Funnest Race

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2013 is almost over and the last few months have been tough on me because of my injury. As I reflect back on my year I realize I did quite a few races. Not as many as I have in years past but I ran the Disney Princess Marathon to maintain my status as a perfect princess. I also did the Newport 10 miler and a few other races.

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Of all the races I did there was one that really stood out. It wasn’t a big race or a long one. But it was probably the funnest race I have ever done. I ran start to finish with Kia. It wasn’t just running, we paddled, rode a tricycle, climbed a rock wall, ran in heels, hula hooped, and slid down on oversized inflatable slide.

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It was the inaugural run hosted by Women Run called the sanity chase. The race was hosted at Fort Adams in Newport, RI.

 

 

 

This was the first race I did where there was no clock. So it was less of a race and more of a run. And it was women only.                               

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Women were encouraged to run together. It was a time for bonding and playing. Kia and I got to be silly together (though I think I acted more silly than she did, she is a teen and has to maintain her coolness.) 

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As I continue my recovery I am hopeful for next year. While my goals include a sub 27-minute 5k, half marathon, and an adventure race, I think I need to remember to have fun and be silly too. Racing and accomplishing goals sometimes zaps the fun out of running, especially when you are recovering from an injury. I need to keep perspective and be appreciative of the fact that my legs and in particular me knee is still working. If I do, 2014 will be a great year of fun runs and achieving some goals.

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What are your running goals for 2014?

What was the best race you did this year?

Best mile EVER

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The best mile ever

It was far from graceful. It was nice and slow.

But for me it was the best mile ever.

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After being laid up from running, ummm…..laid up from pretty much all physical activity, I finally got the all clear to start doing stuff again.

 

My last trip to the doctor we ruled out a torn meniscus and are leaning more to your knee is just a hot mess. Though it’s not a definitive diagnosis, we are trying to find out what makes the hot mess not a hurt mess. So we are trying steroids.

 

With a roided up knee and a few days of rest it was time to put my leg to the test.

Yoga- check.

Running- check.

Next up paddleboard.

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Yeah it hurts and I have to ice after, but just getting out there is amazing.

I think it is one of the best gifts I’ve gotten all year.

Emotional-Givers

The view from the front

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It’s December, Christmas is right around the corner with a New Year waiting right behind it. For me running is a distant memory. The last race I ran was several months ago, back when we were wearing shorts and t-shirts for running instead of dressing up like the brother from “A Christmas Story” before heading out.


As I sit in my current condition I get a chance to reflect on quite a few things. One being that last race. Instead of running the 13.1 my friend Lisa and I opted to do the relay of the Rock n Roll Marathon in Providence. The course was split between the 5-mile hilly portion and the 8-mile flat part of the course. Lisa chose the first leg.

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Looking back now I realize that was quite a special gift for me. As much as I love running I know I am a middle to back of the pack gal. I have no aspirations of trying to really increase my speed and with my knee the way it is my only aspiration right now is to be able to start running again.

 

My race pace relegates me to starting in one of the corrals that crosses the start line a few minutes after the gun goes off. I don’t get to see what things look like in the front; I don’t get to see how beautiful and graceful those runners are. This race was different.

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The relay runners waited at the transition, we were sipping coffee, checking our gear, and making last minute bathroom stops while we waited. The race started about five minutes late, and we looked at our watches and started doing calculations in our head figuring out the pace our partner would run and matching it to the new time so we would know when we needed to be ready to run.

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At almost 25 minutes after the start time, we saw the first runner go by. Yes, I have seen elite runners on television and it is spectacular. But seeing it in person is almost indescribable. This man came screaming by, holding a pace that would leave me breathless in a matter of minutes. His shoulders and face have a determined relaxation. It is as if he is both enjoying being out for a run and calculating just how fast he needs to go to finish the final 8 miles.

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A few minutes after he passed the lead woman darted past us. She had two male runners in front of her. She had a look of peace as she eyed the male runner a few hundred yards in front of her. There was such grace and beauty in her stride.

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Shortly after the lead runners came by, the rest of the racers passed the transition station. As the minutes on clock ticked by the runners began to look less like the lead runners and more like the runners I am familiar with. Runners with much less grace in their stride but with an unyielding determination to finish the race, runners like me.

 

As a participant I won’t be able to see the beauty of the lead runners. Instead I will see the beauty of the middle and back of the packers. The beauty of people who are not afraid to start a race and who aren’t afraid to finish. But it is a great gift getting a chance to see the view from the front.

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That voice in your head, it’s trying to tell you something

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Do you ever get a voice in your head? One that goes so far as to tap you on the shoulder, shake its head, and say bad idea.

 

Most people have. The better question might be how often do you listen to that voice?

 

It is telling you something for a reason.

 

I’ve heard that voice a few times in my life. There have been days when I refused to paddle out. I couldn’t explain it but something just felt off. I’ve been on a run and felt a pain in my leg and just knew I needed to stop running and walk.

 

Then there are the times when I disregard that voice. Most recently when I was playing volleyball. As soon as I landed after a hit something felt wrong with my knee. But did I stop playing? Of course not because that would have been the smart thing to do.

 

As I go through the recovery process with my knee it just doesn’t seem to be getting better. The past few days the voice in my head went from a gentle reminder to more of a yell. I listened and went back to the doctor, and now I have an MRI scheduled.

 

I’ve also tapered off of most of my workouts. I am still doing my leg lifts and walking. But aside from that I am forcing myself to stay out of the gym. The side affects are tighter fitting jeans and feeling fluffy, but it seems like a small price to pay.

 

The last time I went cross fit I tried doing a box step up with a weight. It’s a really simple exercise and move. When I did, my knee felt like someone took a scraper to the inside of it. This time my knee took matters into its own hands and sent a really strong message.

 

A few times during the week I was tempted to go back to cross fit. But that voice in my head kept saying no. This week one my students offered some more sound advice by saying I could hurt my knee more since we don’t really know what’s wrong. Thanks Vince, great advice.

 

I admit I am still really bummed out about not being able to do some of my most favorite things. But the time away just feels like the right thing to do. I think I am making peace with life right now. The upside of finding peace is I am less likely to turn to ice cream.