Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Race Weekend Re-Cap

I wasn’t sure what to call this post, since I didn’t really race. But oh well, it was still race weekend, so there.  This is a long post, so bear with me!

I started the day out with a visit to the Orthopedic. Not that I don’t trust the Chiropractor, but I wanted another opinion. I wanted to be sure that running 26.2 miles on my bum hip wasn’t going to make matters worse. The Ortho did an x-ray, which confirmed there was no noticeable fracture. He twisted and turned my leg, then pretty much gave me the same diagnosis as the Chiropractor – ligament strain. He also confirmed that running the marathon should not cause a major setback. The only thing bothering me is that during one of my stretches the day before, I tweaked my hip a little. I had been so excited earlier in the week that it no longer hurt to pick up my leg to put on my pants…well, that was no longer the case after this tweaking. I tried not to think about that though. I could still walk pretty much pain free, so I hope the same would be true when I attempted to run.

After the doctor’s appointment, I met up with June at the Expo. I love a good Expo! We picked up our packets and t-shirts, we shopped, we ate chocolate, we stalked Joan Benoit Samuelson and even got her autograph! It was a lot of fun and June is an excellent shopping buddy!  The best part – my hip wasn’t hurting at all! I was getting psyched up about the race. After the Expo, as I was walking back to my car, I stopped to gawk look at the Olympic Trials finish line one last time and stepped off the curb funny and tweaked the hip again. Klutz!

Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bill Rodgers

My bib with Joan's autograph!  I figured if I had Joan running with me, I could survive!

The cute stuff I bought at the Expo!

Saturday was amazing! We woke up early, bundled up the kids and headed downtown. As if it were that easy…it doesn’t get all that cold here often, but the temps were in the 30s. It took me about 10 minutes to even locate the kid’s real winter gear and probably another 15 minutes getting it on their squirmy little bodies! And before we even made it to the race, we managed to lose the Munchkin’s gloves. But we finally arrived and managed to get a spot on the curb where we would be able to see the runners 3x. And, we were close to the playground, so that between the runner’s laps we could let the kiddos play (i.e. not get bored and drive us crazy!).

It was an awesome day for a race...temps in the 30s, low humidity!

Our view while we waited

Here's the inspiring!
Here's my little Angry Bird while he's still happy...after 2 hours, he was done and had a major meltdown!

My little princess...she was a great sport the entire morning.  "Yeah Mom, the runners are neat...can we go to the playground now????"

The men on their 2nd lap - Ryan Hall was in the lead at this point

The women - the leaders have pulled away from the rest of the pack.  Here's Desi, Deena, Shalane, Amy and Kara.

On the final lap, Deena had fallen behind. :-(

The race was amazing! I loved being up close to the action where you could see the intense look of focus on the runner’s faces. And, it was cool seeing so many awesome runners…you know, the ones who are the cover of Runner’s World like Desi, Deena, Shalane, Kara, Meb, Ryan, etc. A-MAZ-ING! It was also cool to see the slower fast runners. There was a group of 3 women toward the back of the pack who did lots of fist-pumping (a la Ryan Hall) to get the crowd going every time they came around. They knew they weren’t going to the Olympics, they were proud to be at the trials and they were enjoying their moment dammit! After about 2 hours, the kids had had enough and we started packing up. We ended up leaving right after the women passed us for the final time ad right as the men were coming in for the finish. I had to check Facebook constantly on the way home to find out who won.

After the trials, I headed to the Chiro’s office to get all taped up with RockTape. I’ve never used tape before, so I had no idea what to expect. The tape was flexible and lightweight, so I didn’t even notice it. After the taping, I went home and decided to try my scheduled 2-miler.

This is where things went downhill.

So, I walked to the end of my driveway. This is when I usually start running. I was afraid. My last run on the previous Saturday was painful. I was afraid of the pain. I walked to the end of my street and finally started running. It was awkward. I wondered if it was possible to forget how to run, because that’s what it felt like.

And it was painful.

Every step hurt and there was pain every time I lifted my foot off the ground. And the pain was exactly in the spot that hurt when I tweaked my leg in the days before. I went around the block once (~.5) half running and half walking. I may or may not have said a few choice, rated-R words out loud. I was in pain and I was pissed. I decided to try going around the block again. This time I focused on getting my gait back to normal, because up until this point, I had been overcompensating with the other leg. My gait slowly started to feel more normal, but the stupid pain was still there. I made it around one more time and then stopped. When I came inside the Hubby asked how it went…I told him I needed a miracle.

I went on with business as usual for the next few hours – I colored with the kids and did the grocery shopping. I realized halfway through my trip to the grocery store that I was limping. When I arrived back at home, I must have sat in the car a little too long because the Hubby came outside and asked me if I was okay. I was okay, but I was sitting there rationalizing things in my head…

Just try to run tomorrow

Shit, I can’t even go to the grocery store without limping

It’s not that bad, you’ll be okay once you warm up

The doctors said it would be okay

After putting the groceries away, I started to get everything ready for the race – SpiBelt, nutrition, handheld bottle, check-in bag, etc. – and I laid out my clothes. I tried not to think of that run.  The thing that sealed the deal – my hammies felt tight, so I bent over forward to stretch them and I almost didn’t make it up. Something in my hip just wouldn’t let me move. That was certainly I’ve never experienced before. Around 7:30 pm, the Hubs was getting ready to leave for a friend's birthday party when I announced my final decision, “I am not running tomorrow”. I decided this was stupid – I ran a little over a mile and had been limping all afternoon. I realized that I had nothing to prove. I realized that I may not even be able to make 13.1, much less 26.2. I needed to go with my gut, and my gut had been telling me this for the past few days, but I refused to listen.  And yes, nothing like springing this on your husband as he’s about to walk out the door! LOL, he looked a little mortified. I assured him that I was okay and that he needed to go to the party.

And yes, I cried a little. I had a small pity party. Once the kids were in bed, I took a nice, long bubble bath and drank 2 glasses of wine (yes, wine with my whine). I sulked a little more while I watched TV. And then I decided – this is it, after tonight there will be no more sulking. Move on. Get over it.

The next morning, I limped out to the course and met up with a friend to cheer for the runners.  Honestly, I had an awesome time.  This was MUCH better than sitting around sulking while watching the race coverage on TV.  I met some fun people, saw some of my friends run by and yelled until I had no voice left.  The only time I got a little sad was when I saw my Woodlands Fit peeps run by…they were the people I should have been running with that day.  But I screamed and cheered for them and sent them some “AWESOME RACING” vibes! 

Ready to cheer!!!

Once the race crowd started to thin out, I headed home.  I was home by 10:15 am and the kids were thrilled to see me.  The Kiddo, who sometimes knows exactly what to say, gave me a hug and said that she was sorry I couldn’t run the marathon.  She quickly followed that with a “But, now you can spend more time with us!”  So, we played board games and went out for pizza.  We followed that up with the Texans game and an early birthday dinner with my folks.  It wasn’t a bad weekend at all! 

The hip will eventually heal.  There will be other races.  I will survive and be stronger.

Early birthday celebration...Ole'!!!


Stephanie said...

Totally understand the little pity party - but a wise decision on your part. And how cool to get to see all those awesome/inspiring runners.

That Pink Girl said...

Sounds like you made the difficult, but right decision for you. I'm sorry you're hurting but I'm glad you enjoyed spectating! Houston always has the BEST spectators!!!
And you not only met JBS but got her autograph? How awesome is that?!?!

JunieB said...

Yay for shopping!

and reading when you made your decision made me tear up. girl i cannot even imagine how hard that was! I would have been a bawling mess!!

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

You are so awesome!

You made the right decision and had the best pity party ever!

Kathy said...

Oh, that's heartbreaking! At least you were wise enough to know not try to push it! There will be more races! Nothing wrong with a little wine/whine pity party!!