Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kill two birds with one blog entry!

Another week, another race. Dang October is busy! Let me recap 10 for Texas quickly. Three days before the race I was rear ended/side swiped on I-45 on my way home from work. For those of you who travel on that stretch of highway, you know that traffic typically slows down as you approach the Woodlands Pkwy exit. I was in the right lane preparing to exit when the cars in front of me started to slow down. Given I wasn't texting or talking on the phone, I was paying attention and was slowing as well and making sure to leave plenty of room between me & the truck in front of me. I glanced in my rear view mirror to see if there was anyone behind me and the next car was about 3 lengths back. In that next instant, my car was hit on the rear passenger side hard enough for me to hit my head on the driver window. I had enough clearance ahead of me that I wasn't in danger of hitting the other vehicle but did apply my brakes all the same. When my car came to a stop, the rear end was in the other lane and the front end was pointed to the shoulder. I remember shaking my head and asking out loud, "what happened". The story could go on from there but I'll cut it short by saying, nobody was injured and my good friend Dorina came to pick me up and get me home. I'm still waiting to hear the verdict on my truck and am worried she may be totaled. That will give me a very sad face but what can I do? No time to worry about something out of my control. :)

Needless to say, I was very sore the next few days. No workout for me on Wednesday night. I attempted a swim Thursday but that was a no go too. Turning my head caused a lot of pain and I was plain stiff everywhere else. Friday rolled around and I did my pre-race prep but wasn't feeling 100%. I had no intention of pulling out of 10 for Texas and figured I had been feeling a little better with each day so surely I would feel great Saturday morning!

The run started off well enough. I was at a pace a bit quicker than I planned but my HR was in the correct zone and I was feeling I could maintain for quite some time. By the time mile 3 hit, I was singing a different song. Shooting pain up my leg, through my side up to my neck. I could tell my body was trying to compensate by tweaking how my foot was landing and I knew I couldn't let that happen b/c I felt that would make things worse. I did my very best to keep my form correct and tried to shut the pain out of my mind. I kept telling myself "it could be worse". By mile 5, I was near tears. I knew I was going to see Keith & Hannah soon so I put on a smile and just ran. Ugh. It crossed my mind to pull out but I didn't really want to do that. I felt that if I adjusted my pace, I could keep the pain from getting worse and just tough it out. So that's what I did. I counted foot strikes, counted people ahead of me, counted cars passing by...whatever it took to focus on anything but my body. By mile 8 I was feeling the effects of my foot strike changing as I realized I was getting a blister on my foot. That only happens when my feet are wet and when I'm not watching my form. Well, my feet were dry with the exception of a little sweat. Once I hit North Shore Park, I decided I was done with this race and I hit the gas once I made it over the bridge. Thank the lord. As I approached Market Street, a chick ahead of me pulled to the side and started hurling. A few people cheered her on and encouraged her to puke & rally. One guy told her at least she would feel better now. I felt for her. While I didn't want to puke, I certainly wouldn't have minded pulling off and letting my body rest. Before I knew it, I was approaching the finish line and just thrilled that I stuck with it! I finished in 1:51 and change (just over an 11min/mile pace). Given the pain I was in, I was actually pretty pleased with that.

Was I disappointed when I crossed the finish line? For a split second, yes. I had hoped to come in around 1:40ish. I really wanted to prove to my coach that I was learning to race and I was worried she would think I wasn't learning. We know I have a little mental block when it comes to pushing myself and at first, I felt like the mental block won. But after just a couple of minutes, I realized I had won. I was hurting, there was no doubt. I could've very easily not made it to the start line. I could have very easily walked off the course at any point. I could've walked the last few miles but I didn't. Nope, I hung in there and ran and pushed as much as I could. You know what, that's not too bad! I did learn I can be uncomfortable b/c I was VERY uncomfortable on Saturday! For me, this race is a success.

Keith's 20yr old daughter, Emily, also raced 10 for Texas. Emily is signed up for The Woodlands Marathon and did this as part of her training. This girl is a gifted runner, IMO. Without trying terribly hard, she ran the race in about 1:35. Wow. She'll be racing again at Thanksgiving and then has a half marathon in December. Keith & I are so excited to cheer her on at her next races. If she can run 10 miles like that w/o trying too hard, what will she do when she's really pushing the gas? I can't wait to find out!

Ok, bird one is down and it's time for bird two. It's another race week! Actually, that's somewhat misleading as I'm not doing a full race. Try Andy's Tri sprint triathlon is this coming Sunday and I've signed up as part of a relay team. I will be swimming, Keith is cycling and Luke is running. Believe me when I tell you that I am the weak link in this team. Thankfully I won't be in the water long enough to hurt us! :) I'll be swimming 300m which I'm fairly confident I can knock out fairly easily. Keith has been riding like a man on a mission and in his most recent time trial, averaged 19.4mph. There was also one stretch of 10 miles on our weekend ride that we averaged 22+ mph. I think he'll do just fine. Luke is truly an amazing runner. If my brother spent just a little time training, he would definitely win some hardware. He went out & ran 3 miles the other day just to see how he did and finished in 20minutes. I asked him how he felt and he said he felt good and that he didn't need to puke. I've told him repeatedly that come Sunday, I want him running so hard he vomits. This kid is capable of running a sub 20minute 3 miler as he's done it before. Needless to say, we are super excited for Sunday. I am SO happy to have Keith out there with me on race day competing instead of spectating.

So with that, this entry is complete. I may or may not blog again before the race. We'll just have to see what mood I'm in. Until then, happy training!!!!

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