Trips During Training

Immediately after the runDisney Avengers weekend, I was on travel for work.  That makes it difficult to train – strange hours, a hotel gym – if you can call it that.  The following week I was to be on vacation, again traveling to see family.

During my work travel week, I was feeling sore from the back to back distances.  I decided to forego the maintenance runs, and just stretch and work on core instead.  Armed with my foam roller and resistance bands, I was able to set up “shop” on the floor of my hotel room on towels as mats.  I rolled. I stretched. I worked my glutes, abs, and legs.  By the time I returned Saturday I was ready for the 7 mile run on the calendar.  It was nice out.  I took it slow – lesson learned from not intervalling the week before (yes, in my world, intervalling is a verb).  I finished strong and felt good.  I had a workout session with Harry where I was off – my allergies had kicked in and my balance was off.  I couldn’t’ stand on one leg for even a few seconds with my eyes closed.  Worked on what I needed based on sore points from week before, and ended.

The next day, I was off to visit my parents for Thanksgiving week.  Luckily, my mother needs to go to the gym to exercise and stretch.  I had to convince her to hold off until 7 am for me, since I was still on West Coast time.  I did both my 30 minute maintenance runs that week on the treadmill.  Took it slow and focused on form.  For the first time, the treadmill did not hurt my knees.  Improvement.  I also stretched and worked my core at the gym.

Food was in abundance, and albeit healthy food, it was hard to ignore all the Facebook posts of how many miles or how many burpees are needed to work off Thanksgiving.  I was not only thankful to be with my family, but also for the 23 miles that was due on Saturday.

On Friday, I said my goodbyes.  I felt bad, but knew I needed to be home to do my 23 miles.  I wanted a familiar route, and flat surfaces.  I felt ready to do it.  I knew I could do most of it.  I wanted to see how much more I had in me from three weeks ago before hitting the wall.  I planned my fuel.  Now I’m using solely Untapped Maple Fuel every 4 miles with 2-3 Honey Stinger gels/chews for the 2 miles in between.  I also am sticking with the Ultima Replenisher Electrolytes and SportLegs every 2 hours.  For future, I also plan to have a Honey Stinger Strawberry Waffles on hand.  They were just out at the store.  As extra, I packed Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel Bites, with salt.  Those are great for me when I feel nauseous but have the carbs and salt I need.

I woke up Saturday with a cold.  UGH.  I didn’t want to go.  I spent an hour on Facebook wondering how to rearrange my training.  I knew the answers, but it helped to have people supporting me.  I decided to get dressed to see how I felt after moving around.  Afterall, I needed to walk the dogs anyway, so that was a good test.  After doing that, I did feel better and decided to go, even if just for 5 miles.  Just do something and see how I felt.  I started off, and slowed down the itnervals to :30/:30s in hopes that would help my breathing.  With a cold, I expected more issues.  I knew I’d be slower but my goal isn’t speed.  It’s distance.  By mile 4, I was feeling great and didn’t even remember I was sick.  Funny how running is like magic medicine for a cold.  For me, as long as it’s just minor congestion in head, it’s great.  And that’s how I know I have a cold versus allergies.  With allergies, I manage to clear up too, except I can still feel a tickle in my sinuses.

Mile 7, beautiful beach.  Yes, still going to go.  Mile 10, I’m going all the way.  Since I do an up and back I figured anything up to 7 ½ miles could be cut short if I turned around.  The weather was perfect.  So I went.  I went past the pier.  Past where the bike path leaves the beach.  11½ miles and turned around.  By mile 15 I was starting to feel the asthma.  And a slight twinge in my side – a stitch forming.  I took deep slow breaths and some extra walk breaks.  Stopped for a bathroom.  That’s why I love my route.  Running water.  Mile 18 – I can see the wetlands and ready to cross back over to my neighborhood.  So, I pull out my phone on a walk break to text Harry – I needed a cryotherapy appointment.

Mile 18.5 – I’ve got this.  I’m going to finish!  I feel strong. I’m still running intervals except when eating and drinking.  This is better than last time.

Mile 19 – No response from Harry yet.  So I ask my fellow Firstie who had been messaging me to do me a favor – the plan was to have him text me the facility’s phone number and I’d take a longer walk break to make the appointment now that I knew what time I’d be done.

Run.

Walk.

Run.

SPLAT.  WTF?  Construction on the sidewalk at mile 19.73.  I trip over a wooden board on the ground and faceplant. I’m lying there as I hear the sound of my phone in my hand sliding across the ground.  As I feel my lip and nose move across the wood.  Head up. Cobra exercise keeps me from scraping my face.  I hear someone say, “Are you ok?”  I’m just going to lay there for a minute and try to relax.  I tell him I’m fine but not sure about getting up.  I wonder if my knees and legs are ok.  I can move them.  I go to sit up, and then it hits.  Pain in my left hand.  I landed on my “running fist”.  The delayed reaction washes over me and I feel sick.  I feel dizzy.  I can’t get up. A biker stops.  They can’t figure out how to use my phone app to call an Uber. So they get one for me and send me off to Urgent Care.

To the biker and the worker on Fiji – Thank you for caring.  That was my worst nightmare.  I know that I would have done the same, but still – it is so nice to know that people out there care.

The Uber driver is equally nice.  He walks me into Urgent Care to ensure I’m not alone.  I can’t even thank him, since it wasn’t my account.  Thank you, Uber Driver.

As it turns out, nothing is broken.  Severely bruised.  Very swollen.  I’m typing with one hand.  And I am thankful.  I am thankful I wasn’t hurt too badly.  I am thankful, my legs, feet and ankles still work – that my hard work won’t be wasted. But I’m also sad.  I’m sad I didn’t see the next milestone.  I didn’t get to measure my 23.

This morning, the day after, I woke up with zero leg pain.  Minor soreness in my left hamstring and glute and IT band.  But otherwise, no signs of the 19.73 miles.  I text Harry.  He responds with “Overall great news.” He’s proud of me.  And my body now has a solid base.  Yes, I am thankful.

I know I will finish.  I do not know what distance I’ll do in three weeks.  Repeat 23?  Go for 24 or 25?  I don’t think I can safely hit 26.

Gotta run!

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