Hello my followers! If you like to follow my blog, then I must apologize for going silent for so long and much of 2018. I have way too many projects going on! Two home projects (finishing a basement and building a rock wall), a herd of llamas to take care for, mowing pastures (during the summer), practicing karate, running, some business projects, and working a full time job. There’s hardly been time to write about anything! But now we are in the middle of autumn, and I have become slightly less busy. So this update will be a couple posts.
Out for Redemption
Several years ago I blogged about my first ever half marathon race that occurred in 2012. That story is HERE if you would like to hear about it, but basically I winded up in ER at the Outer Banks. I went on to run 3 half marathons the next year and my first marathon two years later. Since then I have run at least 15 half marathons, but this first one at the Outer Banks has always haunted me despite finishing plenty of races. I ran until mile 13 before I stopped! I only had 0.1 to go, so I actually didn’t officially finish. Imagine coming that close. The race director gave my wife a finisher’s medal to give to me, BUT, I didn’t finish, and that medal doesn’t count to me (but it was nice of him to give it to me).
This year I have run not ANY races. I wanted to run the NYC Marathon but didn’t get in. I could not think of any other races I wanted to do, so I thought maybe this would be a good year to return to OBX, face all of the bad memories, and bury this race for good. That’s what I intend to do on November 11 (this Sunday).
A Mental Battle Is Coming
I expect this race to have a lot of mental warfare going on. I still remember much of the horrors that happened to me. I was just a newbie at running 10+ miles, and I always thought you should sprint at the end for some reason. I don’t know where I heard that or why I thought it, but that’s what I did that day. I still remember the guy with the megaphone telling me to “slow down” (Because I was sprinting at the beginning of mile 12, lol), I remember feeling close to blacking out after a couple sprints , thinking I was nearly finished (I wasn’t). And I remember seeing the Mile 13 sign, totally exhausted and went to sit on the curb for a quick break, only to black out. I remember the spectators that helped me and convinced me not to keep running. Worst of all, I remember being on the ambulance, as I felt tingling in all four limbs, beginning at the extremities and making their way towards the body core. I remember passing in and old of consciousness on that ambulance and hearing them say, “his pulse is dropping.” And I remember the look on my young kids’ faces, wondering if their dad was going to die. And my wife very frazzled from the entire experience.
I will retrace all the steps, literally. I will remember at certain places along the route what I was thinking, and I will remember the curb and the ambulance, exactly where they were. It will be an emotional race too, and I think I will reflect afterwards on how far I’ve come on my running journey in 8 years and how much I’ve accomplished.
One Other Caveat
So, there is one other obstacle for me to contend with during this race. I have sort of injured my foot in a karate class when another student and I accidentally kicked each other’s foot. This REALLY hurt, and although we both had bruised feet, my foot seemed to get the worst of it. Has it affected my running? It doesn’t seem like it has too much, but I don’t think running is helping it heal either. My foot is still swollen compared to my other foot, and it happened almost 2 weeks ago. When I run, it has (mostly) not bothered me and recently I ran 13 miles on it. But I have also taken extra rest days to compensate. A few days ago I ran 8 miles, and my foot seemed to bother me a little more than before. That being the case, I might just skip my final run before the race. Running that final run is not going make me any faster, and my foot might benefit from the rest. It could be a stress fracture or it could be soft tissue damage, but I am not sure.
The Goal of This Race
Before the foot injury, I had different goals than now. Before I wanted to run a hard fast race (no sprints though!) and dominate this run. My practice runs were going great too! After the foot injury, that has changed some expectations. I realize that if I do have a stress fracture, that running 13 miles on it (as I already have) is not the greatest idea. Feet take a pounding in these distances. That being said, my foot has not (yet) led to any real difficulty running. It might hurt later, and it hurts now getting out of bed every morning, then gets better throughout the day. I can sometimes feel a very mild sensation of pain while running, but so far I have been able to run through it.
So my new goal is to monitor that foot as I go, with the biggest aim being finish that race. And I would prefer to finish under 2 hours, which is always my goal for a half marathon. I will report back after the race with a race review and how I did.