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Doing it because I can.

I know, I know, long time no write.

Life has been busy! Taking on a 3rd WeightWatchers (long-term temporary) meeting, and covering for coworkers when the need arises, plus working a full time day job, while training for a half marathon goal race has sucked up a lot of my time. And on top of that I’m trying to make it a priority to be social and spend time with friends.

So somewhere, something had to give, and unfortunately it was the blog.

Last time I posted, I said I would be back once the bandages were off of my hand and I was able to type better.  Well, the bandages have been off for almost 3 weeks now!

So why were the bandages there in the first place?

Back in February, I was out for an evening run with one of my coach‘s other athletes when I took a nasty fall.   We were running at night, in the dark and I guess my toe caught some uneven side walk, and the next thing I knew my jaw was hitting the ground and I was laying there, arms extended fully in front of me, wondering how I ended up on the ground.  To make a long story short, I ended up with a sprained ankle, both of my shoulders sprained, a bruised knee and a bruised/swollen/sprained baby finger.

All in all, the fall resulted in a lot of missed, or cut back runs, and a lot of pain and stiffness.   When I saw my chiropractor after the fall, he said it would take at least 6 weeks to get back to normal, that was 5 1/2 weeks ago.

Since that fall, I haven’t run longer than 13K. I’ve been listening to my body, taking it easy and letting myself rest when I need it.

 

Comox Finish

2009

Yesterday I headed up to Courtney for the Comox Valley RV Half Marathon. This is(was) a favourite of mine because it was my first half marathon 4 years ago, on March 22, 2009.  I have a love affair with this race because I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt when I crossed that finish line! (2:07:32) I have a funny little tradition when it comes to running Comox, I wear the same outfit each time.

The thing about Comox is that it is fun course. It’s an undulating out and back, with the out being mostly uphill, but the back being mostly down hill.

 

 

IMG_0836b

2011

In 2011, I set my current half marathon PB at this race. (1:53:41)

The 2011 Comox Half Marathon also has the distinction of providing me with my WORST race photo ever! I mean seriously, what kind of cruel photographer hides out IN the finish chute to catch the look of pain on your face as you push as hard as you can to get across that line?

 

 

 

2012

2012

2012 was the year Team #yyjrun took on the Comox Half as a group.   Speedy Damian led the team, then came back out on the course to cheer on those of use still out there.  Skye came up, even though she wasn’t racing, and jogged out on the course to meet Kat and run her in.

Afterwards we had delicious home made Nanaimo Bar Cupcakes and had a good time hangin gout as a ‘team’ watching the awards.   2012 was really a fun year!

 

 

I have such a great connection this race, it is(was) one of my favourites to run regularly. I’ve now run this race 4 times, which makes it second only to Bazan Bay, which I have run 5 times.

Every year I go in to it with high hopes. I know the course so well, I think I could go up there and run it without the marshals there to direct me.  I know the ups and downs, and the turns, like the back of my hand. This is a good thing, and a bad thing.  It is good in the fact that I know what to expect.  It is bad in that in can lull me in to a false sense of security, a false sense of “ease” with the race.

Yesterday I went up there with a ‘celebratory’ attitude. This race isn’t about setting a new PB, even though it is always in the back of my mind that it would be nice if everything went my way and I did mange to set a new one.

 

This year, this race was about enjoying the fact that I CAN run a half marathon.  4 years ago I ran my first, yesterday I ran my 16th, and that is a big deal to me. Every time I run a half marathon, it is a big deal to me.

The race started out well enough. Although I know I was going a little fast and my neck and shoulders were just not comfortable.  I’ve always run long runs using the 10 & 1 method (run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute) but this time around I ran straight for the first half hour, before taking a walk break.  After that I only took walk breaks if I needed them. If the alarm went off on a down hill, I skipped the walk break!  I’m not going to waste the assistance of gravity by walking!

My plan was working well until just after the 15K mark.   Somewhere after 15K, I was letting gravity do the work, and enjoying a down hill stretch when my left foot hit some uneven pavement and gave me a good jolt.  I kept enjoying the downhill stretch for a while, until my next walk break. At this point I took a walk to take in some Gu and was faced with every distance runners worst nightmare!  My bladder was screaming at me!  MUST PEE NOW!

When the walk break was over, I picked up the pace again and managed to get a good rhythm going, until I started to notice that my left leg was angry after that jolt.  It just wasn’t moving smoothly.  I kept pushing myself, but it was getting uncomfortable, so I took an unscheduled walk break, only to be greeted with my screaming bladder again.

Somewhere around this point is when I started to notice that my left shoulder HURT.  My posture was falling apart, my gait was uneven, and my bladder was screaming.  But hey, at least it wasn’t a goal race.

In the last 3K I was out of sorts and feeling defeated, and with about 2K to go, Jess  caught up to me, and was quite concerned about the fact that I was walking. She slowed down to walk with me and informed me that she had bonked at about the 8K mark and had been struggling ever since. (Something about a 30K training run 4 days earlier!) So for the last 2K we ran, we walked, we laugh, we complained, we cussed, and then we did it all again!

When we finally crossed the bridge and made the final turn towards the finish, I just remember Jess saying “Where is the finish? I can’t see it, it’s too far away”.  We pushed, we knew the time on the clock wasn’t going to be what either of us wanted, but we finished, side by side and we had a BLAST! A grumpy, whiny, complaining BLAST!

 

It may not have been my best half marathon, and it certainly wasn’t my worst, but it was my SIXTEENTH half marathon, and THAT is worth celebrating!

 

After the race I thought about it, and it is clear that my body just wasn’t ready for the distance yet.  It was the furthest I’ve run since the fall, and clearly I am not quite 100% yet.

Now it’s time for a couple days rest & a trip to the chiropractor,  then it’s back to training for my goal race, The BMO Vancouver Half Marathon!

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