Sunday, June 28, 2009

Morty and the Big 2-0

Yesterday marked the BIG 2-0 for me! No, I didn't turn 20 (although my birthday is just a few short months away), but I did complete my twenty mile training run. Not only did I make it through twenty miles, I did so on one of the hottest days of the year in San Francisco. Holy moly!

My training group generally meets at 8:00 AM and we start our runs shortly thereafter. On this day, however, we were joined by our counterparts from the SF Marathon Training Program-East Bay, so it took a little longer to get everyone organized into pace groups. The coaches also wanted to simulate the start of the actual marathon so they lined us up by pace- my group was near the back- and released us in waves. With all of this circus, my group didn't leave until close to 9:00 AM.

We ran the majority of the actual SF Marathon course, minus a few miles on the Golden Gate Bridge and a few miles in Golden Gate Park. We ran our first seven or so miles on the Embarcadero. It's always pretty out by the water but on Saturdays, they have a farmer's market at the Ferry Building which leads to lots of weaving in and out of crowds. To make matters worse, Warped Tour was held near the Embarcadero at the same time as our run as well. I've never seen so many hipster kids in the same place, at the same (early in the morning ) time.

We reached Fisherman's Wharf and then the sun really started to beat down on us. I could tell that this run was not going to be easy- AT ALL. Looking out at the Golden Gate Bridge was a little trippy because, although it was so sunny and clear where we were, the bridge was COVERED in fog. I didn't have the energy to stop and snap a picture though- ugh. We finally made it to our first water stop before making the climb up to the bridge.

Miles seven through twelve took us up and partially across the Golden Gate Bridge, and then up a semi-steep hill. Around mile 13, I literally started to go a little crazy. I am pretty sure that the heat was really getting to me. I took a short walk break and ate some sports beans. This seemed to help a little bit.

At this point, I think I need to explain who "Morty" from my entry title refers to. When I first started my training program, the toes on my left foot often would go numb while I was running, and then the ball of my foot would start to burn. I went to a podiatrist who diagnosed me with a "morton's neuroma." Basically, there's a nerve between two of my toes that swells up and causes the numbness and burning. It also causes me to feel like there's a marble in my shoe. When I went to the podiatrist, she injected my foot with cortisone which seemed to take care of the problem. Well, yesterday, "Morty," as I like to call it, reared his ugly head. A few miles into the run, I started to feel the numbness creeping into my foot. Ugh. Later, the burning started and then the marble. Awesome.

We got into Golden Gate Park and my pacer and I stopped at a bathroom. I crouched down and then, on my way back up, got dizzy. My pacer saw that I was light headed and she mentioned that she'd gotten the spins as well. We were really going to have to work together to get through the rest of this run.

We took several walking breaks during the last five miles of the course, trying to run in the non-existent shade. A few blocks away from the finish, we spotted one of our group members who had run ahead. The three of us powered on until the finish came into view. Suddenly, we all managed to build up a burst of speed and we raced to the end! We'd done it! We completed twenty miles in a freaking inferno!!

Our start and finish spot was a local sporting equipment store. When we got inside, we basically planted ourselves on the floor of the store- who cares if people were trying to shop! Poor shoppers! I collected my stuff, and my thoughts and walked, in my socks, to my car. On the way home, I was still trying to figure out what had just happened. I really couldn't believe that I'd run twenty miles.

I was kind of concerned on my drive home because my hubby was texting me messages like, "are you on your way home yet?" and "are you almost here?" I was certain that something had happened to him, or to our dog! Well, in reality, nothing had happened. Hubby and our poochie were waiting outside in the parking area for me with a cute sign that said, "Way to go Mama!" Check out the picture!

I'm happy to report that several weeks ago, I anticipated that Morty would return so I made an appointment with my podiatrist. The earliest she could see me is Monday- tomorrow! So, hopefully on marathon day, Morty will stay home!


  1. awesome job girl!! this weekend was ROUGH temp wise and that will definitely throw off a run. but you did great and made it through and finished an awesome 20 miler!!!

  2. yay you! hope the shot went well today and you're not in too much pain.

  3. Hey nice job on your long run. Even better job at the lifestyle change you have experienced. I think people like you are an inspiration. Keep up the good work.