Saturday, January 22, 2011

WDW Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge

The picture run down.... Me with Minnie Mouse was taken at Pasta in the Park, then I have two pictures with my husband from the half marathon, also from the half marathon I have a picture with our AWESOME pace leader Deb. For the full marathon there is a picture of me crossing the finish line, running through Hollywood Studios, and getting an awesome picture with Chip and Dale. (Anyone remember the Rescue Rangers?)

Thanks to Alett we stayed at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter. Fantastic choice! Not only did we have a newly renovated room, we were walking distance to the start. Although they say you have to be in your corral by 5 am that's not true. We were there about 5:15 and people were still piling in LONG LONG after us. Wish I had known that because I apparently drank water too close to going to the start. The first day we met up with Alett and her husband and a few others to walk to the start (since we didn't know where we were going.) It was chilly but nice out.

My husband let me guide the pace since I wasn't feeling so good injury wise. My hip hurt the most so we started at a 14 min pace. Then almost half a mile down the road I needed the port-a-potty. Once that was over the Garmin then read 18 min pace. So despite the hip, we ran. Not too far after that (once we got it to the 16 min pace), I saw Winnie the Pooh. I LOVE Pooh bear! We stopped (which was a very very long wait, but who can complain, it's Pooh!) After that is when we found Deb and her 3hr pace group. I heard her talking about walk breaks and I asked Steve if we could just join her. She was so fun! I've never done a pace group but she was amazing. I didn't even notice the miles fly by. We didn't get to stop for pictures again but it was worth it. The pain somewhat numbed around mile 4 so after that it was just getting in the groove. Scary was my heart rate but I felt good so I plugged along. I smiled the whole time and LOVED it! We finished and had our photo taken together. It was insanely crowded though.

Day 2 - The marathon

When the alarm went off I silently asked myself why I wanted to do this. To twitter I went and I started waking up. Joking around about how badly I needed coffee. I overdid it on Saturday after the race and hadn't got enough rest so I just wanted to sleep. Things were a little stiff but nothing hurt (yay.) I woke up did some warm up exercises in the room and then stretched. It was MUCH colder than Saturday but I'm out there so long so I layered up. Just before the start I tossed my fleece pants. About a mile in although I was still cold I was sweating so I tossed my fleece top. I held onto my mittens. Next year I'm going to make sure I have a hat and scarf because I could have kept those on longer.

No pace group for me this time. They only went up to 5:30 hours (which is ridiculous since the race goes to 7 hours; a 6 hour group would have been nice.) I was worried about going out too strong, about my injuries and about running for a second day so I played in conservatively. My goal was to keep the Garmin at 15 minutes. I found a wonderful mother and daughter from Calgary who were keeping that pace just walking so I joined in. The daughter (also a Jen) was also doing Goofy. As we walked along we found MANY Goofy people just wanting to finish and have a good time. We talked and stopped for pictures. I should have stopped for more but I liked having company so I kept with them. Unfortunately my stomach was having problems (wish it had waited one more day, but oh well) so for the first time ever I made about 5 bathroom stops in this race. Lucky for me I had trained well AND been going slow so I was able to easily make up for lost time. A very nice woman named Petra joined us before mile 9. I ended up hanging out with her until mile 23. At that point I still had so much energy that I had to use it. With a couple walk breaks (there were about 3 inclines that I chose to walk) I ran the rest of the way to the finish line (I think my Garmin said a 12 min pace.) My dad jokes that I sprinted across the finish line. I just felt so good. My pictures show such funny faces though and I could have sworn I kept my hands loose. Oh well! I finished feeling good and the only complaint was the leg and my right knee (hurt it in high school and acts up every now and then.)

I received an awesome text from Alett that made me light up. My husband finished with a 25 min pr. Friends and family were waiting at the finish for me. I finished with tons of pictures, feeling good, AND shaved 11 minutes off from last year. Now I know 11 minutes isn't spectacular at my pace, but lets review the facts... 1. I was injured .... 2. I ran a half marathon the day before ... 3. I got a TON of pictures .... 4. I was having stomach "issues" .... 5. I felt fantastic where last year I cried a lot and felt completely miserable

There you have it. Great marathon. TONS of pictures. I LOVED what ASI did this year so that I didn't have to carry my camera. Just wish they were at EVERY character stop. My sister in law loved the energy of everything so now she wants to do the half next year and wants me to do it with her. I wanted to do the full and see what I could do... Looks like I'll be doing Goofy again. I have to train well enough that I can still get all my character photos. Also regardless of speed I'd like to be in the back again. Everyone was just so happy and friendly in the back. I want lots of pictures again next year but I want to get under 6 hours. I believe I can do it. I know more what to expect and I know where to tweak my training. Who's with me?

Injury Report...

Way back in early December my leg started to hurt and mid December it was REALLY interfering with my running. Off I went to physical therapy to get laser treatment for my leg. Needed it to be in racing condition for Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge. During this process however, my lower back freaked out. At the time it hurt to do just about everything (brushing teeth, sitting, and almost everything that involved bending forward.) Thanks to Dean I started doing some stretching exercises and strengthening moves and by the time we left for Disney it was only an ache (ok a little more than that but still with significant improvement.) Unfortunately my hamstrings, IT band, and hips had not received much stretching in the month of December, mostly due to not being able to bend over. Although things were tight and I had not run, I had faith in myself that my muscles and bones would pull through.

While at Disney I continued with my strengthening and stretching and my back continued to feel better and so did my leg. On the Thursday before the race I decided to go out for a light walk/jog to loosen things up and feel them out (see what my challenges might be.) Unfortunately 5 minutes in severe pain shot through my hip. It was as if someone was stabbing my hip with a needle with every step I tried to take. I was distraught. It felt like the end of the world. I know I know. It's just a race that I was going to do slowly anyway, but it was still a race that I had looked forward to all year! I told everyone. Everyone knew. So many people thought I shouldn't do it anyway even when I felt good. So many people thought I was too heavy to run or didn't think I could do a marathon. So yes it felt like the end of the world. Not even Disney could cheer me up. I went to the expo anyway. At the expo I met Gordon for the first time in person! He gave me more stretches for my hip. Gosh they hurt, but helped.

It still hurt like crazy race day (I'll give a separate race report.) I made it through my races. I made it home. All three injuries hurt at this point. The back was tight and ached but nothing like it had been. The leg throbbed just as bad as it had been and the hip still had its moments. I tried running and walking but it killed. That's when I started back with Bikram Yoga.

After the first class I wanted to cry. The strength portions had always been a challenge but the flexibility was there. This time my back prevented a lot. That's when I decided I needed to go to the doctor. He was great (I've known him since he was my neighbor when I was about 11 years old.) He took X-rays of my back, pelvis, and leg. All looked good with no signs of bulging discs or stress fractures. Having run Boston twice himself, he said he wants me to keep running just back off for now and do PT and keep doing yoga. Ease into running on the treadmill. He scheduled a follow up for six weeks from now to see if it's still hurting.

So that's where I am physically. Mentally I'm beat. I'm worn out. Despite efforts over the last 2 years I haven't lost a pound and actually gained 25 pounds in the first year. I keep getting injured despite following training recommendations. Some people joke saying it's because I'm in my thirties now and have to be careful. Others say I have to lose weight before I can run. I say how can those people on the Biggest Loser run so much and get injured so much less? I am clinically 65lbs overweight which is still 35 pounds shy of qualifying for the Biggest Loser and they can run but I can't? GRRR. Also my average HR has not got any better over the last 2 years. I ran the half marathon at Disney with an average heart rate of 190!!! Ok I felt way better than that looks or sounds but still.

That's it. That's my injury report. In four weeks I have a physical and we're revisiting the possibility of a hypothyroid. 2 weeks after that I go back for a re-evaluation of my current injuries. Hopefully at that point I'll have done a minimum of 5 days a week of Bikram yoga and will be running again. Fingers crossed!