Sunday, July 29, 2012

SF marathon done! 10th marathon!

It was far from my best time, but I finished it!  And, it was a course PR (though only the second time running it)

Before Big Sur marathon, I hurt my ankle.  I ran on a very sore ankle at the Big Sur marathon and since that time I have not been able to do any hill runs, speed workouts, tempo runs.  So basically, I did not do any training that might actually help my "speed" after the ankle injury. I ran generally about once a week most weeks due to my ankle being injured.  I would do a long run on the weekend and then have to rest my ankle during the week so that I could do another long run on the next weekend (at times I could get 1 easy run in on a Thursday or Friday).

Then, my calf (on the same leg) got injured two or so weeks ago.  I had to walk three miles back to my car when it got injured. It has been bothering me since.

This really lead to many questions about whether I should have rested after Big Sur.  After Big Sur I tried to take it a little easier and hoped the ankle would get better by not pushing it too hard.  The smart decision would have been to take 3 or so weeks off after Big Sur, but I did not and it was a bit too late to take time off after the ankle did not get better with SF around the corner.

Thus, my expectations were not high.  I was just hoping that I could complete the marathon.  And I did!

I started out a little slow, tried to get my legs loose and into it.  My wife was running the first half so I ran near/next to her for most of the first half.  We were keeping about a 9:05-9:10 pace.  I felt okay, but my calf was tight (it has been since I hurt it) and the hills (especially the downhills) brought pain to it.

The GG bridge was very foggy and did not have great views, but it was still nice running on the bridge.  I was starting to have stomach issues so I stopped at the restrooms on the lookout after getting off the GGB.  There was a little line and I was about 9:16 avg pace when I started running again.  I pushed to get closer to my wife.  I caught her on the hill after coming off the GGB.  I then tried to keep about a 9:09 or so pace to get her close to the 2 hour mark for the half.  She was a head of me at times, but then fell a little behind me.  I slowed down before the cut off and when she caught up I tried to give her some words of encouragement.  She came in at the 2 hour mark.  A PR for her.

I was doing okay at the half way point, but by mile 15 my calf was starting to really hurt.  I also stopped to use the rest room again (I don't know what goes on with my stomach and marathons).  By the time I got back to running I was at a 9:17 or so avg pace.

In the back of my head is to beat 4, but I knew that was not a strong possibility.  I pushed forward and tried to get my avg pace down, but the faster I ran the more my ankle and calf hurt.  I decided to not try to push for under 4.  I just wanted to finish.  I was worried about my calf and if it hurt like it did two weeks ago, I would not be able to run.

I focused on getting out of GG park.  Too many miles in that park.  But, about mile 19 I was finally out of GG park and then I just focused on running and kept a steady pace. I kept my avg pace according to my Garmin at 9:17 (which was a little off due to it reading the course long, showed my running further than what I actually ran).

I stopped to refill my water bottle two times and to use the rest room two time.  Other than that I kept running.  I was tired about mile 22/23, but it was so close that I just focused on trying to knock 1 mile off at a time.

I finally got to AT&T Park and then to the bay bridge.  My Garmin has already showed me past 26.2 so I'm a bit annoyed (where is that finish).  But, then I see it and soon I cross the finish line.  I finish with a time about 4:05 and 50 seconds.  Not bad considering the injuries caused my training to be horrible.

My daughter with the medals:

I was a bit surprised that the half medal was not even a 1/4 of the size of the full medal.  But my daughter said, Brooklyn size medal.

Overall:  I was very happy to finish. I felt that I pushed through the injuries (maybe not the smartest) and accomplished a goal.  I will now rest for a few weeks and hope to get healthy for the NY Marathon!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

SF Marathon: Two Weeks Away and Still Injured

Hi - hope everyone is doing great and had an awesome 4th.  I spend the week of the 4th in Tahoe and it was great.

I wish I could say the same for my running.  Since I hurt my ankle before Big Sur, it has been a tough couple of months with limited running.  I basically do a long run on the weekend, ankle is very sore, I rest 4 or 5 days, do a short easy run to see how it feels, rest my ankle for a day or two, do a long run, ankle is very sore . . .  endless cycle.

My plan all along was to try to do the SF marathon and then "rest" after the marathon.  I've been able to do the long runs . . . a 18 mile run, a 20 mile run and a 22 mile run.  My speed has suffered due to the no speed work (ankle has been too sore after the long run for a speed workout).

This past Sunday, I went out to run with the San Fran Marathon training group (where I'm a pacer).  We had a 16 mile run planned.  I started out strong and we were going at a good pace.  But, about 4 miles in my calf started hurting.  Before mile 5, I had to pull up due major pain in my calf.  My running group stopped with me. I tried to stretch and walk it off.  Then, I tried to run again, within a few steps I had to pull up again.  I told the runners to go on.  I tried to walk for a while, but when I tried to run again, within two steps I had to pull up.  I turned around and walked back to my car. I did try to run a couple of times on the long walk back, but had no luck and the pain was worse each time I tried.

My calf is still sore!  I'm just hoping it gets better.

Good news:  I finally went the doctor and had an x-ray on my ankle - no fracture!  Yes!!!  Which means I still have some hope of running SF marathon.  The Dr said they needed an MRI to tell if I tore something in my calf and she stated we could go that route if it did not heal in 3-4 weeks (. . . yes . . . 3 to 4 weeks is beyond two weeks).  She also could not recommend me running the marathon unless the calf healed up real quick.

Right now - I'm just taking it easy this week and hoping for the best.

Also - I cannot tell you how difficult it was to get my x-ray result.  I received an e-mail that my x-ray result was in and I just needed to log into the online account.  Problem - I could not remember my password.  After trying a number to typical passwords I use, I got locked out of my online account (I hate when that occurs).  Then, I spent at least a 1/2 an hour getting my account open again.  The Dr said she would call me if there was an issue.  Another problem - my home number (the number on record) was not working (not sure why, but no dial tone).  I could not change my home number via the phone or website (could not log-in).  Very frustrating process.

I was able to finally decided to leave early and drive to the Dr's office to get my x-ray result, I needed to know whether or not I had a fracture.