It’s been a long time since I blogged, and to be honest a long time since I’ve run much. Life has got in the way a bit and right now we’re busy prepping my house to sale but quite frankly the weather this winter has been awful and has not cooperated with running at all.
However I did see that there is a new local running group, Living Fit Columbus, that meets in Dublin, OH just down the road from me. Their run times actually clash with the turtles running group on Thursday night and the CRC’s Saturday morning run but if you live in Dublin, this might be a more convenient location and/or a change of scenery.
Last Friday was my first day of getting the official all clear to start running again. The doc had told me to take it slowly, back off if I was in any pain and don’t overdo it. I was busy on Friday so didn’t get a chance to run, but on Saturday the weather was nice out so I decided to go for a short run. There is a little wooded trail just behind the library that is about 1/2 mile and overlooks a ravine with waterfall and I try to run this little loop as part of my Dublin runs whenever I can. I thought this would be a good first run to try. The run went well although my left leg felt stiff and I had to adjust my stride but it was great to be running in shorts and a tshirt in November. This week my ex brother in law (feels weird calling him my ex) was in town for thanksgiving and as he’s a runner we met up to go running – twice. The first time we did a loop of another park. This park is totally in the shade and one of my favourites for running in the winter and it looked quite different this time of the year. The advantage of this place is that the loop around the park is on a gravel trail and is a mile long, but I’ve found an extra 1/2 mile track to run that is mainly trails through the woods – perfect for the soft ground (at this time of year) that helps with the healing process.
So when we started the run, I warned him that I might be doing the one mile depending on my leg, but after the first half mile, my leg had loosened up and I felt good so we headed off down the trail through the woods. We kept up a decent pace and at the end of the 2mile loop I really wanted to do it again, but I had to hang back and take the increase in distance slowly 😉 Yet again the weather was gorgeous – warm enough to run in shorts and tshirt again although this time the lungs definitely felt the cooler air but it just felt so good to be outside (and I had the day off work too which helps.)
Thursday we met up for our own Thanksgiving Turkey day trot. Last year I had hoped to do Dublin’s Flying Feather 4 mile race but on that morning I could struggled to walk .1 miles and later found out that I had torn my meniscus. This year I wouldn’t have been able to (safely) run 4 miles due to my other knee, but I decided to wear last years shirt anyway and we headed off to Antrim Lake. I’d never run there before so it was nice to find a new location. We did two 1.2 mile laps around the lake – the first passed quickly, I had to take a walking break mid way through the second lap and struggled for the second half. The good news was that I wasn’t struggling due to the knee but more because I felt unfit and out of breath. I was slightly mad because I was hoping the gym would keep the fitness level up – however when I looked at the pace on the watch I realised we had just run an average of under 9min mile pace and that included the walk – our normal pace was in the mid 8’s – I hadn’t run that fast before I was injured so it was no wonder I was out of breath! Yet again the weather was gorgeous – as we walked back to the car I remarked how nice it was – warm enough to have a thanksgiving picnic. This finished off a great first week of running – great weather, company and results.
This morning I decided to not get up early and do the Saturday morning run as I wanted to give my leg just a little more rest (it was stiff and slightly painful after running each day but not too bad). I’m glad I did though, as when I got up and looked out of the window it was snowing – a real turn around from the great weather we have had and most definitely not shorts and tshirt weather anymore.
I am looking forward to getting back to the Turtle Thursday group and the other group runs – Monday I see the doctor again – hopefully for the last time, but we’ll see what he says.
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Although it now seems a while ago, last Thursday was the 2012 Dublin Irish Festival 5k race. I had been looking forward to running this race since I started running last year. I had only been running about 5 days when the event came round and there was no way I would have been able to complete a 5k race this time last year. In fact looking at the stats from last year, I was running just over 2 miles including the warm up and cool down but at least I was running. The big reason I wanted to do this race is that it goes right past my front door. In previous years it has been frustrating to have the race go past my door as it meant it would be hard to get home if I was out in the evening (and I was invariably trying to get home after doing projection or sound at church) and I can remember at least one occasion that I had some takeaway gyros getting cold and I couldn’t get near the house. This year I was looking forward to running the race.
Unfortunately I did something to my left leg over a week previously and I had not run for a week so I was a bit nervous to see how my leg would hold up, but walking around during the week I had no problems.
Thursday after work I came home and hastily put together a sign for the front garden, got changed into my running gear and then headed to the mailbox to stash a frozen bottle of water to grab on my way past.
I headed down the road and stopped off to say hi to the neighbours who were manning the first water stop. They were putting the signs and banners up as I left them with instructions to cheer me on as I came through and then I started to run to the start.
I tried to keep the pace slow as it was hot, slightly uphill and I didn’t want to tire myself out. My leg didn’t start to give me any trouble until about half way and as I was early to the start I then headed up the road to Kroger to get some ibuprofen and washed some down before the race started.
The race is put on by the Columbus Running Company – my running group, so as usual it was nice to see some familiar faces and hang out before the race started.
There were loads of people there, most of whom were wearing the race tshirt as there was a garmin giveaway after the race and you had to be wearing the sponsored tshirt. Due to my leg hurting I lined up with Chase who was the 1030 pacer but had intentions of hoping to do better than that if possible.
The race started and the first part was all downhill, very congested and felt slow. It was really funny to hear everyone groan as they turned right and saw the hill. Normally I hate this hill as it is at the end of my run, so I am hot, tired and have to face this hill to get back into the neighbourhood. It took me ages before I could run up it without stopping but today I smiled at the groans from the other runners and pushed myself up the hill, powering up and overtaking tons of people and felt really good. IMy pace actually increased to sub 9 minute mile as I went up the hill. At this point my legs seemed to have eased up and I enjoyed the run through the neighbourhood with tons of spectators.
I got to my house and pulled off to the side, flpped the mailbox lid down and pulled out my water bottle. It felt so good to be holding an ice cold bottle and the water was really refreshing. I heard a couple of laughs and comments about what I was doing but then headed off to the water stop two doors down the road and grabbed a cup of water to dump on my head. The neighbours were so busy with all the runners, noone recognised me so I didn’t get my cheer
Not to worry, I headed down to the bottom of the hill and turned right back up another hill (or few). I was pleased to see that the leaders had not yet made their way back so it felt good knowing that I was making a reasonable pace.
About 1.3 miles into the race as we were going up another incline we saw the leaders heading back down the race and cheered them on and then it was our turn to head right and towards the turn around point. At this point, MothAudio on RunnersWorld describes it in his race report very well – “The road is rising, the sun is in our face and the devil in screaming in my head. All I can do is look straight ahead for the lead runners knowing the turn around can’t be much further.” Rings Road seemed very long and very slow and even the water stop half way down on the return journey took forever to get to.
As we turned the corner on High Street we could see the finish line in the distance. I looked at my watch and it was 27.15 – there was no way I was going to be able to run the entire length of the road in 45 seconds to beat my pr so I decided to just keep my pace going but about half way along Robbie jumped in with me and ran, pushing me onwards and I started to increase my speed. I kept increasing my speed and finished the run as fast as I could do –probably not good for me, but it feels good I did make sure that there was plenty of space between me and the person in front in case there were photographers but so far I’ve not seen any finishing line photos but I crossed the line smiling with no trace of pain in my legs at a time of 28:53 placing 423 or 39th in the M40-44 group.(Official Results)
I was surprised to see we got a medal for this race – so this joins my half marathon medal around the cats neck and I grabbed a banana and water to cool down and went to look for other runners. About 3 minutes later my left leg was screaming and it hurt to walk up an incline, let alone up the kerb at the side of the road. Standing still it was ok and I had to move slowly with a bit of a limp but I still had the runners high (which was probably just as well).
We hung around for the finishing ceremony and I was 11 away from winning the new gps and then had a very long, slow walk home. Even the cops asked if I was ok as I walked home and laughed with me as I said I had probably overdone it but still enjoyed it.
As I walked back up the hill again towards the water stop, I joined the neighbours who were having a party afterwards. It was good to hang out with them for a while and grab a burger. Getting up after the rest was painful though and I hobbled back home.
Friday morning was not fun. My leg had totally tightened up overnight and it took me about 5 minutes to get to the bathroom in the morning – really not how you want to start your day as I shuffled around at about 4” per step. I eventually got to the other side of the house and grabbed my crutches which made it a lot easier to get around and I ended up using them all day Friday. As it didn’t seem to be getting better and this is the second time in a fortnight that this has happened, I’ve made a Dr’s appointment for Tuesday. Saturday I needed one crutch for half the day and then the evening and Sunday I’ve been moving around the house slowly without any crutch. The leg is feeling a bit tight but better so I’m currently wearing my compression socks to see if that helps.
Speaking of which – Pro Compression are currently having a 50% off sale on their socks. Normally they retail for $50 but you can get them for $25 with free shipping too. Just enter the coupon code “socks” to get the discount at Pro Compression. (Offer expires 8/12/12) I’ve not tried these one but they’ve had good reviews and this price is a bargain. I’ve ordered a pair so I’ll have a pair to wear whilst training for the Marathon (which I still hope to do)
I totally had to miss out on the Irish Festival events – crutching around a festival n 95 degree weather would not have been much fun, so I’ve taken the opportunity to just relax and catch up with some of the running blogs and finally getting around to writing this runcap.
Anyone else run the Dublin Irish Festival 5k run? What did you think – did you write a recap? Do you write recaps for 5k runs? Anyone ever checked their mailbox in a run or had a race go right past their front door?
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Yep – thats not a misprint! Had a great time this morning. Got up early and joined the 7am group for the first run this morning and we did a 9min pace, 5.5mile run and got to the store about 10 minutes before round 2. Looked around the shop to see if there were any shoes to buy, got excited when there was a pair for $8.88 that were allegedly my size but too small once I tried them on 🙁
New Balance were at the store this morning with loaner shoes to try, so I swapped out the Glycerin’s for 890’s (I think) and then we headed out with the large group for the second part of the run. Stupidly I forgot to check the distance for the first run but was told around 5.5 so my next goal was to beat the 13.2 mile run from the half marathon. To round it up to the next mile and have a decent milestone, I figured I’d run 10 miles to hit that 15. The first 3 miles or so were running in the rain – really nice as it cooled you down and it wasn’t really raining hard enough that you could feel the rain coming down. Continued on a good run out to the half way point with someone from the group at a decent pace and I kept going until the garmin bleeped 10 miles – slightly more than the distance marked on the ground but I wanted to make sure I hit the 10 on the watch. At this point I was questioning the wisdom of wearing new shoes for a 10 mile run – they were hurting the top and sides of my toes so it was a bit painful to run back – I think part of the problem was that I was wearing cotton socks and they were soaking wet from the sweat and rain. Also the way back was a solo effort and a lot harder. At this point I had run 10 miles already so there were a few walking breaks including up Emerald Parkway – there was just no way I was ready to run up that one. Somewhere towards the top of Emerald Parkway I hit 13.2 miles – the rest of the run from here on was just a bonus. It was good to stop for a minute at the last/first water stop to refill the bottles, dump some water on my head and then continue back towards the store. These last two miles were tough – but that is the point of running long distances. I kept going wishing I had brought more swedish fish to eat but I had eaten the last one about 3 miles previous. Soon I rounded the corner and finished at the store 2:42:20 less the 11:25 between the two runs meant I had run 15.45 miles in 2:31 – an awesome feeling….for about 10 minutes and then the back of the legs started to hurt.
I hung around the store stretching, got a free towel and a well earned doughnut with thanks to New Balance and then headed to Kroger for some food and a large bag of ice for an ice bath. I wasn’t sure how long to sit in the bath so did a quick search and found anything from 15-30 minutes but also found out that it was going to hurt. I didn’t find it hurt that much but my toes were complaining about the cold at the end and I found it hard to pour the ice into the bath (after I had got in) as it was in one big chunk in the bag AND then sit back to relax, drink some coffee, eat some chocolate cake and read a book. At which point I realised I had left the phone/timer the other side of the bathroom so had no idea how long I was in the bath so I read “until the end of the chapter” a couple of times and then got out and enjoyed a hot shower before a nap 😉
A couple of hours later (and not *entirely* due to the nap) my legs dont feel sore – they do feel stiff and I won’t be climbing many flights of stairs today and I’m super hungry and a bit tired but on the whole feeling great for achieving a new distance record and knowing that a full marathon is not that much further (Think positive right?)
Funny thing is, this is actually the end of week 2 of my Marathon rookie training plan. Somehow I don’t think I stuck to the plan 😉
PS: Did the half marathon distance 10 seconds faster than my actual half marathon in May, over 10 minutes faster if you don’t count the 10 mins waiting between the runs.
Looking forward to this race and I’ve already booked my next race – the Dublin Irish Festival 5k run in August. The cool thing about this race is it runs right past my house. It’ll be weird running down the hill past my house and not stopping and hitting the Garmin. The bad side to this race is that a lot of it is on a road that has no pavement (sidewalk) so it’s too dangerous to practise the route safely. I do run about 1/3 of the race nearly every time I go out though, including The Hill that I hate at the end of my usual runs, although I am finding it easier to run up it without stopping (but still have to sometimes!).
In the meantime I have the half next weekend and I’m volunteering for a couple of other local races which should be fun.