Friday, May 8, 2009

Finally, Movement.

2 weeks after the Leona Divide 50, it was time to run again. Not on the dirt, but pavement. I was registered to run the OC Marathon.
4 days after Leona, I did an easy 7 mile loop at the Nix nature center. There were about 5 of us, all either in recovery from Leona or tapering for the Skyline to the Sea 50K. Kris B. and I hiked/ran and the others mostly hiked. A little bit of stiffness and some tightness through the hips but otherwise good. Later that day, I ran with Rick, another easy run along Bommer, about 5 miles. Then Saturday rolled around and it was the final run with the OC marathon training group that I'd all but abandoned for trail running. Was to be a slow taper run of about 10 miles, through the back bay. I started out feeling pretty good, but my pace was way off. I usually motor along with them at a 8.5-9 min pace, but that morning I was struggling to hit 11 min. I watched as my group slowly pulled ahead. 5 miles out my IT Bands froze. I could hardly walk. This meant shuffling 5 miles back to the car. Luckily it was a nice day...
My body said it needed to rest and I was forced to listen.
Panic set in, would I be ready for 26.2 in 1 week? On pavement?!! Would I do more harm to myself if I run it?
I hit the jacuzzi. I ate alot of protein. I hid my running shoes.
On Tuesday, I went for a 10 miles trail run, all flat, no hills. Even though the pace was still pretty slow, i was making progress. No pain during the run and with stretching , very little pain after. Thursday, Rick and I hit the River trail, part of the home stretch for the marathon. 8 miles of flat pavement. I could maintain a 10 min pace with stops.
That night I poured over all the info I could find on Jeff Galloway's running method. It involves running a "miracle mile" to find your speed and from there calculate the ratio of running/walking to get you to your goal marathon time. I didn't feel like running all out for 1 mile X 4, so I guessed. I had settled on a 5:1 ratio of running to walking and a goal of 4:30. At the starting line, I met up with a friend, Skip who was running the half marathon. He was also run/walking with a ratio of 8:1.
At the gun, I started running. 5 min out, I had people on my heels, running up my back...I was afraid to stop! So i kept running. At ten minutes, about a mile into the marathon, I felt safe enough to walk. A spur of the moment decision made me change my ratio to 9:1. Easy to keep track of and my legs were feeling pretty good, i wanted to run. I changed the timing as it suited me. If there was a long downhill ahead, I kept on running. If there was an uphill, I ran until the hill and started my walk. If there was a need to stop for water, I'd start my walk. So I ran/walked my way to a new PR and felt fabulous at the finish.
I have been trying to decide my next goal. The SD 100 endurance race is one that was way on the bottom of my list. Over the weeks, it has been climbing up my list. It's local, not too technical and has many opportunities for crew to help and or drop if it is too hard. I watched as the entry list for the race slowly crept up to 110, with 150 being the max. I told others I would decide after the marathon. If I felt like crap and needed 2 weeks to rehab again, then I wouldn't enter. But I feel good.
So, I filled out my app. added my check and put it in the mail.