Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Where to start?

Oh my gosh it’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged about my running or my life really and I’m not sure that it matters in the grand scheme of life, but it’s fun to put thoughts into sentences.  Plus on my way to work I started thinking about Stephen Fry and the fact he has such an eloquent way with words, some (nay most) of which I need to look up to find their meaning.  It is exercise for my brain, and with the fog I live in most days, it’s a necessity to stretch my cerebral muscles as much as possible. Use it or lose it babe!

*brutal sigh*

So where did we last leave our heroine?  *taps head with fore finger* hmmm… I do believe it was late 2011… so let’s wrap that year up with a change of work venue.  I went from working in Toronto to finding a job in Barrie, only five kilometres from home. The universe answers your requests!  It was time to move on, I had outgrown my previous employer, I needed more than what they could provide me. I wanted to be a REAL PROJECT MANAGER! I felt like Pinocchio when the Blue Fairy granted him his wish to be a real boy!  I landed the job of a life time. Project Manager, managing REAL projects for an IT company in Barrie! Could it be true?!   Life was grand.  Running … not so bad!

Ran my usual MidSummer Night’s Run in August in a great time, my training was paying off.  Speed training, hill training, and distance training all doing its thing. I started using and selling Isagenix – what a difference in my life for nutrition! WOW! I felt like I could keep running once I crossed the finish line after the 30 km. Woohoo! Fantastic! Done in 3:23
Raised funds AND ran an awesome individual race!

And that was pretty much my races for 2011. I was volunteering a lot with one race director in both the Barrie and Base Borden half Marathon’s rather than running. It was my “giving back” to the running community. And I had also broken my toe in October so I couldn’t run even if I wanted to. I dropped a bench on it whilst setting up for my volunteers making the race kits for the Base Borden run. I was out of commission for at least 6 weeks. 

The ringing in of the New Year 2012 …
It was going to be another year filled with change, who knew, both in my running and in my personal life; again.  I started seriously hanging around with a gentleman and eventually it lead to official dates instead of coffees… he signed up to do the Harry Rosen Spring Run Off 8k with me to help get me to my goal time of between 44 – 45 minutes.  I managed, with his help, to finish in 44:02. I struggled up that final hill –again.  *kicks self*

I didn’t really sign up for many races in 2012, I was suffering from horrible shoulder pain,  to the point where I couldn’t even sleep at night. After seeing three different medical / health and wellness practioners, I was finally and more importantly correctly diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis or Frozen Shoulder.  As well my left leg was starting to act up as well, strong pain in the calf muscle, I was starting to think the fascia was ripped again.  OH NO!!!!!!!!

In the mean time I had signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon in October, the marathon sold out in about 5 hours or less.  It was crazy, I signed up seconds after the online registration opened, before the end of the day it had sold out.

I ran Pick Your Poison 25k run in April – that was a cool day and finished this run in 3:30 – it was a tough go up and down the ski trails. I survived and lived to tell the tail.  I ran with Sandra Lalonde for part of the race, but she was far too quick and off she went for the 2nd loop.

I signed up for and ran my first Ultra Marathon – the Niagara 50k, in mid-June and for preparation for the I signed up for the 25 k at Sulpher Springs (which I completed in 3:06 ) and then the next day I ran the Women’s Only Half Marathon which I completed in 2:19 ( I believe – have to check my facts) and I felt really good throughout the race.  Once I again I started with Sandra & at about 15k I told her to keep on going. She was just too quick for me to keep up.  The point is though, I managed to do the back to back runs without keeling over, so I felt that Niagara was a go!

It was I started off really well, at about 28k my garmin died so I couldn’t really gauge my time properly as I was doing 15 min run & 2 min walk. At the 40k mark I ran into Keith & he was packing it in for the day, at 60k he was having knee pain & wanted to save himself for this 100 Miler later in July. At that point I was feeling good, my time was so-so 5hrs something.  Then  it happened around 42 km  the wheels fell off, I still finished (in under 7 hours). My Mum was there to see me cross the finish line as was Keith.  It was a great day. I knew with better training I could manage ultra- running with more aplomb.  Roads were not my friend – trails were for me.  

July I travelled to Vermont to pace and crew for him at the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance race.  What an amazing time that was. Unfortunately for Keith, he had to drop out around 52 miles due to medical reasons (he had lost 9 lbs and was in rough shape.  He tried to run, but his body seized up and wouldn’t move) and during the weekend we had met up with a couple of fellow Canadians from Montreal; Kate and Gary (who hails originally from the North of London). Once Keith had bowed out we took it upon ourselves to crew for them and a friendship was formed!  As well it opened my eyes to what a crew member needs to do for their runner, I needed to be forceful and more cognisant of what my runner was and wasn’t doing. Lesson learned.
July also took me to Ohio to volunteer for the Burning River 100 Mile endurance race, Keith needs to put in 8 hours of volunteer time annually so that he can meet the qualifications to enter into the lottery for Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race.  At the Gates Mill aid station we met and struck an instant friendship with a fellow named Dave, a transplanted Essex boy working and living in Ohio, what a treat to meet him, we laughed all day! I so miss that humour.

August brought me, again, to the MidSummer Night’s Run – a favourite of mine. I was in love with the new Adidas Trail shoes I had purchased while in the US, so much so that I wore them for my race, all 30K. I finished in a good time, I once again felt great during the run.  I got to the 25 k mark and kept going. Usually that is where I start faltering. I made it to 27 – still feeling strong.  Had a walk break here and there, yes that’s true, but they were short lived and at a quick pace.  I crossed the finish line feeling awesome in 3:30 only 7 minutes slower, but I was okay with that since I wasn’t doing as much speed workouts and hill training due to the injuries I had sustained.
Then in a few days my left calf started to ache. I thought it was from wearing trail shoes on the road.  Ohhh it hurt.  I had to continue training MCM 26.2 was just over the horizon and after all that hoopla to get in; I was NOT going to miss this opportunity.  I had my calf sleeves to try to keep things from going south and I was, most of all, determined (stubborn is perhaps a better term).

October rolled around – we ( Cindy, Shannon, Karen C, me & Keith as our dogsbody / tour guide) arrived in Arlington, Va ready to do the MCM 26.2 race.  Saturday we spent wandering around Washington DC and went crazy visiting the Museums… THEY WERE FREE!!!!! It was amazing! Silly of us to walk for hours considering we had a marathon to run the following day, but how do you say no to free museums?  Simply put, you don’t.

We arrived with, in my estimation, not enough time prior to the start of the race.  I’m the type of gal that likes to be there at least an hour before the race, get in line for the port o potties, have a few laughs with the folks around you, relax and start the race. Keith rather get there minutes before the start… we’ll need to work on that. J
We were all in the line-up for the potty when the guns went off to signal the start of the race. OMG!!!!!! Luckily there were soooo many people that the bottle neck allowed us to get out with little to no impact.  Everything was going well – then by the nine mile mark I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty.  By mile 11 I told Cindy to have a good race.  By mile 17 I was crying my eyes out to Keith (he was following us on the course – using the Metro system) that I never EVER wanted to run a race again where I was injured. It wasn’t fun! Running has to be fun … or it’s just not worth it.  Yes I am competitive, but I always have a smile and a giggle throughout the race with the people around me.  By the time I hit 21 miles I was desperately trying to figure out a way to cut the race short without DNF’ing, however; since that is not in my make up, I struggled on and kept going.  I crossed the finish line – I wasn’t happy but I finished.  Now to try and find the others,  Keith was waiting for me at the end of the VERY LONG runners chute.  I was so happy to try to forget about that race. I got the medal and the shirt (which I must admit sucks… mock turtleneck cotton shirt… EWW)

In the meantime – Keith had moved in and we settled into a  wonderful routine.  Yes a bit of getting used to for me, but regardless, it was great to have him sharing my life, my home (our home) etc. The rocky bits would be dealt with as and when they would happen.
After much figuring out – I came to realize that it wasn’t the trail shoes that caused my issues, with the help of my bestie Trish (and she happens to be my PT) we figured that I was curling my toes trying to grip the shoes. This happened, in my opinion from wearing sandals all summer – and caused tendonitis in my calf – the main tendon runs around where the big toe is.. so mystery somewhat solved

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