I should say here that I was not actually running through pain. It really didn't hurt while I was running, only afterwards. And on a scale of 1-10, it was a 1 or 2 at most. But this past couple of weeks, it started to be more of a 3, and I started worrying maybe something was wrong and I was making it worse and damaging my chances to continue to be active long-term. And once that worry started in my head, it started to suck the joy and fun out of running. So I made a doctor's appointment. My doctor is a runner too, so I knew she would get it. It turned out she was out of town, but Kevin's doctor is in the same practice and he's also a runner, so I made the appointment with him.
I'm glad I went; especially since it was all good news. He said my knee pain is just from overtraining, gave me some exercises to do, told me to continue icing it and take naproxen. But most importantly he said it was fine to keep running. Whew! And just like that running is fun again!
|I can see the ocean from here|
Friday night we went to a Rooftop Yoga Popup Class put on by Metta Yoga on the rooftop hockey court at Englewood Commonwealth. I've written before about how much I enjoy outdoor yoga. This rooftop hockey court is a really cool space, and having yoga here was a great idea. It was a little chilly, but the views as the sun set and the moon rose were just beautiful.
Saturday my training plan called for my 20 mile long run. This will be the longest run I do before the marathon. And lucky for me - it lined up with the same day Indy Runners was offering their Run the Monon group training run. They rented buses to take us from downtown Indy up to Carmel, where we took the Hagen-Burke Trail to the Monon Trail, running that all the way down to Connect10n - Monon meets 10th Street meets Cultural Trail - then we ran the Cultural Trail to the Canal Walk, finishing at the ACSM lawn with box lunches waiting for us. There were water and Gatorade stops set up along the route for us, too. They also have an 11 mile option for runners training for a fall half. They have this event every year. It was a great way to do my long run, and I very much recommend it.
I debated trying to do this long run at my marathon goal pace, but I decided to just run it by feel. The run went well, and once I got warmed up I got into a groove and just kept going. I had almost four hours of podcasts loaded on my phone, the weather was perfect (cloudy & breezy, upper 50s to start, low 70s by the finish), and the miles just rolled by. Right around mile 14 or so, I started to feel really tired, but I pushed through and picked up a second wind. Looking at my splits shows a consistent pace throughout. Mile 14 was my slowest at 14:25, not surprisingly since I was feeling tired, but that's also when I stopped and refilled my water bottle. Miles 19 and 20 were my two fastest: 12:05 and 11:40 respectively. Both of those miles were on the Canal Walk, where there are no traffic stops. Plus I had that boost of knowing I was almost done.
I finished in 4:28 according to my watch, with an average pace of 13:02. And that's with stopping for traffic. So I feel like my marathon goal time of 5:30 is within reach. Of course the Rock N Roll Vegas website now says 5:00 is the cutoff, but I swear it said 5:30 when we signed up last year. That's what I've been training for, so I'm not going to stress about it. I'm going to go for that, and if I get diverted, well I will still run my best and have an epic good time with my friends.
The zombies weren't hiding - they were standing right out on the trail in packs. They could shamble and reach for us, but not actually give chase. However, in some places there were as many as 10 zombies, and all I could do was try to sprint through the pack dodging them as best as I could. I made it almost 2.5 miles before a large pack got my last life. When I look at my splits from this run, I was doing a 6-minute mile at that point. I joked that I need to train harder so the zombies can't catch me, but if there really was a zombie uprising, I would not sprint right through the middle of a pack. I'd run the other way, heading off the trail out of the infested area into somewhere safe.
This run was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Sprinting and dodging on wooded trails is not part of my normal training routine. It was also a lot of fun. And I made a new friend! Angela, who was running in a tutu hoping it would distract the zombies and they'd miss grabbing her flags. Chatting with her after the race, we discovered we have several events in common over the next few weeks. We also noticed that runners who did this race in groups generally had about half their team survive, while runners like us who did it solo all got infected. So next year we are going to get a group to do this together.
Total miles this week: 38.4
Total training miles to date: 367.65
The first few months after Kevin died, I did feel like I was just surviving, but somewhere that changed. I continue to live, and have new experiences, make new memories, and find things to enjoy about this life that, while I would never choose it, is the life I was given to live. For me, the key has been to just choose to trust God daily, not in a "sit back and wait to see what happens" kind of way, but stepping out with the expectation that God will go with me, bringing good to my life and continuing to heal me as we go. It's not easy, but it is the way that works for me.
Run (317) Fountain Square this Thursday! The Fountain Square location is the original one for this fun race series, and this will be the final event this year. I've enjoyed being an Run(317) Ambassador, and I know this race will be fun. And, this year the S'More Mobile is going to be there! Seriously - a food truck that sells s'mores on a stick. Where has this been all my life?