For several months, I've been trying to muster up the energy to blog about my continued marathon training. Clearly, I have not succeeded- until today!
Since the SF Marathon at the end of July, I've been on a modified training program to prepare for the Nike Women's Marathon and the San Jose Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon. My runs have NOT been great and I've been really worried about my messed up feet. I know that I have a Morton's Nueroma (Morty, as I like to call him) and I've been struggling to find running shoes that work for me. I even had to scrap a twenty mile run because my shoes were causing me to have Achilles pain. Finally, though, I think I'm on the right track with the stability shoes and orthotics combo that I'm working with right now!
Now- on the SJ RnR! Hubby trained for this race with me- the first half that he's run. We were really excited to run this course as we knew that it was fast and, even better, FLAT! No crazy hills here!
On Saturday, we drove down to San Jose and checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Marriott downtown, which is connected to the Convention Center where to Expo was and, literally, was a block or two away from the start and finish lines. We went into the Expo and got our race numbers, t-shirts, and goodie bags. The race t-shirt is a technical running shirt- I love it! The rest of the Expo was decent, although there weren't very many booths. I guess the economy is impacting everything!
We grabbed some lunch at Gordon Biersch (our first time eating there! YUM!) and then walked around San Jose. It was a pretty nice day but I, as usual, was really cold so I made hubby continuously cross the streets when we approached shade. Finally, we came upon the San Jose City Hall that was bathed in sun! I made hubby stop and take several pictures just so I could warm up!
After heading out to an outlet mall for a few hours, we ordered pizza for dinner and then it was off to bed to get a good night's sleep before the race! We woke up on Sunday, feeling excited and ready to run. I then realised that I'd forgotten my body glide, which is something I use on my feet to prevent blisters. I decided to substitute deodorant (because it provides a barrier from moisture) and, in the end, it worked! Anyway, I was also excited because my fuel of choice, Sports Beans, now comes in an easy open, resealable pouch. I couldn't wait to try it out on the course!
Hubby and I made our way to the starting line and looked for our corral. Argh- there were so many people trying to get in, there was a line! I don't think everyone actually got into the corral before the race started- they were just herded onto the course after the gun went off. Other than that, it was a really smooth start. We did the usual dance of weaving between people, trying to establish a good pace and get around people walking four or five across- ugh.
We'd set a goal of finishing in two and a half hours and had the mile times on wristbands to keep us on track. At the first mile marker, we were pretty much on track. We stopped for a few minutes to stretch and then moved on. At around miles three, hubby had to stop and use the port-a-potty and told me to keep running. So I did...and I didn't see him again until the finish. AH! This happened to us in Phoenix and it did not end well. This set me up for major anxiety for the rest of the race.
I kept a great pace for several miles and then, it happened. No, not Morty- my neuroma. He didn't show up today. I actually developed a new injury. I had an incredible pain in the ball of my left foot, under my big toe. It literally felt like someone was stabbing me in the bottom of my foot. The pain wasn't persistent- it came and went- but it was intense. A few times, I slowed to a walk but it actually made the pain worse. More motivation to keep running, I guess!
Eventually, I found myself at mile marker 12! I was really excited because I was on pace to finish right at two and a half hours. I teared up a litte thinking about getting a Personal Record (PR). I was brought back to earth, though, when a saw a really young girl on the sidelines, being worked on by paramedics! She was wearing a sports bra and shorts so I assume she was a race participant. I never found out what happened to her but I hope she's ok!
Due to my hyped up emotional state and my foot pain, I decided to get the race over with as soon as possible and sprinted my last 1.1 mile. I crossed the finish line two minutes UNDER my goal. I was ecstatic...and tired! Suddenly, I remembered that hubby was still out on the course so I pretended like I couldn't hear the race officials directing finishers to different stations (water, medal, etc). I walked over to a barricade by some spectators and tried to blend in while I waited for hubby. Luckily, I didn't have to wait long and I watched hubby finish his first serious race just a few minutes later! I was so proud of him!
We then moved through the requisite stations, getting water, medals, a banana, and posing for a photo. We stretched a little and then walked (slowly) back to our hotel. After a quick ice bath and shower, we packed up and headed out.
After the race, we spent the afternoon in Palo Alto, eating at P.F. Chang's (NOM NOM) and getting cupcakes at Sprinkles!! The day was deemed perfect when hubby said, "So which race are we doing next?"
So, as my post-race bliss continues, I start to look forward to the Nike Women's Marathon in two weeks. I know it will be challenging due to all of my injury woes but, really, I'm just hoping to finish. I REALLY want a Tiffany's necklace (that's the race medal)...what? At least I'm honest.