Monday, August 15, 2011

GOMERs Go to Ground

Turns out they're not the only thing.

So here I am, out for one of my runs. I tend to change the route up pretty much every day. While certain stretches often repeat, each day takes me along a slightly different path through the city.

Running the sidewalks of the city is sort of like a game. Many, many people are considerate of your athletic effort and will move over to let you by. If you're approaching someone, a simple "on your left" often leads to the person making way for you (though they inevitably move left, but hey, they tried).

But, just as with everything else in life, there are some inconsiderate folks as well. They'll look right at you and walk in the middle of the sidewalk, taking up as much room as possible. It's in these situations that you begin to play a game of frogger... quickly bobbing and weaving between people, fire hydrants, light posts, etc. Don't forget the added excitement of intersection traffic. All of a sudden, the run is almost like a game. But no matter how annoying these things can get from time to time, I love to run through the neighborhoods and see all the stores I want to visit or restaurants I want to eat in. It's a great way to see the city.

So last week, I'm doing my sidewalk dance around a pedestrian, and as I stepped to the right, my foot hit very uneven pavement and my ankle totally buckled, inverting and sending me right to the ground. I was able to brace myself and not hit my head, but my left knee was a casualty in the process, earning itself a nasty scrape.

It was easily one of the longest few seconds of my recent life. When I hit the ground, my first instinct was to make sure I didn't hit my head. Then I just had this flash where I was overcome with fear that in that one misstep, all my work was for naught. Over two hundred miles of training, and I was petrified that I had blown my ankle and wouldn't be able to claim the fruits of my labor.

This kind older gentleman came over to make sure I was okay and to help me up. But rather, I told him I needed a second laying on the ground. The ankle moved. That was good. So I decided to stand and bear weight, and all told, my ankle felt a little sore but stable. I had not hear a pop, and the pain seemed very ligamentous.

Thank the good lord.

So maybe not the greatest idea, but whatever.... I walked if off and kept going. I mean hell, I was already running, might as well get my miles in. And I kept a wicked time, considering my spill.

I found it really hilarious that I forgot how much it hurts to skin your knee. Of course, it wasn't helpful that I was sweating, either, but still. I know give little kids a lot more credit.

So I stuck with ye old RICE protocol, took a day off, and let things heal up. My knee is actually the most sore out of anything - I think I took a good shot to my knee and it's a little bruised, but not too uncomfortable to run with. The ankle is actually really good. I've definitely strained my ATFL in the past and been laid up for days with a sore, swollen limb, but this actually worked out as well as it could have.

And now, I'm a little paranoid as I navigate my runs - whether it's the streets or a path. I'm just afraid that one wrong step will lead to my demise, and I'm just too far into this to give up now.

So I'll tread lightly now along the streets of Chicago. Perhaps I'll just start knocking people over instead of avoiding them. Yes, that seems like a logical plan :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Oh, we're halfway there...

For this post, we open with a picture. C'mon.... it's hot. Oh, I guess you should know that my shirt is a far lighter shade of grey, but I got rained on and sweat ungodly amounts for over an hour after the rain stopped. Hot, right?

Well, that's what you get when you complete 14 MILES! That's right, my friends, I completed a run that was more than half the length of the ultimate goal.

So this achievement has incited two opposing feelings in me. Let's review.

1) Holy shit, I just ran 14 miles. AND I did it in a decent time (10:38 mile). I can't help but rewind a few years ago... hell, a few MONTHS ago, when I never thought I could run 5 miles, let alone doubling or tripling that. I feel empowered that my training is paying off, and I am surprising myself every week.

2) Holy shit, I just ran 14 miles. On game day, I'd still have TWELVE MORE TO GO. Who's cockamamie idea was this? I mean I felt pretty good at the end of 14 (despite the image my sweat logged clothes portray), but by the time I rounded out the 14th, I was tired. 12 more? You're nuts. Seriously.

But... positivity, my friends. At the end of my first 10 miler I felt like I wanted to die. The next week I did 12, and felt okay at the 10 mile mark, but was tired by twelve. This week, I was okay at twelve but tired at 14. Methinks I see a pattern here.

I was also pretty lucky last week, as my sister-in-law hit the road with me for a few runs. And don't let her tell you any different, she kept up and she was outstanding. And ye olde big brother also spent some time jogging on the Lakefront path. Of course, the three of us would need to run back to Connecticut to make up for what we ate and drank over the last week... but hell, ya gotta live a little.

But now the fun is done, and I'm closing in on 2 months until race day. I have taken my training very seriously thus far, but in the last two months, I'm going to kick it up and be faithful with all my cross training on non-run days, keep a good healthy diet, increase my water intake, and keep preparing for this monstrosity of a goal I've set for myself. Thanks for all the love and encouragement... know that your kind words and support keeps me putting one foot in front of the other.