|my third year pouring beers with Becca!|
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 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.