Monday, April 11, 2016

Martian - Best day of 2016

Saturday was the Martian marathon. I had no business attempting it with my complete lack of training. Yet, they offered a new event this year, the "Milky Way 26k" 5k and half marathon combination. I had registered way back in October.

It's close to home.

I've never not done a race I had registered for.

I could certainly hack my way through a 5k.

Nothing was making my foot better, so why not see? I stopped running so as to be able to run the races. It was race day, so if not then, when??? Besides, if I didn't try, what else would I do? Sleep? Netflix with my cat?

The forecast was COLD! (Windchill of 12 degrees....) The actual temperature was every bit what they predicted. Sometimes I dress too warm or not warm enough, but I nailed it on Saturday - Athleta pants, thick SmartWool socks, cutesy knee socks, Chicago marathon jacket, gloves.

Then I ran into the problem of which shoes to wear. The Hokas are more comfortable, but they've been rubbing a blister the past few runs, which the Mizunos have never done, so despite them being less comfortable, it was a Mizuno day. A fresh blister at mile 2 of 16 would be a day-ender.

Really nice for a 5k, about average for a half
The 5k started at 8:00. I let people pass me, no big deal. I ran the entire way without stopping or walking for anything. (No Twinkies to distract us...) My final time was 29:37, which was exactly one minute faster than the Twinkie run. So I was pleased with that. Far from a PR, but better than I expected.

Looking at my statistics makes it even better. I didn't train, I wasn't trying and still managed pretty decent placements:

25/124 (age group)
146/902 (women)
390/1515 (overall)

The half would start at 8:45, which gave me 15 minutes to cross the parking lot, drink a little water and eat 2 cookies.

The half...

It started really snowing and the wind picked up to the point that we had white-out conditions. Don't think, don't wimp out. Grit, girl! You're tougher than snow!! I made it to the halfway turnaround point where a race volunteer was directing half runners to turn. I had been looking at every runner on their way back, looking for Nita. I thought about telling the volunteer "Tell Anita H----------- that Michelle made the turn!" Then I realized how crazy that sounded. I didn't know where she was, didn't know what she was wearing, didn't know her race number hah I knew she'd pass me at some point on the way back.

I kept going. My heart and lungs felt great. My foot was KT taped and 3 NSAIDs were happily swimming in my bloodstream. The pain was from the complete and utter lack of training. My glutes hurt, my groin hurt. Around mile 8 I thought "I can walk the rest of the way...." Then I asked myself Are we athletes, or are we bitches???

Just keep going. I knew it was going to be an ugly race, and it was, yet it was the best day of my year. I was so thrilled to be running!!!!

There is a super steep hill around mile 11. Every year I attack it with the mantra Make this hill your bitch! (Sorry, my runner self is a potty mouth...) Every other runner was walking up the hill. Injured girl, comin' on through!!! :D

Mile 12+ on Brady, a man was pacing his friend, pushing him to the finish. I shut off the music and listened to him instead. Are we athletes or are we bitches? Don't stop, keep going. It was hurting either way, so power through the last steps and be done that much faster.

I finished.

My goal was to finish without medical evacuation. Whatever time I got was what I got. In the end I managed a 2:32:09. I'm doin the best that I can. It was a good 30+ minutes faster than Disney, my only trail half was a 2:29, so I was in the ballpark. It wasn't a terrible time given the conditions. I just can't think about the 1:58 I ran on the same course last year.

I grabbed a handful of cookies (they're soooooo good), and my immediate thought was How in H E double hockey sticks am I ever going to do the Pig? I HAVE to switch to the 3-way. (5k, 10k, half)

My quads were beat, as bad as they are after a full, yet two days later, my foot is back to how it was. Certainly no better, but no worse either. For now I'm going to let it ride before I decide about Toledo and Cincy. (Oh hell, I'm totally doing them unless a major catastrophe flares. We all know I am. I'm crazy stupid stubborn. Then NO fulls in the fall. Not. Even. Chicago. My soul cries to type that.)

Was 16.2 miles on zero training a good idea? NO! Would I recommend it to anyone? Never! Am I glad I did it? Absolutely!!! The pain will fade eventually and I'll be left with the memories and these pretty little martian friends.

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