I sorta dropped off the face of the earth for a while. M had been home for a long visit after spending most of the last six months in West Virginia working with the National Parks Service. It's been tough, indeed. His kitties were very excited to have him home and ever since I returned home alone, they are being very depressed. M and I went to spend the las day of his visit in Portland, and we decided to get a room so we could have a nice slow morning today without any frantic rushing to the airport.
This morning we discovered this great little dinner place called Mother's cafe.
It was a great place for a HUGE breakfast. I got biscuits and gravy, which came with two eggs! Seriously, about half of my plate would have been great. But it was very tasty. We also split a French press of coffee, because those Portlandians know their coffee.
Then we went to spend an hour in the Grotto in Portland. It's a Roman Catholic shrine with this killer view, a lovely meditation chapel (that's where the view is), and a lovely walk/stations of the cross. We jus enjoyed the sculptures and checked out the labyrinth and spent most of our time in the chapel. Face it, where ELSE in this world will you ever find a bunch of people just sitting quietly looking at a view? It was incredible, and incredibly peaceful. I anticipate going again! Note to clergy friends : the clergy discount is FREE!
Anyway... RACE REPORT!!
On Dec. 22, we did the Holiday Hustle. I got #2 in my age group, M got #3, and a friend of ours WON her age group in her first 5K! There were three distances- the 5K, the 10K, and a half marathon. I opted for the 10K, because while I am a horrible runner, I also realize that I don't really get going until two miles in or so. The 10K feels to me to be a good race to be a workout without killing me.
I had high hopes for this one. After spending the last month doing speed work, I had reeled off 7:45 miles and turned in a 5K split of 24:xx on my training runs. I was feeling good- not hungry, not nervous. I had had a nice restful week, physically, so I was feeling in good shape.
As we set off, I quickly outdistanced M and was feeling good heading into the campground for the first loop. My music was decent and my pace was strong- I was taking it a little conservatively for this first half of the 10K but I wasn't going at slacker speed. I'd have marked myself at an 8:45-8:55 mile.
Alas, all did not remain well. Soon into the campground, I stepped on some of the ample loose debris littering the roads from a recent storm, and it slid out beneath me! My left ankle did a nice 90 degree crunch and my whole left leg SPASMED UP LIKE A MO-FO!!! Sorry to be vulgar, but the amount of pain that roared through my leg at that moment was epic. It was like when I had caught my leg on the mat coming out of the water a Leadman. And just like then, I couldn't straighten my leg out for a few seconds. As I slowed to a (muttering swear words) walk, M and my friend blew by me on the way to their awesome 5K finishes.
As I approached the halfway point, I was seriously wondering how I could quit without looking like a slacker. I considered a sprint so I could collapse heroically, clutching my leg and moaning for a masseuse. I considered claiming hypothermia. I considered instant death. My leg felt fiery, which said to me that it was a little injury going on. Instead of any of these bright ideas, I just threw my jacket at Martin and heard my voice moan, "I'm doing so bad!" And I kept going.
I headed out on the second loop of the course alternately berating myself for my poor grammar and wondering how I could possibly finish this race.
On lap two, I saw a woman walking with a walker, surrounded by a group of people. I could see she'd recently had some sort of major medical procedure from her shorn hair, and her somewhat stilted gait. But she was trucking through. I figured if she could do it, I could stop whining.
I opted to continue, pushing as hard as I could. This explains why I was hobbling down the road, periodically slapping my seizing left leg and whimpering. I even started saying "Come on, left leg!" To try to motivate it.
Soon enough, I had hobbled to the field and the last bit of the run. The race started and ended in Richardson park, which was currently a bog. Seriously, next year, they should consider setting up in the parking lot or installing docks. I appreciate the shelter as it was cold and starting to rain, but the trade off of shelter was slogging through several inches of ice cold muddy water many times over the course of the morning.
Big props to the race for their masseuse tent! I headed right over, and got right in. The guy rolled out the super-tight muscles (he found a big knot behind my knee and some tight hamstrings. He suggested ice and heat, wich I heard as heat and heat which is why M took away my heating pad later that day!
Good enough for #2, so after all that drama I insisted on staying for the awards so we could be our ribbons! M had heard his name but didn't realize that he had won anything. So I had to send him to get his ribbon during my awards!
Since then, I've realized that my neglect of my core strength and lack of stretching is really starting to affect me negatively, so I will be signing up for an online package of core exercises to work on that. It'll play on m new ipad so it'll be a great way for me to learn all about the many powers of iPad, beyond just teasing Siri.
So new goals for training: in addition to all the tri distance stuff, since I know I can do the 70.3 distance:
-improve core strength and flexibility.
-work on swim form.
Those will be my jan goals!