Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Undertrained and Over Confident: Smuttynose Half Marathon Recap




If you've been following my running story lately then you know that over the summer I developed a nasty case of Plantar Fasciitis. It first started in February but didn't hit its peak level of pain until July after I took a break from running and started up my Half Marathon training again.

As my runs got longer and harder the pain grew more intense until I was completely disabled by it. I forced myself to go to the podiatrist where I was quickly diagnosed with PF.

Long story short, I was barely able to train. The podiatrist assured me that rest would help my feet. He gave me 2 cortisone shots in each foot over a period of 2 weeks. They did nothing to touch the pain.

My training consisted of strengthen my arms and using our rowing machine to keep up my cardio. My nutrition suffered as hard as I tried to get it back on track. Depression set in and my emotions decided my food choices.

In the days leading up to the race I hoped that it would be cancelled due to rain as thunderstorms had been foretasted. No such luck.

I was up at 4:30 in the morning to get my family to the beach where the race was before the 8 am start time. I woke up to rain and although the weather report said otherwise it never stopped.
I had no delusions of grandeur going into this race. I just wanted to get it done giving it my all in the process. My two mantras that I wrote on my hands to remind myself of when the course got tough were "No Regrets" and "Leave it all on the course."



Did I look at those mantras often?  Oh yeah I did.

The traffic getting to the race wasn't too nuts, we got to the beach by 6:30am, but there was a long line of cars behind us. For anyone thinking of running this race in the future then I suggest getting there early because they closed the roads at 7 am.

About 10 minutes before the race started I got in my corral with my family by my side and they stuck around until the last minute. They sent us out in waves so I didn't start until a few minutes after 8 and I was getting anxious to start. Of course, it was just a few hundred feet after the start line that I stepped in a puddle and had soggy feet for the rest of the race. That's alright by the end of it I was soaked to the bone.

The first 3 miles were like something out of a Spartan Race because we were jumping puddles left and right. I felt really good those first few miles although I secretly wished I had dropped down to the 5K they were holding simultaneously so I could just be done. I knew the pain was just going to get worse.



The way the race is set up spectators have 4 chances to see runners:  the start and finish and two times in between during the first loops. I was able to see my husband and daughter two times, both times when I rounded the beach. The last time I saw them before the finish I shouted, "See you in 9 miles!"

I did great the first 5 miles up until I had to slow down to take my fuel. After that it was hard to keep up my momentum.  

By mile 7 my feet hurt. My quads hurt too. I stopped to stretch a few times and I'm glad I did but I actually felt pretty good for miles 8-10. 

So much rain!

It wasn't until mile 10 that the rain really started to get to me. It didn't help that the cold air from the ocean started to hit me so my arms and fingers went numb. It was so cold I could see my breath. 

By mile 11 I was picking out markers to run to. I'd tell myself to just run until the guardrail ends and then walk to the person wearing the red coat. Doing this kept me going. 
It was all mental by the end. 

By mile 12 I was literally seeing stars. I knew the pain from my feet was increasing my blood pressure. At this point it was all mental. I told myself that if I kept running I would be done with this race a whole lot sooner than if I walked it. 

I was desperate to be done.



The pain in my feet was intense and I was a soggy mess. 

When I finally entered the finish chute and saw my husband holding my daughter I was overjoyed. I quickly snatched her from his arms and told her to run. I started screaming, "Go, Scarlett! "  She just giggled beside me. 



After we crossed the finish line and I looked up from grabbing my medal and turning off my watch, I noticed she had a medal too and the biggest grin on her face to go along with it.



It was a great moment to share with her. 

After hugs from my husband and daughter we snatched up our free lobster roll, clam chowder and beer and then we ran back to the car to dry off. 

I've never been so happy to be done with a race in my life!  Looking back, I am glad I did it, but considering my injury, it might not have been the brightest idea I've had. 

Now it's time to heal my feet and get back to basics. I can't wait to run a 3K this weekend!

There is no shame in starting over.