Sunday, June 20, 2010

Balancing on one wounded wing

Let's pick up where we left off shall we?
Last week, I ran a 10k. Ok, I ran a mile and a half of a 10k then jogged to the finish line with a foot in a lot of pain. I thought for sure this was more than the usual PF I've had off and on and I'd be taking a nice long running vacation. On Monday I went to see my trusty physical therapists to see if I could get to the bottom of this (har har, foot...ok, never mind). John saw me and work on my foot and my calf and thought I had perhaps strained something a little deeper on my foot. He figured at least a week off of running. On Thurs. I went back and saw Pete. It was feeling better. I have been doing everything I'm suppose to with this foot of mine and also decided to started 10 days of ibuprofin to try and blow out the inflammation. We talked about what caused the flare up, Pete didn't think it was just running. It could have been aggravated by running in flats that day but the most likely culprit: walking the dog. I walk the dog at least 90 minutes every day and while I wear good shoes, clearly my fairly flat foot isn't getting enough support. He suggested putting superfeet insoles in my dog walking shoes. I have a pair in my hiking boots, so they're going in my dog walking shoes. I asked about maybe running this weekend. Pete looked at John and they both sorta shrugged. I signed up to do an Olympic distance tri as a tune up for a half ironman Loren and I are doing in Aug. I hated the thought of paying so much money for a race and not doing it or doing just the swim and the bike. My plan was to do the swim and the bike and see how I felt in the run, if it hurt, I'd stop. They were both fine with that. They figured I might aggravated it a bit but not do any harm.
Being totally honest, I really hadn't trained for this race. An Olympic distance race is a 1500m swim (I've been swimming again for about a 6 weeks), 24 mile bike (I've ridden maybe just over 100 miles this year and they had to cut the bike 2 miles), and a 10k run (which was about a third of a mile short, very annoying).
We spent Friday night at Loren's friend Marge's house and drove to the race very early Sat. morning. Triathlons, require so much stuff which makes them kinda a pain. We checked in, unloaded the car of bikes, and crap, squeezed into wetsuits and got ready to go. It's been about 2 years since I've done a full on triathlon. This should be interesting.
The women were the 3rd wave of the swim. All the girls gathered at the edge of the lake and got ready for the start. Once we were off, I settled into a rhythm quickly. I was also in a nice little pack, trying to avoid feet to the face. We were swimming into the sun which made it very hard to sight. I knew this wasn't going to be my best swim ever since I'm just getting back into swimming shape. As I got out of the water, I looked at my watch, just over 34 minutes. Not terrible, I should be at least 2 minutes faster. Out of 29 people in my age group, I was 19th. There was long run from the swim exit to the bikes. I wasn't too happy about doing this in my bare feet with my foot feeling the was it was.
Get into transition, get off wet suit, put on helmet, put on shoes, go. Transition took me 1:54.
Off to the bike.
Immediately, I started powering on the bike, passing people just settling in. Faster guys from the swim wave behind me passed me in the first 2 miles or so of the bike, but that was generally it. I've been cycling for about 15 years. That really really helps. Cycling relies a lot on muscle memory so even when I'm not in top cycling form, it comes back very quickly. This was a tough bike course, there was a lot of climbing. On every hill, I just settled in...a passed a ton of people. I would pass women and notice them trying to hang on. Nope. Nice try.
One woman passed me on the bike and stayed in front of me.
It happened at mile 13 and it was Loren. I was actually surprised, she usually passes me, but it's in the run. She's getting better at swimming and hilly bikes courses are her strength. About 22 miles in 1:20. I had really hoped to have a faster bike split, but those hills...ugh. I had the 4th fasted split in the bike in my AG (Loren had the 2nd as far as over all women, Loren's was 8th, mine was 14th). Off the bike, rack bike, off with helmet, off with bike shoes, on with running shoes. Ok, I wasn't sure what to expect here. It felt ok. It was a little sore. I figured I'd just see what happens. The run is a 2 loop course so if it sucks, I can drop out after one loop or sooner and just walk or hobble back. I think it was really nice and warmed up from the bike and swim. First mile, I look at my watch: 8:18. Ok, that's pretty good. It's a little funny trying to get land legs after a bike and difficult to gauge how I'm actually running. Plus, the first half of the first loop was down hill. Before the turn around, I saw Loren heading the other way, she looked really good. After half a loop, I knew I was going to be ok and started targeting people to pick off. It was a little more difficult on the 2nd loop because I didn't know if I was passing people or lapping people. There were also only 2 miles markers so after the 2nd turn around, I wasn't really sure where I was. I was ready to be done, that's for sure. I started doing runner's math, which is never a good idea. I figured maybe I'd get in under 50 minutes for the 10k which I thought was a little crazy given the week I was having and the fact that I had a hill to run up before I finished.
I was really really happy to be able to actually run. Seriously.
Last straight away then a left to the finish. PHEW! 2:47:08. Really really not bad. My run time was 47:48. The course was short. If it was right, I may have edged in under 50. What's so annoying though is there was another women (in my AG with the same run time who I think came in before me so she was placed ahead of me. There was another women 1 second ahead of both of us.) I was 9th in my AG on the run. Loren? Well, Loren was first in our AG on the run. Oh yea, she also had the fasted run of any woman that day with 41:13. Hot damn that girl is fast!
So when all is said in done, this is what it looks like:
Loren 2/29 in AG 14th woman over all.
Me 6/29 in AG 23rd woman over all.
This race was the regional qualifier for the Olympic distance Nation AG Championships, we both qualified. I'm pretty ok with that result all things considered!
My foot really held up. It was a little sore after, but not bad. There was someone there doing active release after the race and he worked on it which I think really helped. I think I'll take another week off of running and go to PT 2x again this week and take it from there.
With the half ironman 9 weeks away, I'll start hitting the pool and the bike just a wee bit more seriously. I'm not too concerned with my running fitness so while I'd like my foot to be 100%, it's not and I can deal with it as we go along.


L.A. Runner said...

Great job to you and Loren on your awesome race results! You guys are both smoking fast! I'm really glad your foot held up, too. Maybe the worst is behind you with it now. Looks likes you are getting primed for the "Big One" in August!

Girl In Motion said...

Wowza, woman! That's fantastic! Congrats both you and Loren, I'm so impressed. Pretty cool that you were ok'd to do this after feeling so bad a week ago, it's so great you can keep running and racing (albeit at a diminished volume). Crazy to think if you'd been training 100% all this time. Great job!!!

La Historiadora de Moda said...

Those are some awesome race results! I hope that the insert for the dog walking helps to hasten the healing process for your foot!