Runner Down

Even though my bitchy right hip didn’t give me anything more than a gentle reminder during the race last weekend that all was not perfectly well yet, in the days afterward, I’ve definitely been made aware of how unhappy it is.  During my last chiropractor visit, he told me to use these two things to hopefully get me to the start line relatively pain free.

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The ice pack for the inflammation, and the softball because it can get deeper than the foam roller can.  And that seemed to work!  I didn’t have much pain until around mile 10 or so of the race, and even then it was only around a 2, quickly increasing to about a 5 by the night’s end.  During that same office visit, he also told me that he felt like I would benefit from a deep tissue massage, so I made an appointment with his massage therapist on Wednesday, and sweet baby Jesus, that was one of the most intense half-hours of my life.  She worked that hamstring until I was damn near in tears and then rolled me over and did the same thing to the front side of my leg.  I was sore afterwards, but after the working over she gave me I wasn’t surprised.  Then I got up Thursday morning in more pain than I’ve been in yet.  I couldn’t even walk without a limp.  I broke down and made an appointment with an M.D. after work.  I tried to get him to just call me in something, but noooooooo.  Gotta get that office visit moolah!  During the exam, he agreed with everything I’d told him over the phone (relaying what the chiropractor and massage therapist had told me–that there was just tons of soft tissue inflammation and tightness).  He prescribed a Medrol Dosepak, which is a 6-day taper of steroids and used that dreaded word:  REST.

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“Methylprednisolone” is a fancy word for magic happy hip pills, right?

So as I sit here now, I’m on day 6 of no running and day 2 of my steroid taper, feeling really discouraged, and wondering what will happen from here.  I know I should stay positive.  I know it’s only temporary.  And I definitely know it could have been worse.  (Stress fracture anyone?)  But then we injured runners aren’t known for being the most logical and patient lot, are we?

Race Weekend Recap: Mercedes Half Marathon 2015

Location:  Birmingham, AL
State #8
Half Marathon #15
Time:  2:14:41
Pace:  10:17

Thanks to my bitchy hip, I hadn’t run the 8 days preceding this race.  After two visits to the chiropractor and a lot of quality time with my foam roller, a softball (because the foam roller just didn’t hurt quite bad enough!), and an ice pack, I was almost back to normal although not quite at 100%.  But since I was assured that it’s just tightness and inflammation and that nothing is torn nor in danger of being torn, I wanted to give it a shot.

When I registered for this Sunday race, I already knew that I was going to have to work for a couple of hours Saturday morning, but I thought, “No big deal!  I’ll be out of there by 10, home and packed and gone by 12, and at the expo well before it closes at 6!”  Well that’s what I get for making plans.  haha We had two rounds of severe winter weather come through last week, and the roads were positively treacherous on Saturday, the worst they’d been all week. The highways and roads in town were clear, but I work in the delivery industry, and those roads only account for a small percentage of the roads traveled by my employees every day.  Usually when I’m going to be out of pocket, I let my people know to call a manager at a neighboring office if there’s an emergency, but I just couldn’t do that Saturday.  I couldn’t leave knowing my employees were out on those dangerous roads, and I couldn’t put the burden of worrying about them on any of my co-managers as they all had their own people to worry about.  But anyway, back to the point… it was nearly 5:00 by the time I got out of the office, filled my gas tank, grabbed a pizza to heat up for supper in the hotel room later, and got on the road.  The drive down was miserable.  I hate driving under three conditions:  at night, when it’s raining, and when I’m sleepy.  Well I had the perfect trifecta going for me Saturday making it a looooong 4-1/2 hours.  I had called ahead earlier that afternoon to the expo to let them know I wouldn’t make it in time for packet pickup, so they sent my goody bag and bib over to the host hotel where I could pick it up when I got to town.  I was super bummed about not making it down earlier because I had made plans to meet Holly from HoHo Runs at the expo!  So I drove straight to the Sheraton, was in and out with goody bag in-hand in less than two minutes, and back on the road to Homewood (where I’d booked a hotel just outside of Birmingham to save a few bucks!)  I had JUST gotten back on the interstate when traffic came to a dead halt.  All I saw were blue lights and tail lights.  I was was so ready to just eat and go to bed, and there I was, 10 minutes from the hotel, stuck in traffic.  Well one of those things I could take care of.  I reached into the back seat and grabbed my pizza.  Cold pizza for the win!  Thankfully, traffic cleared within just a few minutes.  I finally got to my room about a quarter till 10.  After a quick text to Holly letting her know I’d arrived and arranging our morning meetup plans, I crashed and burned.

Holly was also staying in Homewood at a hotel just right across the street from mine, and she very graciously offered to drive us downtown to the start.  She picked me up at 6:00 on the dot and we made our way downtown.  Parking was a breeze, so we had plenty of time to mill around before the 7:03 start.

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Right after this picture was taken, the rain started.  It was never a heavy rain, but steady enough that we were pretty well soaked before the start.

We lined up between the 9:00 and 10:00 min/mile pacers.  I was planning on shooting for 10:00 miles, but once we started moving I settled into a 9:30ish pace and felt fantastic. There really wasn’t much to look at on the course, but I was never bored with it like at Mississippi Blues last month.  Even with the soggy weather, there were lots of people out spectating and lots of groups had come out and set up their own aid stations with gummy bears, bananas, orange slices, etc.  This was hands-down the most well-supported course I’ve ever been on.  The race itself had probably 8 or so stations (3 of which had GU), and there were probably at least that many extra ones tossed in.  It made them quick and easy to get through.

At the 10K mark, my time was 58:15, a 9:33 pace.  I was pretty excited to see that number because at the race that holds my current HM PR (2:07:24) my 10K split was 59:45.  But very shortly after that, things went downhill.  I wish I could blame it on my hip, but I can’t.  I didn’t even feel a twinge until around mile 10.  The same thing happened that happened at St. Jude in December.  I just reached a point where I was DONE.  Like flipping a switch, running all of a sudden got a LOT harder!  It could have been a lot of things really, (lack of sleep the last few weeks, dehydration, hills, stress, humidity) but none of the excuses matter.  It just wasn’t my day.  Not only did I not get that PR, I didn’t even meet the “B” goal of averaging under 10:00.  Matter of fact, my time was a minute and a half slower than last month.  I can’t lie and say I’m not disappointed, but I’m not beating myself up.  I still got to go to a new place and run a great race and turn a blogger buddy into a real-life buddy!  haha  And my race photos don’t even suck!

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I would definitely recommend this race to anyone thinking about doing it.  It was reasonably priced, well supported, easy to get to, had fantastic post-race festivities, and I loved the shirt and medal.  And we even got a finisher’s beach towel!

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I’d love to say I’ll be back to this race, but the truth is, I’ve got a lot more states to do before I start doubling back and repeating states!  haha  Maybe in 2025…

A Week’s Worth of Suck

The last few days really haven’t been the greatest.  I feel whiny for complaining about it because none of it is really a big deal, but I’ve just had several … annoyances this past week.

After last Sunday’s 10-mile run, I noticed some tightness and aching in my right hip.  I took a couple of days off and foam rolled the hell out of it.  It felt better by Wednesday, so I ran 6 miles (5 miles @ tempo pace), and then afterward it hurt again.  Foam rolled and took Advil on Thursday and Friday and then ran 4 VERY easy miles on the treadmill Friday evening.  I couldn’t walk without limping Saturday morning and it’s still not back to normal.  I have a half-marathon in 6 days.

I have always hated Valentine’s Day, but it sucked especially bad this year.  I’m not married to a romantic guy, and I know this, but it bothered me more than usual this year.  He worked all day and bought us tickets to go to a comedy club with another couple that I’m really not even crazy about.  During the hour+ drive there, he and the other dude sat in the front and talked shop (they’re in the same line of work) while me and his wife sat in the back having very sporatic, forced, awkward conversation.  I can B.S. and make small talk with almost anybody, but it’s hard to fill that much time and silence with someone you have nothing in common with and can’t relate to on any level.  At least the comedy show was okay.

Then last night a winter storm hit.  We were supposed to get 6-10 inches of snow, but what we ended up with is more like 3 inches of sleet with maybe another inch or so of snow on top of that.  At least I’m off work for President’s Day and don’t have to deal with that headache today, but I know tomorrow will be shitty and dangerous for my employees (as I work in the delivery industry).

That aforementioned ice screwed up my plans for today, too.  The only thing I had planned for my day off was to get my hair done and see my chiropractor to see if he could help with my hip, and both of those places cancelled my appointment due to the weather.

And admittedly this one is kind of funny, but as icing on the cake I waxed my lip yesterday and then played out in the snow with the doggies today.  I guess that skin was still super sensitive because it’s chapped now to the point that I have a red, scabby mustache.  So sexy.

Just so this post isn’t entirely negative, here are some pictures of happy dogs in the snow.

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I haz a puppeh

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Okay, all together now… “Awwwwwwww!!!!!!!”  Guys, this is Penny.  Penny is a 10-week-old coonhound.  We’re fostering her for a while for a local rescue.  Penny doesn’t have a significant story, really.  She wasn’t abused.  She wasn’t starved.  She wasn’t injured or sick.  She was one thing… unwanted.  Her story is exactly the the same as millions of others across the country.  She was the product of irresponsible breeding, and her owner was camped out in the Tractor Supply parking lot giving her and her litter mates away for free just to get rid of them when they learned that they couldn’t sell them to make a quick buck.  Y’all, I despise a lot of people, and backyard breeders are right there at the top of that list.  They told me during our short conversation that they had sold the first five of the eight puppies for $200 apiece and couldn’t get rid of the last three.  *sigh*  I offered to take all three puppies, and he was agreeable to that until I made the mistake of telling them that I was with a rescue.  Backyard breeders HATE rescues.  They think we “cut into their profit.”  Seriously.  So when the “R” word came up, he balked and would only let me have one puppy.  Since I had to choose, I took the female so that I would at least know that she would be spayed and not contribute to our atrocious overpopulation.  See, that’s how it happens here.  People are irresponsible and don’t spay and neuter their pets; they give them away to people who are in the market for a free pet because they say they “can’t afford” shelter adoption fees; these people also “can’t afford” to spay and neuter those pets (or provide good food or other basic vet care, but I digress), so that one unwanted litter turns into dozens of unwanted litters and the problem grows exponentially.  (Oh, and these are the lucky pups that just go to irresponsible homes… the unlucky ones are scooped up as free bait for dogfighters or moving targets for practice.  Yeah, reality is harsh.)

But Penny is safe.  Penny is LOVED, she is WANTED, and she is SPOILED!  My dogs are teaching her how to be a dog, and we are teaching her how to be a GOOD dog.  haha.  I don’t know how long we’ll have her, but she has a place here with us for as long as she needs us until her forever family finds her.

Wooftrax: Take Your Walk for a Dog

Today I’m linking up with MCM Mama for Tuesdays on the Run, and this week the topic is best apps for runners.  Except I’m going to take it in a bit of a different direction.  The app I want to tell you about doesn’t count calories, or keep track of your splits, or promise you a tight ass in 30 days.  Wooftrax is an app that tracks your run or walk, and every time you run Wooftrax donates money to the animal shelter of your choice.  It’s a really sweet setup.  You’re gonna run anyway.  You’re gonna have your phone with you anyway.  So download this free app and earn money for the fur monsters!  All you have to do is open the app, click the “Start Walking For…” button, and Wooftrax does the rest.

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And although this isn’t affiliated with the Wooftrax app, I’m gonna throw it out there again anyway!  If you’re so inclined to sponsor ME for every mile I run, please check out my Facebook page, The Goofy Runner, as I run to earn money for my favorite local rescue!  I had 12 sponsors in January, I have 17 for February, and I’m now taking sponsors for March.  Don’t put off sponsoring because you think it’s gonna cost you an arm and a leg–based on my January mileage, each sponsor was only committed to $17.74, but when you multiply that by 12 sponsors, that makes a big difference in one month for a small grass-roots rescue!  Please join up!  🙂

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This Week’s Wins

Scoring a sackful of seasonal Clif bars and Larabars at Kroger for 50 cents each!

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These shoes and these shorts

shoes and shorts
Love, love, LOVE my new Hoka Cliftons and Lululemon Run Times shorts.

This

3lbs

Birthday freebies

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This run

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Such an AMAZING run… which I think is due at least in part to my new shoes! It just felt EASY.

This little girl!

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Our new foster, Penny! More on her story later.

What’s gone your way this week?