race and then another run afterwards.  Jeff met me before the race and we ran the course together as a warm up.  I really enjoyed the course but was disappointed that it was short on my Garmin (2.90 in warm up).  This would affect my PR goal significantly so I knew that I needed to hit my pace goal of 8min/mile instead of a time goal of sub 25.  Luckily the rain was holding off, so I opted to strip out of my long sleeved shirt and race in a tank; the race was slow to get started and I almost froze to death while we stood around waiting until a kind woman loaned me her jacket for a bit. 

The gun sounded and I took off way too hard out of the gate (typical).  Fortunately I was able to pull back a bit as we hit the first hill and try to get my heart rate under control  Because of this my first mile was an 8:09 which scared me so badly that I kicked it into high gear as soon as I saw the split flash on my watch.  Mile two was a 7:48 minute mile!  We were on flat and a slight downhill section for this but I was pleasantly surprised to see this split come up.  I knew based on those two splits that I was on my way to hitting my goal, but I was scared to death that I was going to be too gassed at the end to make it.  I hit mile 2.5 at a 7:53 pace and knew that I had it in the bag.  I crossed the finish line in 22:58 with my watch giving me an 7:57 pace and the 40-49 female age group win.  I had done it, but my victory felt hollow since the course was short.  Another runner said that times would be about 45-60 seconds off by his calculations, so I did the math and realized that I still would have hit my PR time, but I still don't consider this an outright win.  I want to break 25 on a true 5K course, period.  However, this race gave me the confidence to know that I CAN do it.  After the race, Jeff and I ran another four miles before calling it a day.  The rain managed to hold off the entire time making it a perfect running day! 

My pace and total distance

Race time and pace!

Not sure what is next for me.  I keep looking at 5Ks hoping one of them might be "the one" where I really meet my goal, but I also want to do some longer stuff so I am torn as to what direction I want to go in.  What I do know is that I am almost 99% certain that I am stepping back from triathlons this season.  I can't say it for 100% since summer and warmer weather might change my mind, but I am so in love with running right now that I really want to pursue it.  I never thought I would be a "runner" but it certainly looks like that is what I am becoming and I am completely on board with it! 

Happy training!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

St. Paddy's Dash and Bash 5K Race Report

After the epic screwup that I made out of the Swamp Rabbit 5K a couple weeks ago, I decided to take another shot at a 5K by entering in the St. Paddy's Dash and Bash on March 17.  This 5K starts and ends at Flour Field and runs through downtown Greenville.  I knew going in that the race would not be flat since it is hard to find any streets in Greenville that are flat, but I thought that it might be somewhat flat-ish (a girl can dream, right?).  However, the week leading up to the race was not kind to me at all.  I came down with a massive head cold the Monday before the race.  This was not your ordinary cold.  This cold kicked my ass!  Besides my nose turning in to a non stop spigot, my congestion moved from my head to chest on Friday and left me with a painful cough that I could not shake.  I ran several days despite having the cold which some people might frown upon, but running was pretty much the only thing that allowed my head and lungs to clear up enough so I could breathe, even if only temporarily.  A lot of times running will loosen up all the congestion I have and I find myself feeling much better later on in the day, but based on the runs I had done during the week, I was not seeing any improvement.

I opted to do the race anyway, since I had already paid my money, and since it had been five days since I became sick I figured my cold was on its way out the door.  Lauren and I opted to run the course before the race as part of our warm up.  We ran super easy and I could tell that I was struggling since breathing seemed difficult, but I figured race adrenaline would kick in during the race and I would feel better.  I am super glad we ran the course beforehand because there were some serious hills on the back end of the course.  Basically the first mile and a half was downhill and the last mile and a half was uphill.  I decided that instead of trying to hold back on the downhill I would give it all I had since I was pretty sure I would be gassed by the uphill section due to my cold.  When the gun sounded I tried to chase Lauren but she was running so fast that I lost her almost immediately.  I could tell for the first mile that I was winded, and even though we were running downhill I could feel that my legs were heavy and not wanting to turn over.  I did however, manage to pass a good number of people so I felt like I was doing okay.

By the time I reached the aid station near the halfway point, I was beginning to hurt.  You need lungs to breathe and mine felt like they were full of mucous.  I kept coughing and clearing my throat and my mouth felt like it had cotton all in it.  I could feel my body start to slow on the uphill and I quit looking at my watch because it was seriously depressing me.  All the people I had passed on the downhill were now passing me back.  When I finally crested the last hill (which was crazy long), we had to run around the baseball stadium.  I put my head down and tried to put the pedal to the metal.  I managed to pull ahead of several people in front of me and I kept pushing harder.  I made it almost halfway around the stadium before I simply ran out of gas.  By the time I reached home plate the handful of people I had passed had re-passed me at the finish line.  When I crossed the line, I thought I was going to hack up a lung.  I felt woozy, dehydrated, and exhausted.  I caught back up with Lauren (who was tenth overall female and first in her age group!) and we headed out for our remaining four mile cool down.  I was so exhausted from the 5K that I could barely do the four miles.  I had to stop and walk multiple times and my running pace was not that much faster than my walking pace.  I had to admit that perhaps I pushed too hard in this race and now I was paying the price.

I still did not manage to beat my 2018 running goal which was to break 25 minutes.  I finished this race in 25:57 which was good enough for third in my age group, but I can't get that sub 25 out of my mind.  I know that on the right day, I can do this, but I simply haven't had it yet.  I feel like a completely different person than the girl who ran a sub 23 just 6 years ago, but I am a completely different person not to mention six years older!  I am not used to not achieving a goal I set for myself, so this sub 25 carrot feels like it is constantly dangling in my face.  I am going to catch that carrot though, just hide and watch.

Onwards and upwards, there's always another race on the horizon!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

GHS Swamp Rabbit 5K

Let's set the record straight.  Running a 5K is hard.  Like, really hard.  Running a marathon or half marathon may be harder, but that doesn't negate the fact that the 5K is still HARD.  Especially when you are running as hard as you can.  The pace I run in a half or full marathon is no where close to the pace I run in a 5K because the pace I am running in a 5K is my full on beast mode pace.  It's my someone's chasing me with an ax pace.  I am full anaerobic from start to finish.  It is a pain completely different from long distance running pain.  5K pain burns like fire and threatens to consume me.  Marathon pain is a more manageable dull throb that just makes me tired.  5K pain makes my head feel like it is going to explode from pressure.  When I run a 5K, I am running balls to the wall the entire time which is why it is both so gratifying and so frustrating all at the same time.

The Swamp Rabbit Half Marathon also hosts a 5K.  Since I had run HH Marathon just two weeks earlier, I opted to not run the half but instead do the 5K.  I was chasing that sub 25 goal and felt like this might be the race where I achieved it.  I did a 1.5 mile warm up with Lauren and chatted with Regina and Lisa and Linda and then it was time to toe the line.  When the race started I tried to keep Lauren in my sights as long as I could, but running almost a minute faster pace than me made this virtually impossible.  I tried to settle in to a low 8 minute pace and hoped that I could hit negative splits for the final two miles.  Things were going painfully well for the first two and a half miles.  I was hurting in a huge way, but was still hanging in there.  I wasn't sure if I was going to go sub 25, but I was going to give it everything I had to try.  I was blocking everything out:  sounds, people around me, everything except the handful of guys who were in front of me.  I was slowing trying to bridge the gap between us.  I kept getting closer and closer.  We hit three miles underneath the bridge where the SRT ends.  I was going to be so close, I thought.  Just keep pushing.  Like a mindless sheep I followed the guys ahead of me, onto the sidewalk, right turn up the hill away from the finish line.  Wait.  What????  About halfway up this ridiculous hill, the guys in front of me started turning around and throwing their hands up in the air.  What was going on?  Apparently, I had blindly followed the men the wrong way!!!  Yes, I know this was my fault, but it didn't change how angry I was because of it.  We all turned around and ran back down the hill yelling at a nearby policeman to tell us where to go.  We looped back around and plopped back on the course and hit the finish line.  My wrong turn cost me not only an extra .08 of a mile, but it also cost me my sub 25 goal as I finished in 25 min and some change.  I was furious that this had happened even though the one person who was ultimately to blame was me for not paying attention to the course markings.

I knew I would be beating myself up over this mistake for a long, long time, but I wanted to see how well I did despite this debacle.  Set Up Events had several computers stationed with instant results and placings so I headed over to see what else my mistake cost me.  NO RESULTS FOUND kept flashing up on the screen anytime I tried to enter my number or name.  After consulting with Set Up, it was determined that somehow I had a faulty bib.  I felt like I might throw up.  I did this race.  I even did extra, and now I might not get credit for it. I really felt sick.  Luckily, I was able to pull up my Garmin and show the organizers my finish time.  They entered it in manually and my finish time became official.  Despite these flubs, the day was still pretty awesome and hanging out with my running peeps is always worthwhile.  I am bound and determined to hit that sub 25 though, so on to the next race!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hilton Head Marathon: Take Two

The last time I attempted to run the HH Marathon, I had to pull out at the half and earn my first ever DNF.  The mental beating I gave myself after that race was brutal, and I felt like I should be walking around wearing some sort of scarlet letter as punishment.  I vowed that I would have redemption, even if it meant that I would have to walk or crawl the marathon in order to cross that finish line, the following year.  And I quite literally spent the next 365 days training for this race.

And when I say I trained, I mean I trained.  I spent the early spring and summer doing cross training with triathlons, but as soon as July hit, I started marathon training with Lauren for a marathon she was doing in October.  And then as soon as that was over, I started preparing for Hilton Head.  To say I was ready for this marathon to be over with was an understatement.  I couldn't wait for the race to be over so I could go out and do a run for pleasure and not have to do a prescribed workout!

God, I was ready for this race.  I was chomping at the bit to make up for last year's embarrassing DNF, and I was eager to see what I could do.  But sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong.  Sometimes you can go into a race completely prepared but still get the rug yanked out from underneath you.  I could control so many things in my training, but I could not control the weather.  And the weather that weekend was something else.

On the morning of the race, the temperature was 60 degrees.  Sixty degrees!  That is 20 degrees above normal!  I run marathons in the winter because IT IS WINTER.  My body has shown me time and time again that I cannot run long distance if the temperatures are over 50.  And not only was it 60 degrees, but it was also 94% humidity!  There was a layer of fog and a lot of clouds as Lauren and I drove out to the race site.  We both commented that at least the fog and clouds would keep the sun out.  That seemed like the only positive we could find with our current weather situation.  I knew any hope of having a stellar race was out the window, but I thought at least maybe I could salvage some sort of respectable finishing time.  I decided to start out very conservative and then see how I felt at the half.  In my mind, I thought I could possibly run better for the second half if I purposely went slower the first half.

My plan worked perfectly until mile 6.  At this point, the fog lifted, the clouds melted away and a hot sun emerged.  By mile six, I was struggling, but I still had my head above water.  But with each passing mile, it became harder and harder to run.  My clothes were drenched from sweat.  My mouth felt like cotton.  I felt like I was running in the middle of summer.  At mile 13, I opted to start walk/run to try and conserve energy.  By mile 14, I was done.  So done.  I knew I had to finish, but I wasn't sure I could run.  I tried speed walking but even that seemed too taxing.  I kept telling myself to keep moving forward, keep moving, just keep on moving.  Those last 12 miles felt like eternity.  I finally saw Lauren at mile 19.  She was just as miserable as I was, but at least she was running.  She would finish a full hour before me and I felt horrible making her wait on me to finish.  But I had to finish.  As horrible as I felt, the desire to cross the finish line drove me forward.  My legs ached, my toes cramped (a new side effect that has begun popping up), my eyes burned from all the salt and sweat that kept dripping on my face, and my fingers were swollen up like sausages.  I was sunburned (the temps reached low 70s!) and I was miserable, but I finally crossed the finish line in 5:33.  Yes, you read that right, 5:33.

By far this is the worst marathon that I have ever run, and it frustrates me in so many ways that I performed so poorly.  I know I cannot control the weather, but damn it, I was trained and ready for this race!  The "what ifs" have really been eating at me.  I have even been looking at other marathons in the hopes that perhaps I could still cram one in, but with the weather remaining in the 70s for the next few weeks, I feel like my marathon window has closed.  From now on, I have to select marathons that I know will be in cold temps which means looking up north for races instead of at the beach. 

While it would be easy to keep my time quiet, not write a race report or share it on social media, I refuse to do that.   I earned this time, so I am not going to hide and pretend it didn't happen.  This was a BAD race.  There will be more bad races for me in the future, I promise.  But there will also be good ones.  And while the bad races serve as painful lessons, the good ones make those lessons worthwhile.  Here's to the next race; may it be a good one!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Greenville News Run Downtown 5K

Happy 2018!  It seems like forever since I last updated my blog and for good reason; my last race of the season was cancelled due to snow, so I haven't written since November!   As I looked back over all the races I did for 2017, a whopping 16, I saw a lot of room for improvement, but also a couple pats on the back.  I really stepped up my running, but still struggled with any race that was in remotely hot temps.  I enjoyed how I structured my race season though, so I think I will continue emphasizing my running, but maybe still throw in some triathlons for fun.  I really want to focus more on shorter races since I have really been enjoying working on my speed and these short courses will force me out of my comfort zone and into that painful sprint zone.

So having said all that.... I have been training for a marathon.  Yes, I know I just wrote that I want to work on short course this season, but I really need to do this marathon for my mental confidence and sanity.   Every weekend since god knows how long it seems, I have been doing long runs to prepare for this race.  But then the Greenville News 5K popped up on my FB feed and I found myself signing up.  I have never done this race before, but it is a big one (usually 1,500 people or more) and I thought it would be a good race to practice working on my speed.  However, the day before the race, I opted to do my sixteen mile long run since I was off work.  In no training plan is it ever a good idea to do a long run and then try and do a sprint race less than 24 hours later, but I thought it might be a good idea to teach myself to push on tired legs.

Here is a quick breakdown of my race stats:
Mile one:  8:34 pace
I wanted to start out slow on purpose since I wasn't sure how my dead legs would respond.  I wanted to keep it around 8:30-8:45, so considering how I usually go out way too hard, I consider  this to be a win.
Mile two:  7:55 pace
I took advantage of the downhill section on this mile and just opened it up.  My legs felt surprisingly good, so I thought I would see if I had any sort of speed left in me.  Turns out I did.  The only question would be whether or not I could hold a pace close to this for mile three....
Mile three:  8:05 pace
I was pretty happy that I was in the low eight range for mile three because there was a hill.  I was definitely starting to feel that 16 mile run the day before by this point though, so not sure how long I could have held this pace.
Final .14 mile:  7:22 pace
Since I was able to see the finish line, I let it all hang out.  No way could I have held this pace longer than .14!

Final time:  25:35 (8 out of 129 in age group/8:15 pace)
I was fairly pleased that after a long sixteen mile run that I could have something resembling speed (for me) in this race.  I was honestly thinking that my average would be closer to the nine minute range.  I was super happy that my legs cooperated and that after purposely starting out slow that I had some kick left.  My great fear in a race is that if I start out slow then I will never be able to speed up, but this race showed me that it is indeed possible (we will see if it works for a marathon).  I am grateful that my speed workouts came in handy for this race and that I am starting to consistently see my pace remain in the low eight minute range.  I can tell I am getting stronger because running a low eight minute mile consistently doesn't make me feel like puking anymore!

I am still in the final preparation stages of my marathon, but then hope to tackle a few more 5Ks to really test my fitness.  I am still chasing that elusive 22 mins that I hit back in 2011, but I have no delusions that I will ever catch it.  But, hey, a girl can still dream can't she?/

Until next time,
don't forget to be awesome!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tryon Half Marathon Race Recap

"As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly"~ Proverbs

Let's just say that the above quotation pretty much summarizes my entire running career.  You would think by now, that I, a veteran runner of almost 14 years, would know what I should and should not do during a race.  You would think that I have already learned lessons the hard way about what not to do in a race.  And yet, here I am, a fool repeating her folly....again.

After the Spinx half, I had to take an entire week off to heel up a tendonitis injury that I got from the race.  The following week I ran some easy miles and did a long run of eight miles.  When I didn't feel any pain after my long run, I decided I was fully healed up and ready to run a half marathon the following week.  I told myself that I would run it conservatively just in case my injury wasn't fully healed.  

The Tryon Half Marathon is run on 75% gravel roads and is advertised as almost entirely flat.  While the former is true, the latter is not.  There were some hills, and there were some false flats, and I am convinced that the second half of the course (it was an out and back) was more difficult than the first due to the subtle inclines.  When the race started, runners began on the road and entered the gravel section around mile 1.5.  Since it was the beginning of the race, the temps were on the cold side, and it was on asphalt, I immediately went out way too hard.  I knew I was going out too hard, and yet I found myself trying to justify it.  I reasoned that I would slow down on the gravel, so picking up extra time on the road would average out; I felt good and strong, so why slow down?  Lauren was running with me, so I don't want to slow her down.  I came up with lots of reasons to justify my stupidity.  But that is all it was....stupidity.  When I hit the gravel, Lauren took off looking like Shalane Flanagan and I tried to find a pace that I could hold.  I was still running way too far out of my comfort zone, but once again, I kept thinking that I might be able to hold that pace for the next eleven miles.  When I got close to the turn around I noticed that my body was starting to slow down.  And by slow down, I mean REALLY slow down.  Like a minute or more slower.  And I could not do anything about it.  My legs were really trashed and my feet were not happy at all about the gravel.  While the road was very nicely scraped of most gravel, there were still little rocks that you couldn't avoid and these were starting to take their toll on my feet and legs.  My legs felt like they had been running up a mountain.  My quads screamed.  My feet were cramping.  My calves were tight.  I thought I would never get off that gravel road, but finally the pavement began.  The finish line forced runners to run one more off road section and this section was literally "off road".  Grass clumps and rocks and a tiny narrow path to run on made me almost stop and walk.  But I was so close to the finish line that I couldn't stop now.  My goal of sub 1:55 was long gone, but I thought I might be able to make my time of sub 2 hours if I ran hard enough.  I felt like I was running in quicksand.  Women were passing me the last quarter mile like I was walking.  I wanted to cry.  I crossed the line in 2:00:02.  I.was.pissed!  How could I not make it under two hours????  Why did I go out so hard?  Why did I think this race was a good idea?  Why am I struggling to run halves all of a sudden?  Why did I think I could run on gravel for ten miles?  Why, why, why????

Because I am foolish, that's why.  I will never become a better runner if I don't become a smarter runner.  I thought I had the hang of this during the summer, but I guess I have fallen back to my old habits.  This race is the perfect example of karma.  I know what I should do; I don't do it, and so I get bit in the butt by karma.  I have no one to blame but myself, and believe me, I have been blaming myself A LOT.   If I don't get my act together, there is no way I will be successful in my upcoming marathon and this situation will just keep happening over and over again. When I looked at the final results, I did see that my time was 1:59, so I did break 2 hours by the race clock, but I got no satisfaction from this.  I placed 11th our of 30 women and probably was passed by at least four or five women in my age group in the second half of the race.  While a two hour half is by no means shabby, the way I felt and the struggle I went through to hit that time made me feel like I had run twice as long.  I want to finish a half feeling strong and running strong, not dragging myself across the line half dead.  I have a lot of reflecting to do and some serious adjustments to make before I begin marathon training.  Fingers crossed I can get my shit together and quit "going back to my own vomit" time and time. 

Until next time, 
happy training!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Hills for Breakfast: Spinx Half Marathon Race Report

I knew I would regret not running more hills during training.

I knew it.

And yet here I am with my foot resting on an ice pack and propped up on the ottoman.  I will never learn.

The Spinx half marathon is probably one of the hardest halfs I have done aside from Altamont (which at least is advertised  as running up a mountain).  I knew it would be hilly when signed up; I knew it would be hilly when I ran part of the course with Lauren, Amanda, and Joanna, and yet time got away from me around the beginning of October and I never really got to prepare for those hills like I wanted to.  At least the weather cooperated for me!  For once instead of the 100% rain forecasted, the rain held off with the exception of an occasional sprinkle and left me with overcast skies and temps in the low 50s.  I had given myself a conservative time of 2 hours for this half because of the hills, but I really wanted to get in under 1:55.  I knew I could do this if I was smart, but when it comes to racing, my smarts fly right out the window.  Allow me to explain.
Elevation chart from the race

I feel a lot like Steve Prefontaine when I race.  No, not in the speed or talent of Pre, but in the mindset.  I  have a poster of Pre running that is hanging up in my classroom that says "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."  I think about that quotation whenever I race.  I think about having paid money to race, having sacrificed early mornings to train, and having my name on the results page.  I feel I owe it to myself (and my checkbook) to go out there and bust my ass.  Sometimes I wish I didn't feel this way, and I envy people who can turn this switch on and off, but when I am in any sort of competition my competitive nature simply kicks in and I can't help myself.  So when the gun went off at Spinx, I took off like a shot.  In fact, Lauren actually started out behind me!  Finally she pulled ahead of me at the half mile mark and shortly thereafter disappeared from sight entirely.  I knew I needed to run conservatively because of the hills that were coming, but I felt pretty good at first, so I kept on hammering at what I thought was an easy pace.  It wasn't.  An eight minute mile at mile two is no where near an easy pace for me, and in hindsight I have no idea why I thought that was a good idea.  By mile five I was absolutely sick of hills, but my pace was staying steady around 8:25-8:30 average so I thought I might as well hold that pace.  For the record, I don't hold that pace in a flat half marathon, so I am not sure why I thought I could hold it in a hilly one.  At mile five I got a wonderful surprise when Regina, Forrest, Trey and Amanda were  outside Trey and Amanda's house cheering on the runners.  I was even more surprised when I saw Lauren standing there waiting on me!  She had been waiting about five minutes for me to arrive, and I was so caught off guard that I told her she needed to go on and race her race and not wait on me.  I must have hurt her feelings because she took off flying and still finished the race almost ten minutes ahead of me!!!  Let me tell you, this girl is such a gifted runner, and my envy of her running ability is through the roof!  I continued to hammer the miles, even at one point hitting an 8:17 mile, but all good things (or stupid ideas) must come to an end and mile 10 was mine.  Not only did the wheels come off, but the hood, the bumpers, and the roof came off.  I blew up in epic Susan fashion.  It didn't help that some of the ugliest hills were the last three miles, but had I paced myself accordingly I would not have struggled in the way I did.  My pace for miles 11-13 was 9:36, 10:13, and 10:01 respectively.  To make matters worse my sub 1:55 slipped right through my fingers and I couldn't do a thing about it.  My toes were literally cramping the last mile and I really thought I would have to walk, but I crossed the finish line in 1:55:33.  I had no one to blame for those 33 seconds except for me.
Thug Trey cheering me on

I ended up averaging 8:49 which is a pace I would normally be proud of, but I was pretty agitated about it for this race simply because my pace before mile 10 was so much faster.  Had I held an 8:49 up to mile 10, I probably could have negative split the final three miles and ended up with a faster average, but stubborn me just doesn't know how to pace herself in a race.  To make matters worse, I woke up Sunday morning unable to walk!!!!  I could not put any weight or pressure on my left heel without stabbing pain going through my foot.  The outside of my left heel and arch hurt as well and when I was no better by Monday, I seriously thought I might have a stress fracture or PF.  I ended up going to Steadman Hawkins for an x-ray, and they identified it as peroneal tendonitis and told me to rest until I could walk again.  I have been pretty lucky that with the exception of an IT band issue I got when I first started running and a weird knee issue I had four years ago, I have not had any debilitating running injuries.  This tendonitis has left me hobbled and unable to walk on my left foot unless I walk on my tippy toes.  Needless to say, this has taught me a valuable lesson about pacing in more ways than one.

Those 33 seconds will forever haunt me in my dreams
I placed fifth in my age group out of 51.  I had originally hoped I might be in the top ten, so fifth is much better than that thought.  Since I am on the injured list, I have been trying to get caught up with grad school work and television this week, but my poor dog is over not being able to go for his morning runs.  Hopefully I can start back doing some easy running Monday and will be back to my usual routine by next weekend.  Not sure what race I will tackle next since I don't know when I will be able to race, but I am hoping for another race before the month is out so I can keep my monthly racing streak alive.

Until next time,
Happy training!