For those that don’t know, PR stands for personal record. It wasn’t the time I was going for, which was under 30 minutes, but I did beat my first time of 30:44 with a time of 30:13! I came in 513th place out of 3,000 people, not to shabby considering I just started running 6 months ago.
If you are wondering about the long time gap since my last post, I have a lousy explanation. I just didn’t feel like I had much to say, but more so I was completely frustrated. My injury had sustained itself until a week prior to my second race. During the month and a half in between races, I had run only one mile! I feared any further injury in addition to loss of all the training my body had built up. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I really wanted to run and continue with my training. I knew the course for my second race was going to be much easier than the first and that I could bust through my first time. I was eager to run, run, and run some more! For those of you that are runners, you understand the desire to run a 5K every weekend once you have completed your first race. But every time I stepped onto the treadmill and started into a light jog, the pain immediately engaged itself. So do I continue to run and train through the pain in order accomplish my goals at risk of further injury, OR do I stop my training in an effort to recover and risk dramatic loss in my hard earned achievements thus far?
The conclusion I came up with was to cross train as many athletes do after injury (not that I consider myself an athlete). So, I started using the upright bike at the gym. A 5K took me about thirty minutes to run, so I figured 20 minutes on the bike would do the trick. It seemed to be going well and I was able to ride without noticeable pain in my groin muscle. I continued to ice and stretch three times a day and after a week or two, I tried to jump back onto the treadmill. Instantly pain would begin as I ran, and I thought I could run at least for a few minutes, but no- not a chance. I had to stop and maintain this routine until I noticed a positive change in my injury, and that I did. Time went by and I got back on the treadmill. This time I noticed that my groin muscle was nearly painless, but wait-what was that other pain? What was going on? My body wasn’t used to biking and it appeared that I had either pulled or just aggravated my hip flexor, aghhh!!!! Can a girl catch a break? I’ve been working so hard to improve my health through both diet and exercise only to be taken aback by constant injury? This can’t be happening!!
With less than three weeks before race number two, my frustration had increased drastically. Even though I had been cross training on the bike, I wasn’t getting the usual amount of cardio that I would during a run. Hecht, I was hardly breaking a sweat! Was I going to be able to maintain my breathing on a 5K run?
I had a conversation with cousin (the personal trainer) and she said something that had stuck in my mind. Her words “it’s an injured muscle, you need to baby it” resonated in my thoughts and still do until this day. Baby it? That was a far, far cry from what I had been doing. I made the decision to stop biking, I continued stretching and icing and then I had a conversation with my sons pediatrician whom is also a runner. She said “don’t worry, you’ll be fine”. “Even if I haven’t run in a month?”, I asked. She replied, “yes, just alternate heat and ice and continue to stretch”. Alternate? In the beginning of my injury I was using heat constantly because it felt so good, then the physical therapists told me to use ice, so I did. His doctor told me she is training for a 10K and if she misses a day of training, she doesn’t sweat it. So, I decided to relax a little. I started alternating heat and ice.
Two weeks from race day, I stepped back on the treadmill and I could run! I did ten minutes pain-free! I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to run again, but I wanted to ease back into things and not take a chance of further injury. Two days later, I made another attempt to run and this time, it was a flop. I was in pain again. What was going on? I got in the car and cried and started asking God what the problem was. I couldn’t understand why I was enduring so much pain when I am finally trying to get my health together. All the years, I had abused my body and didn’t care what had happened, now I do care about my health and am enduring pain. I prayed and asked for him to heal me, I said, “you can heal me, so please just do it”. No joke, I was healed two days later. I got back on the machine just one week before the race and ran the distance of a 5K in just a little over 30 minutes. Not only did I finish it, I was smiling at the end!
A few days later, I ran a 5K on the treadmill again and then rested for the final four days before the race.
My son on the way to the race!
Race day had arrived and I was pumped to get back out there. The one thing I didn’t consider was the fact that I hadn’t run outside in over a month and it was now a humid summer morning. Immediately my throat had dried out and the race hadn’t even started. Uh oh……I was off to a good start. After the first turn, we hit a hill! And it wasn’t a short steep hill like all of the ones in my prior race, it was a looooong slow incline. Right at the beginning of the race! The nice thing about this race that I didn’t experience in the first, was all of the bystanders. The first race was on a trail that went through the woods, so it was just us runners and nature. This race was through the streets of downtown Baltimore starting out at the Inner Harbor. There were over 3,000 participants and their supporters and several of bystanders that just happened to be in the neighborhood.
Things were going well, although I seemed to tire quickly. Not too shocking though considering I had barely trained for this event. My throat was completely dried out and it was hot, hot, hot. Once I passed the 2 mile marker, I knew I was close to the finish, but that last mile seemed like the longest mile ever! We had to run past the start line and follow the path we took in the beginning. Then we took a U-turn back towards the beginning. A U-turn that overlapped the route I had already run? I was a little annoyed. Then we had to travel around a building which blocked the view of the finish line. I was already close to stopping from exhaustion and discomfort (although I never would stop), the fact the I had no visual of the finish line kind of frustrated me. I tried to increase my speed in little spurts, but I could feel that salt watery taste in my mouth and had to slow it down a bit. Once I saw the finish line, I stepped it up a notch and pushed through. After I crossed I felt the need to find a trash can immediately. I really thought I was going to toss my cookies. Luckily, the volunteers were there handing out wet towels and cold bottles of water. It was great! I still was a bit nauseous and went looking for the trash can. I found one right next to the food table and spotted some watermelon. I grabbed two pieces and inhaled them. It was perfect, and rehydrated me enough to make the salt water feeling go away.
If you look close you can see me crossing the line wearing purple
I wasn’t sure what my time was and thought it was closer to 35 minutes than my actual time of 30:13. I went back to the finish line to look for my mom who had started her running journey just nine weeks prior to the race.
She came in with a time of 41:34, I’m so proud of her!!
My son got to race too!
We are getting ready to run!
My mother and I received metals for being a mother-daughter team and my son got a metal for his run too!! What a great day!!
My mom told me she had gotten sick right after the two mile marker and had to stop in between two cars to let it all out, if you catch my drift. She even stopped at one point to help an injured runner and she still made a great time! She also told me that the only thing she could think about during the run was how she would never run a race again. Currently I am looking into more races for the two of us and she is determined to jump back in!
I must have broken a blood vessel during my run, eww! I noticed this later in the day after the race.
Well, my training has started for race number three and I can’t wait. Here’s looking towards a new PR!!!