I'm alive! After running the Marine Corps Marathon my ankle was super tight and I had pain when I tried to flex my foot a certain way. In the spirit of "listening to my body" instead of pushing through and following my training plan despite the fact that I was obviously injured, I decided to go on full rest. No running, no workouts. It killed me! However, it also worked because my ankle now feels 100% better.
Since I have the California International Marathon coming up in a few weeks I knew I needed to get back to running ASAP. CIM was supposed to be my goal race for the year but given the setback due to my ankle injury I've reassessed my expectations for the race. Instead of gunning for a PR I'm going to see how my body feels on race day and I'll run accordingly. Whoa...when did I become all mature and realistic? Ha!
I gave my ankle a true test run this weekend to see how it would hold up. My first real run was this past Saturday when I ran the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5k. Let me preface this by saying that I hate 5k's. It normally takes me 3 miles just to warm up so trying to run fast right from the start is uber hard for me. When I initially signed up for this race I had grand visions of racing it for a brand spanking new PR but obviously that wasn't going to be happening. I lined up at the starting line and found my friend Cathy and her son Nicklaus who was running his first 5k. Nicklaus is 6 years old and rocked the race by the way! I quickly told her my situation and she agreed with my plan to keep it slow at around a 10:00 min/mile pace to test out my ankle, especially since the course consisted of rolling hills.
Once the gun went off and the race started, I stayed with Cathy and Nicklaus for the first half mile thinking that they'd help keep me true to my pacing plan. Yeah, not so much. I glanced down at my watch and saw an 8:56 min/mile pace. Oops! And despite my best efforts that's pretty much how the entire race went. I'd glance down at my watch, mutter to myself that I'm going too fast, attempt to slow down and somehow end up speeding up. I even stopped to take pictures to try to force myself to slow down and I still ended up running faster! Who does that?! My slow run ended up being a progressive run with my pace dropping down to a 7:33 min/mile towards the end. The best part was my ankle felt great! No pain or tightness at all. And to make it even better, I got to see my friend Jodie cross the finish line! Jodie is one of my running inspirations and has a heart of gold. She always inspires me to do more and be better.
Mile 1: 9:02 min/mile
Mile 2: 8:56 min/mile
Mile 3: 8:40 min/mile (with a photo stop!)
.1 mile: 7:33 min/mile
Official time: 00:27:38
Jodie! Love her
The next day I was scheduled to run my last 20 mile run for CIM. Spoiler alert: That didn't happen. I met up with my friend Linda and we decided to run one of the toughest, hilliest courses in the area...Aguajito! It's a challenging 7+ mile loop that's full of non-stop hills. You either go up or down or up some more. There is literally no flat road at all on this route!
It was a nice slow steady pace the whole way and we chatted almost the entire way. I had forgotten to do my preventative inhaler before hand and didn't bring one with me so I was a little worried but I was pleasantly surprised that my breathing ended up being ok for the whole run. We made it to the summit of the last major hill and decided to take pictures to celebrate. 'Cuz we're cool like that!
Once we got back to the starting point I had intended to finish up the remainder of the 20 miles but decided I wasn't feeling it (I truly hate solo runs) and instead joined Linda and our other friends Ben, Mariana and Tina for brunch and bottomless mimosas. Best decision ever!
I know I'll probably be kicking myself in the butt for not getting the 20 miles in that I was supposed to but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I made a promise to myself that I'd get 18-20 miles in this weekend just for peace of mind. I know it's closer to race day than I'd like which means a shorter taper period but I'd feel better getting it in even though technically I know I'll finish the race just fine without it. Basically it comes down to my not wanting to feel like death at the finish!
Linda was happy to reach the top
I own my goofiness
On a completely different topic, I came home on Monday to find this beautiful surprise in my mailbox. This running skirt was handmade by my amazingly talented friend Handan. Isn't it gorgeous?! Runners really are the best people!