Sunday, September 8, 2013

Park to Park 2013--September 7, 2013--Cedar Falls, Iowa

This is my 4th year doing the Park to Park half marathon. I love this race and think it is really well done. This year it was HOT out. Usually you get to September in Iowa and the early morning temperature is between 47 and 57, but not this year, the weather started at around 77-80 degrees with humidity. I think the only thing that saved us is that most of the 13.1 miles is in the shade.

Jason and I had a hotel, however about a week before the race our friends Lisa and Kyle offered their home for us to sleep at.  How awesome, so we took them up on it.  The beds were comfortable and we both got a few hours of sleep before race!  I was so over hydrated that I got up at least 3 times to pee in the night.  Better to be over hydrated then under when it's hot out.

I always make at least three goals for every race I'm in.  This time I made 4 goals:

1.  To finish
2.  To finish strong and feel awesome all the way to the finish line
3.  To beat 2 hours 30 minutes.
4.  To beat my PR (personal record) half marathon time of 2:26:30

This is my first half marathon race since my ankle injury last October.  I really thought I'd run a half marathon way before now, however I was slowly working up to running further and further and I found that every time I ran anything near 7 miles my left ankle would throb and then hurt for a week.  In May I ran a 10 mile race and that went well for the most part, but I did have significant pain during the race and then hurt after.  I hated running in pain and was tired of it.  I finally went back to the Sports Medicine doctor in August and asked them what was going on.  They told me that my Peroneal Tendinitis was still bad and it could take up to 2 years to have a full recovery.  Then they said, you can run, but just expect to be in pain.  You aren't hurting anything.  This bothered me greatly because I was sick of being in pain.  This pain was ruining my life.

I started asking around to people who have had injuries and what they have done to get through them.  I was told about an awesome place in North Liberty called Adair Chiropractic that besides chiropractic also does a method called A.R.T. or Active Release Technique.  I have had the A.R.T. method done after a race in July by a volunteer massage therapist and liked it, but didn't know anyone that did it close to home.  I was hesitant to go to yet another place to try and solve this stupid ankle injury that had now lingered almost 10 months, but was seriously willing to try anything.  The throbbing pain I was feeling daily was just getting to be too much plus in the last month was waking me up at night.

So I went and with just 2 treatments of this new A.R.T. method, the scar tissue in my ankle was being released.  I ran pain free for the first time the day after my 2nd treatment.  I was amazed.  Plus what amazed me even more is that the Dr. Karla Adair said I would only need about 4 treatments.  She wasn't trying to sell me anything, just heal me.

I ran the half marathon expecting to be hurting by mile 13.  I knew I could run 9 miles because that is the furthest I had trained to run.  I would have trained further, but as I have mentioned previously I couldn't run very far without pain up until August.

I had some weird pain in my right foot during mile 1, but by mile 3 I felt amazing everywhere.  I decided that by mile 10 if I felt great, that I would run the last 5K of the race fast.  To my surprise I was feeling great by mile 10.

Most of the race I ran with Lisa and her husband Kyle.  We did intervals of walking and running. That was fun and I want to run many more races with them because they are awesome runners.  Around mile 10 I ran alone to the finish.

I hit my first two goals, but not the last two. I missed the 2:30 mark by a couple minutes.  But I'm so incredibly happy to have been able to run at all and to be able to run pain free for so far that my finish time doesn't even matter at all.  However here are the RESULTS if you really want to see everyone's time.  Plus some pictures from the awesome day!
Jason and I before the hot race.

Kyle, Lisa, Me and Jason

Running in for a strong finish.  I'm almost there, only a 10th of a mile to go.
Jason snapped this picture of me.

Huge smile on my face.  I couldn't contain my happiness.  I was so happy I
cried at the finish line.

My race bib and finishing medal.

Jason's race bib and finishing medal.

After returning home, showering, untangling my hair that
was tied in knots and putting on the race shirt!  Jason
and I are so happy to have finished the half marathon.

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