Races are so much fun and I love sharing them, but the thing about long distance running is you spend much more time training than racing. For me, it can be tedious, hard and sometimes painful work without any of the glory of race day. I need the races to keep me motivated.
With the cancelation of the Star Wars Half weekend, my race schedule was pretty empty after the Monterey Bay Half Marathon and I definitely took a break from running.
I did have fun traveling to Phoenix, AZ for Perrin’s Wedding, another running buddy and longtime friend. Of course there was some running involved—aside from the company, it was also sunny in the middle of winter!
Running in the desert, what could go wrong?
Too hot, too much sun!
Pretty soon, I convinced another friend to sign up for his first half marathon. Jason loved running the Eugene Marathon in 2016, but neither of us wanted to commit to training for that distance this year. However, I look forward to running the Eugene (Half) Marathon and celebrating Ryan’s first finish.
Training for this race has been pretty bumpy.
For starters, late winter/early spring was particularly wet and nasty. A 9 mile run in pouring rain that turns to sleet and then to snow is no fun.
It got cold, and snowy! By the time we finished our 9 miles, there was a light coating of white everywhere.
Luckily, Mom signed up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle, so I have an excuse to beg her to run with me. Nothing makes a miserable long run better than a partner.
And then, on Pi Day (March 14), I fell hard on a regular mid-week training run, hitting the pavement hard with both knees and ripping holes in my tights. In addition to the road rash, both knees turned deep purple with some of the worst bruising I’ve ever had. Running since then has been a challenge, not just because of the injury, but because of how demoralizing the fall was. It’s a stupid way to get injured.
I did manage to join a friend over spring break for an incredibly hilly run up a fire trail behind UC Berkeley in California. The views of San Francisco Bay were great, but it was a good reminder that although the scrapes had healed, my knees were not 100% yet.
Jason and Stephanie ran ahead of me, so I was free to take a break from the hill climb to snap photos of the view.
This past weekend, I finished my last training run before the Eugene Half, although I had to cut it shorter because of continued knee issues. I’ve had to cut several long runs short or skip them entirely, and I’ve gone through more KT tape since then than I usually do in a year.
Gotta capture that false enthusiasm… and the liberal application of KT tape on my knees and shins.
It poured rain, but we took it slow, just trying to finish the distance. A big shout-out to Mom for being a rock of encouragement. So far, 2018 has not been a great running year and I wasn’t feeling it. I don’t think I’ve gotten this wet on a run since the 2016 Portland Marathon.
Not the loveliest day. We got very wet.
Just about the time my knees were feeling really bad, Dad pulled up with drinks from a coffee shop and a towel. The short break was enough for my knees to recover so that I could finish the run and despite cutting it shorter, I felt a little more optimistic about the coming race.
What really helped was Boston Marathon day. I tracked Lili, sometime running partner of Jason, while she ran an amazing race. It was exciting getting her splits texted to me throughout the morning, as she was blazing through at a PR pace. Finally, I got to see her cross the finish line on the livestream.
It was inspiring seeing all the runners finishing and helped me to realize that I’m ready to put the challenging training behind me. My knees are nearly healed and my races sound like they’ll be really fun! After a rough start to the year, I’m finally looking forward to running my upcoming races.