Monday, September 17, 2012

that weekend where too much happened.

SATURDAY:
my third year pouring beers with Becca!
I was a volunteer beer vendor at the hideout block party on Saturday morning.  I do this every year, because they let me drink unlimited beer, i get to hang out with my friends, i get free entry to the block party (which had headliners Iron and wine and Wilco this year!) and the girl pouring the beer is the most popular girl at the event.  Beer servers have all the power, and it brings me one step closer to world domination.
I had to limit myself to one beer though, because of my Sunday 20-miler.  It was very sad.

After being at the block party all morning/afternoon, Matt picked me up and we headed down to RiotFest!!  We caught the very end of slapstick's set, and got to watch the Dropkick Murphys and the Descendants.  15 year old Sara was very happy.
Despite all of this, i still managed to make it home and in bed at a reasonable hour.  (although being on my feet the entire day was probably not the best idea.)

SUNDAY:

Sunday morning i was participating in the Newton Ready to Run 20-miler. For non Chicagoans, This is  an event created by the Chicago Area Runners Association, and is used as "test run" for the marathon.  I actually really love this idea.  My biggest complaint about the training this summer is that because the groups are massive, every water stop takes 5-10 minutes.  That's bananas.  You will not stop for 10 minutes in a marathon.  So this run is set up with a start line, finish line, and water stops just like the race, so you can actually get a sense of what you will do on race day.  I still chose a 10:30 pace because it seemed like a smart move for me.  It is, still, just a training run.  Now, bear with me, as i have a few criticisms of the run.  I'm not trying to be a bitch, i really enjoyed the way this was set up, and i would recommend it to anyone, and would totally do this again.  These are just some helpful observances.

1.  I have never seen so many people that are completely unprepared to run 20 miles try to run 20 miles in my life.  This was terrifying.  It is an open event (not just CARA members) so i think something like 3500 people "ran" this.  I use quotations because so many people were walking by mile 10!  Seriously?  If you are walking by mile 10, you should seriously rethink running the marathon.  I am not trying to be a bitch, this is coming from a place of legitimate concern....if you haven't trained, you are putting yourself at risk.  One girl that started with my pace group had to fall back before we hit mile one.  People were still on the course 5.5 hours after the start.  This concerns me.....

2.  A lot of the pace groups were off.  Like, way off.  My goal for this run was to run twenty miles at a 10:30 pace.  That includes water, bathroom, walk breaks, anything.  In general, i just assumed that we would obviously lose time at the water stops (always a clusterf*ck, thats just a given) and we would speed up a little to balance it.  This didn't happen.  After the second water stop, I had to leave my group because they were no where near the pace, and i have specific goals i need to meet. I ended up running most of this run alone, passing through a variety of pace groups, that were not on pace.  At  mile 17, i ran into my friend Brittany, whom i met through winter training. I was so happy to see her, and those last three miles were by far the easiest, because i had her to talk to.  I eventually saw the group i started with when i was getting on the bus to leave.  Their average pace had been 11:30, and by the time they finished, they had run out of beer.  If i had stayed with them, i would have ended up going on rampage because there was no beer.  In short, don't rely on a pace group if you have specific goals other than "just finish".  My run was super lonely, but i was right on pace.

3.  I am injured.  This is actually no ones fault, but i am totally blaming anything and everything i can because i am pissed off and not dealing with it very well.  About half way through the 20-miler, i started having pain right above my achilles on my left leg, just below the calf.  By the time i finished the run and sat down to stretch, it felt rock hard, and was throbbing in pain.  When i got home, i couldn't even walk up the stairs to my apartment.  So i crawled.  Up three flights of stairs.  I got inside and was in tears.  I have pretty high pain tolerance, but this was awful.  Matt carried me to the couch and we iced it.  Then i took some pain killers, and rubbed numbing gel on the area. Then i had to sit through puppy class.  I just sat there the whole time with my leg propped up, while waffles misbehaved.  We took her home, and went back to riotfest so that i could see the Jesus and Mary chain.  This was a horrible idea, and i admit it.  But i had been waiting for months to see them.  I stood on one leg the whole time, leaning on Matt.  Luckily, the painkillers and beer seemed to help.
After that we grabbed some dinner with friends, and went home so i could ice my leg some more.

When i woke up today, it still hurt, but not as bad. Walking is ok, but stairs are very painful.  I am hoping it was just a strained muscle, and a few days rest will help.  I am trying to keep the thoughts of not being able to run either marathon out of my head, but it was all i dreamt about last night.   I am so grouchy because it just started out of nowhere, without any (perceived by me) warning. 20 days before the marathon.  I am trying to stay positive and look on the bright side, but it is definitely a struggle right now.  

28 comments:

  1. Rest and ice that puppy! It's taper time so you won't lose much if you take a week off. Go to Athletico and get an injury assessment (free!) if you want professional advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I was actually going to call novacare in the morning if there hasn't been significant improvement

      Delete
  2. BuMMER...I feel for ya...injuries are NO FUN at all...but its true rest and ice...and from my experience don't push it or you end up taking one step forward and two steps back...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, with less than 3 weeks to go, i am not taking any chances!

      Delete
  3. NO to injuries!!!! Rest like a mofo - you will be fine not running now, so rest ice rest ice.

    Riot fest sounds like it was totally worth it!

    (I cannot believe the pace groups were that far off. Unacceptable!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, i felt bad leaving my group, but they were no where near the pace i wanted to be! It sound like some of the other ones had it together though :)

      Delete
  4. yikes - sorry you didn't have a great experience at the 20 miler. it's too bad you weren't with our group! we ran just about perfect 10:30s ran the back half slightly faster my overall pace was 10:25. our leaders were awesome about keeping pace through water stops... anyway that doesn't help you now :-/ hope you feel better ASAP, maybe got get a consult about your injury just to see if it's serious. or drink a beer sometimes i find that cures injury :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really wasn't terrible, just lonely! (and a little painful when my leg started failing) I looked for you towards the end after passing a few pace groups, but there were just so many people! I think i will drink a beer while i call novacare...compromise!

      Delete
  5. Ok want to give you some encouragement... my husband has been training since June for the Chicago marathon and about 2 weeks ago he had the SAME pain. Seering pain in his achilles, felt really tight, too painful to run on. He took 3 days off, iced 4-5 times a day for 20 minutes, did a stretch that looked like this: http://www.sheboyganfootcare.com/images/achilles%20stretch.jpg. He ran his last long run on Sunday, with only slight pain and it's been just over a week. His brother has been running for a long time and is a track coach, he said it is from over training. Sounds like tapering couldn't come at a better time. BEST OF LUCK in 3 weeks, I can't wait to watch you all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I will be trying some stretching tonight. Luckily my job allows me to be a diva and prop it up on a milk crate while making people bring me things. (although it is hard to believe i have been over-training with how much slacking i have been doing this summer!)

      Delete
  6. I ran the 20 miler last year and I had a pretty good experience. However, last year they had the slow pace runners start first, so being a "slow runner" I kept getting passed by the fast groups. They were mostly really rude and told us to get out of the way. Usually in races people are supportive but that part turned me off. Other than that it was a good run! I liked the bus that took you back to the start and the fact that they give you your t-shirt at the end. All races should do that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They started the fastest people first this year, and it seemed to go smoothly. I think the main problem was people being overly ambitious and signing up for a pace group they couldn't maintain....

      I loved getting the shirt at the end...it was like a reward!

      Delete
  7. Tell your leg to *Suck it up!*. At least you are at taper and if you have to cut out miles it really shouldn't be a huge deal. Try foam rolling it if you have one as that seems to help my IT Band when it's killing me.

    Hope you heal up!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i have a hot date with my foam roller tonight!

      Delete
  8. Ugh! Your stupid leg!!! I think you should take the week off and rest. And eat oreos (gotta store up that sugar!!!). Hmm... bad advice? LOL. I do hope it gets better. At least it didn't start to hurt on Saturday or prevent you from attending fun Sunday afternoon activities!

    That sucks that the pace groups were so off. And I am surprised so many people were walking so early. I do think people train to walk marathons... so maybe that it is? I walked a half once and it was hell, so I will not be doing that anytime soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, i didn't know if i was being a jerk with unrealistic pace group expectations, or if that was normal (this was my first time for the event). I never thought about people walking the marathon. It seemed like a lot of people tried to "pace up" as if it were a race and then couldn't maintain. If you are winded in the first mile, then you probably should be running at least a minute slower....I guess its best to learn these things now instead of race day!

      Delete
  9. UGH. I hope that your Achilles isn't anything serious. Hopefully with a couple of rest days and icing it, you will be good to go. That 20 mile training run sounds awesome! I wished that we had something like that here. I try to mimic race day as much as possible on all of my long training runs so that I can be prepared, but sometimes that is hard to do on your own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope its not serious too. I would much rather be making a mountain out of a molehill. I think tomorrow i will have a better idea of whats up.

      I don't know why more places don't do the 20 mile training run! Mine was free as part of the training group, but i would totally pay for a supported long run in the future. I feel WAY more prepared for race day then i do with 20 milers on my own!

      Delete
  10. I wish I'd known that you were running the CARA 20-Miler - I would have looked for you out there! That totally sucks that the pace groups were so far off. Grrrr. It bothers me, too when people try to run these things without the proper preparation. I know someone who ran a full marathon (in a respectible time, no less) with his longest training run only being 6 miles. 6 MILES!!! Absolutely unbelievable.

    In any event, I am so, so, so sorry to hear about the leg pain. I wish you the speediest of recoveries! And, as much as an injury always sucks, it's better that it happened now instead of on race day. At least now you have time to heal it up!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, what a mess this sounds like...I am glad you made it through, and am praying for a speedy recovery! rest rest rest!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. The lakefront path, on most weekends, is my own personal hell. I ran with CARA several years ago and remember feeling the same.exact.frustrations. with the event. Oy.

    I hope you feel better, lady!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sorry to hear about your injury, Sara.....reminds me of EXACTLY what happened to me when I was training for my first marathon back in 2009. Roughly the same amount of time before the race.....and virtually the very same injury. It sucks, but R.I.C.E. is about all you can do for it. My job (classroom teacher) generally requires me to be on my feet all day long, so it was slow to heal....kept it wrapped during the day, icing it down whenever I could....taking ibuprofen like Tic-Tacs. You're young, so you'll probably heal up A LOT faster than a geezer like me!

    Then again, the painkiller/beer combo will probably work as well! :>)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I hope you heal fast and that this "injury" is just a temporary thing. Calf, stop being an ass.

    Great job on the 20, and sticking to your plan. I dont do well with pace groups. I usually start with them and drop them by the halfway (or they drop me). For my marathon, I started behind the pace group and never tried to get them. I like doing my own thing and not worrying about getting dropped. That hurts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. oh injuries suck. I hope you are better soon!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Now I'm kind of glad I had to do the 20 miler with my running club instead of the Ready to Run 20. Also I'm sorry to hear about your ankle :( I hope it feels better soon!! Otherwise, who's gonna walk Waffles?? Think of the dog ...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Ugh sorry about the Achilles! Go easy this week and I hope it'll settle down. Wow that 20 was a mess. Marathons are different thing to different people, troubling though that some take them so lightly.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I did the CARA 20 miler once and basically decided I can cover the same distance easier, alone on the trail close to my house, way before the sun comes up and without all the drama. I was not amused by the pace group issue. My pace group was "supposed" to be the 9:30 and they were running 8:40s the entire time. I had to drop back because I didn't want to die on a stupid 20 mile "training" run. Then I triped on the crappy pavement under the bridges by Navy Pier (because there were so many people/bikes that I couldn't actually see the rough terrain) and strained a hamstring so I limped my last 10 miles. It was almost "all good" until I had to get on a bus to ride 40 minutes back to my car and then drive my 60 minutes back SOUTH to go home. Too much time wasted (for me) for a training run but I know others LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this event. Just not my bag.

    ReplyDelete
  19. NO it is NOT an injury! Just some minor muscle pain, right? Stay positive! All will be ok. On the bright side, you just rocked 20 miles and got free beer out of it.

    ReplyDelete