Race Weekend: Part Two

If you missed Part One, you can check it out here: Race Weekend: Part One

Saturday, September 14, 2013

My best friend, Evette, and I headed to Philly in the morning.  We wanted time to settle into the hotel, eat lunch and get to the Expo to pick up our packets and have time for fun and shopping at the Expo!  We stayed right near the Convention Center where the Expo was being held.  While trying to get the the hotel (man, there are a lot of ONE WAY streets in Philly), we were stopped at a light and I snapped this picture of City Hall.  I used this building often as a reference point!  I was so unprepared because of all the nerves I had been feeling about my foot and running the race…before leaving the house I realized I couldn’t even remember where I had made dinner reservations for us.

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After a couple circles, we arrived at the hotel, checked in and went up to the room to eat the lunches we had brought.  Ahhhh, wonderful carb loading peanut butter & jelly and pretzels 🙂  Then, we were off to the Expo!  I had never been to an Expo because the first half marathon I did didn’t have one.  I was excited because I heard this was a good one!  It did not disappoint!  We had fun, got our free loot and bought some things.  This was Evette’s first half marathon so she got a decal for her car and she got really great earphones because hers always fall out.  She got them from Auria and the guy custom fit them for her and they seem like they’ll work really well.  I thought I would buy a lot but I only bought arm sleeves from Running Skirts.  All of their stuff was 50% off!

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Here are some pictures of the fun stuff we did at the Expo 🙂

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My bestie, Evette (on the right) and one of my SOL sisters racing up the mountain 🙂

Our "chocolate milk" mustaches!  They had a couple different products for recovering after the race, including my fave, Rockin' Refuel!

Our “chocolate milk” mustaches! They had a couple different products for recovering after the race, including my fave, Rockin’ Refuel!

It was time to get back to our room and rest up a bit before making the 11 block trek to dinner (it could have been more because, again, I hadn’t really planned out the route).  We ate at Bridgid’s, an adorable little bar/restaurant at the end of a street lined with cute, colorful row houses.  Evette had a pulled pork sandwich that looked delicious!  I didn’t think my nervous stomach could handle much so I had their salad special and added grilled chicken.  I did eat two pieces of their yummy bread to add in some carbs 😉

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Plus, I had half a soft pretzel and Teddy Grahams when we got back to the room.  All of the walking may have been a mistake because my feet were tired…oh well!

We all discussed what time we were getting up (we were staying with a girl Evette runs with, Sam, and her friend…they were very nice and great roommates), had some laughs, and then went to sleep…or tried.

I was only going to make this a two part series but I think I’m going to save race day for part three!  Stay tuned…

One Year Running Anniversary

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Tomorrow marks one year since I started running.  Well, I ran a little before, but August 26, 2012 was the first time I went fast enough that the app I was using said, “ran” instead of “walked”.  It was 1.6 miles and it took 21 minutes and my best friend was by my side encouraging me.  Our families were vacationing together in Rehoboth Beach, DE and she really helped me to start adding in more running than walking.  I have enjoyed running more and more ever since!

As I typed the above paragraph, all I could think to myself was that I should commemorate one year of running with a run.  Alas, this won’t be the case.  This runner girl is sidelined.  It hurts to type.  Something is wrong with my foot.  What?  I don’t know.  I could go to a doctor and find out but I’m in denial…I want to remain in the dark and pretend it’s just not happening!  Within the next 2 months, I am signed up for 5 races – a 5K in my hometown being put on by the fire department, Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, a 5K at a winery in Cape May, The Perfect 10 and Hershey Half Marathon.

If you’re a runner and you’ve ever been sidelined due to an injury or illness, you feel my pain.  I’ve only missed one long run.  My last run was just 3 days ago.  It wasn’t a good run though.  Normally, I finish a run feeling great…accomplished.  This time, I was worried, sad and defeated.  This is how I have felt since that run.  I keep telling myself to just keep resting, to give it plenty of time, that the next run will go fine…and if it doesn’t, then off to see a doctor I will go.

Then, more fear sets in.  What is wrong?  What if whatever it is means I can’t run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half?  It is my best friend’s first half marathon.  I asked her to sign up for it – I have to be there!  I also belong to a running club, Southern Ocean Ladies Running Club (SOL), filled with wonderful women who I have come to consider more than just runners.  When you meet for a run at 4:30am, twice a week, and pretty early on a Sunday morning for the long run, it’s hard not to form bonds with these women, because fellow runners are the only ones that can truly understand all that you go through with training.  They are strong, dedicated, inspiring, amazing women who I admire and so many of them are also running in Philly (and a lot of the other races I’m doing).  I feel like my foot is letting a lot of people down.

I see all of these posts on Facebook and all of these pictures on Instagram of runners I follow.  It seems as though all I’ve been able to do, from my couch with my foot up and my laptop next to me, is read about running and about foot problems (never a good idea to read about an ailment on the internet).  I’m so proud of all the accomplishments I see from people.  Those running their first half, their first full marathon, or they’re experienced with races and are reaching for new goals for themselves and setting new PR’s.  I’m jealous though.  I want to run those 12 miles.  I want to continue on the road I was on – getting stronger and faster.  Up pops another fear…when I return to running I’ll have to slow things down again.  I have only run one half marathon and I wanted to go for a PR in Philly.  I have run several 5K’s but not since I have become a better runner…I wanted to kick butt in the 5K in my hometown this upcoming weekend but now I will either have to skip it or take it easy.

Running is hard.  Nobody ever claimed it was easy.  Running is rewarding.  Nobody ever claimed it was going to be all good runs and PR’s, though.  Running has made me a stronger person and, although I may feel weak right now, I love running!

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**Update: 9/3/2013**  I went to see a podiatrist and he said that my joint at the base of my big toe is inflamed and he thinks the other pains I’m feeling are due to overcompensating for it.  I have a ridiculously high arch (already knew that), toes that hyper-extend back, rigid feet and tight calves.  I have done some research since the appointment and I’m pretty sure I have turf toe (he may have said that but my head was kind of spinning).  He said I won’t be able to do Philly Rock ‘n’ Roll but I felt he was saying it more from a training standpoint and not being able to get my mileage back up in time.  I’ll walk half of it if I need to.  I’ve accepted it won’t be my best half.

I went to a new running store, Runner’s High, and the guy there was awesome.  I tried out my new shoes yesterday morning and my toe started hurting a little after 2 miles.  I really thought I’d be o.k.!  I’m going to try one more run but, otherwise, I think I’m going to be taking it easy until Philly.