Saturday, September 8, 2012

9 Months...3 Marathons

While out running a very painful long run last weekend, I came to the realization that running a marathon is a lot like giving birth.  The end result is so euphoric that you forget about all the pain leading up to it.  I had forgotten just how challenging those final long runs are mentally and physically.  `

9 months...3 Marathons.  I was obviously still riding the post Marathon High, and chasing my next adrenaline high when I signed up for these (TO and Disney)

May Race Weekend was my first marathon and it was amazing, I felt strong and ran a great race. 4 hrs 17 min.   I cried much of the distance not because of pain but because of happiness. 

Oct 14th, I will be running my second Marathon in Toronto.  I am unsure how that will go.  I am trying to let go of my expectations and to be happy with getting there and finishing, covering the distance.  Last weekend I had a very tough 29 km run.  8km in I was feeling tight and painful.  It got worse as I ran, the pain was all in my right leg (really bad in the glute, and in my hamstring and calf).  30 min from home I stopped at a light and I couldn't bend my knee when I started up again.  I walked with a straight leg and tried calling home for a pick up a few times.  I didn't get ahold of Ryan, the pain lessened up, and I started to run again (aka..limp). I limped home stopping to walk a bit once more.  I finished the run, with Pitbull's words "Don't start what you can't finish".  That weekend things went from bad to a whole lot worse, as I was unable to bend my knee at all Sat and Sunday morning (mobility came back by late afternoon).  I rested all weekend, not even an upper body flex to be had.  I saw my physiotherapist Tuesday and in short have weak and TIGHT hips (very common) and my other muscles are compensating, getting tight and resulting in my knee pain.  Last weekend was a wake up call. I need to be way more diligent in my stretching and foam rolling.  I also need to change the focus of my strength training.  I have been working very hard this week to do al of those things.  I also had two 30 min massages, and did an amazing heated Yin Yoga class on Fri night.  I'm feeling much better not 100% but much better.  I am hopeful that if I keep up with the work, I will be ok. 

Last weekend, Ryan asked me if I would be ok if I can't run.  At the time I said I would be fine, that what would be would be. But as the weekend went on and my knee got worse. I PANICKED!  I was at a friend's cottage on the Long Weekend, in a horrible mood.  I have been training and working so hard to run these races.  I want to run them to collect my high at the end of the race, my prize.  But at the heart of my panic, is that I have once again tied my identity up in something external.  I have come to see myself as a runner and to therefore build my self confidence up in my ability to run.   I don't have an AHA Moment to share where I come to terms with that.  But I know that if its this important to me, I need to be as careful and diligent as I can.  I also need to realize that I might not be breaking and personal records. That I am ok with, I am changing my expectations.  

Katie's New Expectations:

1. I expect that I will take care of myself.  I will stretch, foam roll, strengthen, rest, and run.  

2. I will train to run the best half marathon I can at the Army Run in 2 weeks (changing my training up a bit to focus on this race and doing my best here, and will do what I have left for the Marathon Oct 14th).  

3.  I may start substituting runs for other endurance activities, to rest my over used muscles (ie. Sunday 75min spin class)

4.  Will do better with my strength training, changing the focus of it to focus on my weak areas (stabilizing my hips and strengthening them).

5. I am going to have more "fun" running, running to socialize and "play" (Thurs run club, the 5km Graffiti run with Liz, The 5km Moonlit Run with a group of friends) 

6.  The Disney Marathon will be a fun Marathon, I will stop and take pictures, and wear a princess costume, and after I will spend the week eating, drinking, and celebrating with my family and friends on CATION! 

Scary faced...WTF I'm soaked...pulling the chute 12km in to my 32km run this am...try again Sunday.   (taking a pic of myself while I wait in the rain to be rescued) 

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