The last time I checked in, it was just prior to the Love Run Half Marathon and I had a calf injury. Luckily, that injury cleared up the day before the race, and I PR’d (Personal Record) by almost a half hour. My finish time was 2 hours, 28 minutes, and some change. I felt great. This is a summary of the past two months’ experiences - tendonitis, cardiac arrest, nose bleeds, an amazing trip, and future plans.
The next race I had on my plate was the Broad Street 10 Miler on May 2nd, which is the fastest and most populated 10 miler in the country. I ran this race with 45,000 other people. It was insane.
While I was training for this, I was also training for the Vermont City Marathon, which I had coming up just three weeks after, on May 24th. My mileage was getting pushed higher and higher… and two weeks before the Broad Street run, I went out for an 18 mile run on some of our favorite trails. 14 miles in, I started to feel some discomfort in my left foot. Like an idiot, I convinced myself I needed to get all 18 in, and continued slogging through the miles to hit my mark. I finished, and my foot immediately started to stiffen and swell. I had problems putting weight on it for days afterwards. I hoped it was just sore from use and that I wasn’t dealing with another injury.
Two days before the Broad Street run, two large box trucks went missing in Philly. The local police instantly became worried that these were going to be used for terrorism purposes during the race, and the FBI was called in to provide race assistance and protect the event. This most likely saved one dude's life, so thanks box-truck-stealer-guys.
May 2nd came around, and my foot felt decent for the race. We walked our way to the finish line… or at least as close to the finish line as we could get. The amounts of people were insane. The start line was two blocks away, and it took my fiancé over 45 minutes just to get there. I started further back in the pack, which stretched over a quarter mile away from the starting line. Again… nuts. The race itself was awesome. You run through what is stereotypically the ‘worst’ parts of Philly (Olney, Fern Rock, Northern Philly) but hundreds of people from the neighborhoods were out cheering on runners and handing out orange slices, cookies, and carrying awesome signs like “Don’t Trust a Fart Past Mile 5”. The temperature climbed and became swelteringly humid, so I took every opportunity to pour cups of water on my head and run through opened fire hydrants and sprinklers. Overheating sucks.
At mile 2, I passed an ambulance where EMT’s were loading a 35 year old male runner. He had suddenly collapsed and gone into full cardiac arrest. Luckily, one of the aforementioned FBI Special Agents was watching the man when he collapsed. He ran over and did CPR until the paramedics were able to get him into the ambulance and off of the course. The guy ended up fully recovering. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the only one that had to be evac’d from the course. Philly’s Police Chief Inspector was hanging out at the finish line congratulating runners when a 27 year old male crossed the line, finished running, and instantly collapsed. He similarly went into cardiac arrest. Luckily, the medics were able to rapidly get him to Temple Hospital, and he fully recovered as well.
For myself, I finished the race in 1:49:32, 28 seconds under my goal. I was happy. My left foot was aching again, so I decided to go to the medical tent and get checked out once all of the above had quieted down. They told me exactly what I didn’t want to hear – I had both posterior tibial tendonitis and pereoneal tendonitis. The pereoneal tendons travel the outside of your calf and foot, and connect to the outside of your arch. The tibial tendons do the same, but on the inside of your leg. I had aggravated both of them – an injury that normally takes 8-12 weeks to heal. I had a marathon in three weeks. $%#@. They suggested I run in only stability shoes, so I pulled out an old, crappy pair and decided they would be my marathon shoes. Bummer.
I wasn’t able to run much in those weeks before the Vermont City Marathon, as every time I’d go out for a decent run, I’d start to feel pain in my foot, and it would become stiff and painful for days. For the final two weeks, I decided the best thing to do would be to not run at all. I started to become very nervous about finishing the race. Who does a marathon with almost no training the three weeks prior? Ugh. In this time, I also decided to radically change my diet to become closer to a fat adapted lifestyle (a post for another time). Another thing you’re really not supposed to do before a marathon.
On the day prior to a race, you usually go to a specified area to pick up your race information and walk around a vendor expo – usually running shoe companies, wholesalers, nutritionists, sports chiropractors, etc. While walking around the expo for VCM, my foot started to hurt. I was totally demoralized, and figured it was certain that I wouldn’t finish. Until… we stopped at a shoe wholesaler and I tried on a pair of new Brooks Adrenaline 15’s. It was like god enveloped my foot and all my pain disappeared. I bought them on the spot and decided I was going to break another race rule and run in brand new shoes. This was going to be interesting.
Race day came, and it was perfect. High 50’s to low 70’s through most of the race, cloudy, and beautiful. I love Burlington, VT so much. And the views of the Adirondacks (a mountain range I spend most of my winter in) were spectacular.
Myself, Jason, our friend Stacy, and our pup Ridley just before the marathon start.
The new shoes gave me a nasty blister on my pinky-toe, but carried me otherwise pain-free through 26.5 miles (I swear that course was long). I also had the most kick-ass outfit ever.
Happiest Marathon finisher in all the lands.
It was probably my favorite race I’ve ever done, and I’d love to do it again in the future.
Once I finished (at 5:49:45), I saw my friend Stacy… who was covered in blood. Seriously - it was everywhere. She looked like she fought off a Moose somewhere during the course. Apparently, Stacy had gotten a wicked nosebleed half way into the course. She pushed it off, just to get another nosebleed at mile 23, just before the finish. Medics saw her and tried to make her stop, which she of course refused (Stacy is currently working on running a marathon in all 50 states. This was her 4th or 5th), and they were forced to follow her for three miles while she ran, bleeding everywhere, waiting for her to pass out. Luckily, she didn’t pass out, and did finish, even though she lost a ton of blood out on the course. It was pretty gnarly.
After the race, our group met up with KahlanRahl at a local brewery and had some awesome food, beer, and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. It was a fantastic time. I did learn that Ben and Jerry’s is practically half the cost in VT compared to PA. Shenanigans.
I spent this past week recovering from the Marathon (which was last Sunday), and luckily felt fantastic by Wednesday. I got a short track workout in yesterday in prep for my race this weekend, the Independence Triathlon. This marks the start of Tri season! Here’s hoping the tendon pain stays gone, I don’t flat on the bike, and I don’t swallow too much water on the swim. If I do….