WARRIOR!

I totally did it!!! Holy cow – 14 miles – not my longest distance and definitely not my best run, but it’s DONE and I am full speed ahead for the 20-miler next Sunday!

But let me back up. 🙂 Yesterday was a bit of a weird day; I had very little pain in my tush but for whatever reason my right hip flexor was super duper tight – every time I got up from my desk I cringed. The pain subsided once I started walking a bit, but it was worriesome because I’d already taken my anti-inflammatory pill – how could I still be in pain, you know?! And where the hell did this come from, anyway!? By lunchtime I decided it was tied to the foam rolling I did in the morning – I did more than I typically do before work, and focused a bit on my IT band. I guess I was right, because this morning I had zero pain. Thank god.

I finally got the results of the MRI – not exactly cheerful news. It’s most definitely not a stress fracture, so cheers to that, but the doctor said I have a “rip-roaring case of gluteus medius tendonitis.” He said the only true cure is rest. At which point I started to cry. But then he kind of backed off – he told me that there was no way I’d break a bone or anything like that; if I were to continue, I’d just have to contend with continued pain. So I started to see some light. Finally I asked “okay, so if YOU got these results and it was YOUR MRI, what would you do?” And he replied “well…off the record…I’d try to keep going.”

Well that was all I needed to hear – I had wiggle room! I decided that I’d try the 14 today and if I got through it (and felt good at the end), I’d press on to the 20. Because in my mind, as soon as I get the 20 out of the way we’re into the tapering period, when we cut back on mileage, so that should coincide nicely with giving my tush the rest that it apparently needs.

I take my pills twice a day, and last night intentionally took my evening pill at 8pm, later than usual, the goal being that it would last me through a bit more of the morning. Sure enough, I woke up and really did feel great – no pain! So I got ready and did my stretches and headed out – in the POURING.RAIN.

Oh man – normally my group meetings at a spot along the trail, but today everyone was huddled in a tunnel – we were all laughing because it really was pointless; we were all going to be soaked in minutes, but I guess it made some people feel better! I saw a girl walking over with an umbrella and just thought she was really kidding herself! I was absolutely stunned at how many people came out for this – not only have many of my group members already run marathons (and therefore running 14 miles is old hat), but many of them ran last week’s 18-miler…if I had, I definitely would have given a second thought to coming out this morning! But we all just kind of laughed about it…what else could you do?! One of the other running girls said she felt totally bad ass for slogging through this…I did too!

Anyway, we started by running north and from the get-go I was feeling pretty good. Zero pain. Overall I felt like I was trying to regain whatever endurance I’d had, because I hadn’t run in a week (save for the 5 miles on Thurs) and hadn’t successfully done a long run in two weeks. I felt like it was catching up to me. But I stayed calm and kept my breathing in check. I guess the rain was a good distraction, because when you’re dodging puddles and the wind is pelting you with raindrops, you have other things on your mind!!

We got through 5 and I felt good…but not confident. I wasn’t sure I was going to finish. But then something happened…I guess it was around the next mile that I started to feel stronger.

Of course it was right around then that the rain was absolutely out of control!! My running partner decided she was done and my pace leader was ready to head back as well. At this point we’d done over 6.5 miles. I headed back with them and my plan was to just continue on my own – I had to prove to myself that I could get through today’s mileage, monsoon or not!

Finally, I guess it was around mile 8, the skies started to clear and some legit sun came out – we all started to dry off, and our collective spirits improved. Ultimately my pace leader and running partner and I kept going, running northbound yet again since we turned around early and bound and determined to see this thing through. Around mile 12 I felt achy and tired, but not sore – I’m telling myself that’s just because I need to build back my strength.

And then…we were done!!

In retrospect, the 15-miler was my hardest physical challenge of this training cycle, but this one took more mental strength. I was so proud of myself – and so relieved – to finish it. I have no idea what will happen next week at the 20-miler, but I know that I’m going to let the deferment deadline pass – I really want to try to see this through.

One quick cute anecdote – my nearly 63-year-old dad is heading to Cooperstown to play in a hardball baseball tournament this weekend. My dad is a total athlete and if I possess a fraction of athleticism, it comes straight from him. He’s been battling some soreness in his shoulder for awhile, so last night when I called to wish him a good tournament, I ended with my usual closing “have fun and PLAY SAFE” – this time he said “yeah – you too!” We decided it was our pact – he’ll keep it in check with baseball and I’ll keep monitoring my tush. 🙂

So looking forward to taking it easy for the rest of this lovely early fall day! I’m taking a walk in a bit, over to the running store for new sneakers, and maybe to Athleta for new workout pants – I feel I deserve them! It’ll be about a 3-mile loop, which will be a great way to flush out my legs.

And with that I am signing off! Thanks to you all, so much, for your comments and texts and emails – they mean THE WORLD to me!!!

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