Sunday, November 1, 2015

Races and PF and Ironmans, OH MY!

A not-so-quick recap of the past 25 days... during which the following occured, listed in no particular order:

  • My son and I ran in our second race together
  • I paced my friend Molly to a big 5K PR
  • I entered the world of plantar fascitis
  • I registered for a half Ironman

Yes, just your typical 25 days, right?  In a word, not so much!

Race recaps first...

On October 25, my son Joey and I ran in his second-ever race, the OSU 4-miler.  This has been a race that I've been dying to do ever since its inaugural year in 2013.  That year, I ended up signing up for a half marathon the day before it, so I sold my bib to a friend's husband.  Last year, the race was a month before my marathon, and I didn't see the point in paying $50 to run an easy four miles in the midst of high mileage weeks.  This year, I volunteered at a couple of M3S events to earn free race entries for Joey and myself.  

Pre-race selfie

It was so very worth it!  This race has become the largest 4-miler in the country, with 15,000 entrants!  Joey and I had a great time running together.  I'm amazed at how he can rock out four miles with literally zero training.  

Kicking some booty at around mile 3...
This time, I decided to start us just a bit faster than last time.  Joey responded perfectly, and I still had to hold him back most of the race!  Our splits were 10:24, 9:55, 9:32, and 8:24, although his final split was about 7 seconds faster than mine, as he took off at the end and I couldn't keep up with the little speedster!  He PR'ed by over two minutes, which is even crazier when you consider his first race was only 3.7 miles and this one was almost exactly 4.   

Approaching the stadium during the final mile!
Moving right along, six days later I ran in the 2nd annual Donut Run 5K with my friend Molly.  She had convinced me a few weeks ago to register.  I don't typical do expensive 5K's, and this was was $40 when I registered... but the prospect of donut holes at the water stops and a half-dozen of the city's finest donuts waiting for me at the end was alluring enough to convince me! 

Oh the sweet yumminess...

I wanted 8 miles for my long run this weekend, so I headed down to the race early and did five solo miles before meeting up with Molly.  She was with her friend Sharon, and they were both hoping to go under 28 minutes.  Molly's PR was a 28:24.  I knew from a few runs that we'd done together, as well as training side-by-side at Power Train Fitness in Westerville, that she was definitely capable of a much faster race.  I promised we'd start out at an easier pace in the low- to mid-9's and progressively get faster.  The problem was that I had just finished five progressive miles myself, and my fifth mile was an 8:14.  I have trouble slowing down once I've sped up... which is why our first mile was an 8:43.  Molly was still in a conversational mode after the second mile (8:35), so I continued to press the pace.  Our final mile was a 8:09.  Molly confessed to me as we headed toward the finish that she felt like she was going to throw up.  I knew I had done my job as a pacer!  Final time: 25:57, a crazy-awesome PR for her!  As for me, I relished in the knowledge that a) I had helped Molly achieve a time she didn't feel she had in her, and b) I felt amazing relaxed doing it.  My legs are finally coming back!

Sharon, Molly and I after the race!
Rewind back a couple of weeks... on October 16th, I had a short 4-mile training run with some friends in Westerville.  I wore my Mizuno Paradoxes, which I'd been rotating in on runs for the past few weeks.  This was the 6th time I'd worn them.  I hadn't fallen in love with them, but really wanted to, so I kept giving them chances... well, that was dumb.  I should have known better.  Occasionally after a run in them, my heel would hurt.  Not awful, and not for more than a day.  This day, things were different.  My heel hurt as soon as we stopped running.  And the pain didn't let up.  It wasn't an actual pain though.. more of a tightness in my arch that went up into my heel.  I quickly googled the two words that happen to be the most common running injury known to man: plantar fasciitis (affectionately known as PF to runners).  I knew after reading the description that I was a member of a club I had never wanted to be a part of.  Since then, I have shipped back those horrible shoes and began a regime of massage (both with my hands and rolling on a racquetball), icing by rolling my foot on a frozen water bottle, and using KT tape for additional support.  I also have found my Oofos sandals to be the most amazing relief yet.  I thought I loved them before I experienced PF... and now I know they are a new level of nirvana.  Fortunately, PF is not really an "injury", but a condition.  One can run through it... my foot tends to warm up after about 2-3 miles, and from that point I feel great. I have heard it can go away as quickly as it comes on, and I am confident that with continuing my routine as well as having my chiropractor work on it weekly, I will battle it into submission.

Time for the most exciting news... after many rumors in the spring and summer, Ironman announced in early October that they would be using the nearby suburb of Delaware, Ohio for a half-Ironman competition on August 21, 2016.  A half-Ironman consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run, for a total of 70.3 miles of racing.  Having only raced one (VERY short) triathlon, I wasn't sure if I was up for the daunting task of racing such a large distance.  Peer pressure encouragement from many friends led me to obtaining an early entry to the race, and then to pushing the "register" button on October 18th.  I am still in semi-shock, but I am more excited than anything!  This weekend my parents loaned me money to purchase a road bike that will actually fit me correctly (my borrowed bike from my dear friend Carolyn was great, but was also a few sizes too small!). 

My gorgeous new-to-me ride!
The only thing left to do now is to start training!  I am planning on swimming weekly this winter and spring, and hope to fit in biking as much as I can, but not on a set schedule until the Glass City marathon is over in late April.  I will have 18 weeks before I enter the waters of Delaware Lake for the big race, so this summer will be a fun one, that's for sure!

The last few weeks have been good, running-wise.  I've worked up to 16-20 miles per week.  I have my first double-digit run since June coming up on Sunday.  I feel like I'm ready for it, after running 8 miles on two different occasions.  In a few weeks I will add in a 4th day of running each week, and in just five weeks, on December 7, marathon training officially begins! 

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