Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Road To Recovery Continues

This week has been great.  First, I had my six week post-surgery appointment and the doctor cleared me up for everything else, weights, kickboxing, LIFE.  I am back to where I was pre-surgery, all healed and not only that, pain free.  This week was a special week of sorts, not only because I was cleared but it was the first week of higher mileage since January.  I would dare to say, for the whole 2014.

I did run one 50mpw in 2014, in January, the week of the Disney Marathon but I never felt the way I feel today after running 44 miles this week.  I am running slower than pre-surgery, yes, but I don't have that mechanical impediment nor my abs hurt after 1 hour of running.

My next marathon is 17 weeks away.  2014 might not be a year for PRs and I understand and can live with that.  But it WILL be a year of no pain, easy runs, and enjoyment.  Something that has been lacking from my life since October.

Bring it on!

Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 Puerto Rico Half Marathon

Yesterday, I paced hubby at the 2014 Puerto Rico Half Marathon. If you remember, I ran the inaugural marathon last year and had a blast, even though the heat index was 100F and the dewpoint was 80F.  Since they moved the race to March this year, I registered myself for the marathon and hubby for the half and we hoped for better weather.

Then, I chose my surgery date and I had to let at least three races and lost the registrations on those.  Having said that, now that I went through the surgery, I wonder why didn't I just do it in January and fuck all the races I didn't want to lose my registration on.  But, you live, you learn.

I initially requested to defer the race and we expected not to go at all.  My husband had been dealing with shin splints since his last half marathon in December and there was no way I could run a marathon five weeks post surgery.  But, since I started running earlier than expected and running has been going great, well, really, it's been fucking great, hubby said: let's go visit the family, and recommended I asked whether I could do the half marathon.  This conversation happened last weekend.  So, with only a 7 miler post surgery, I asked and they said yes.  And off we went!

We flew Friday night and JetBlue was delayed, so we arrived in San Juan at 2am on Saturday morning.  Went to bed at 3am and woke up at 8am.  Awesome sleep, not.  We had breakfast at our favorite typical Puerto Rican bakery and headed to the expo.  They switched me to the half marathon, gave me everything I needed, and I went shopping at the expo.  It's a very small expo but they always have great visors and headbands, which I use 24/7.  After the expo, we drove around Old San Juan and drove the new race route, which was harder than last year.  One positive, though: for the first time in probably forever, Puerto Rico's weather was milder than Miami, so we were only getting a high of 88F and a dewpoint of 70F with a start in 75F and a dewpoint of 75F.  Much better than last year and better than what Miami has been getting so we felt we didn't have much to worry.

After our drive, we met my inlaws for lunch at one of the typical restaurants in Old San Juan.  We had a blast.  After our goodbyes, we headed to the pool for some relaxation and later met my dad for dinner at our favorite pizza place.  We went to bed at 10am and woke up at 3:30am for the race, as the last shuttle left the parking area at 4:30am.  We barely made it with the traffic (even though we were 2 miles away--this is typical Puerto Rican traffic).

The race started late due to an activity at the Convention Center which was still ongoing (Puerto Rico does know how to party) and they couldn't close the road until those people had left the Center.  Start time was 5am, we started at 5:21am.  Not bad except the Blondie was coming out soon and we wanted to be well ahead of the Blondie by the time it became a race in the surface of the sun.  We were not successful, ha.

If it was hilly last year, it was harder now.  The route starts at El Escambron and run on a slight uphill towards Old San Juan.  We pass the Capitol which is gorgeous at night:

We go up one of the worst hills in Old San Juan (they measure it at more than 18% but this picture does not do it justice), the uphill near the Fort San Cristobal, pictured here (not my pictures).  Of course, being Mile 2 of the race, we walked this:

Then, we head to El Morro and La Puerta de San Juan (also not my pictures):

But before we headed towards El Morro, we turned left and headed towards La Puerta de San Juan.  Sad that all this was in the dark.  Although Old San Juan is also gorgeous at night, running during the day would have been great as well.

We ran on the path circling the old wall protecting San Juan from pirates and other dangers and entered back into Old San Juan to head back towards downtown San Juan:

After we headed towards Downtown San Juan, also hilly but manageable, we started remembering places we used to go out, study, work, etc.  When we reached the Calle San Diego, where our hotel was, we went on a huge downhill and I lost my husband.  He smoked me there (I was more conservative going down the huge hill).  We met at the water station and headed towards Isla Verde and Condado to return to Old San Juan for the last stretch.

This is the Convention Center at night, we ran by it during the day, but still gorgeous (my picture):

After Condado, which is one of the main tourist hotel areas in San Juan, we crossed the Puente Dos Hermanos and headed back to the Capitol area and Old San Juan. The bridge looks better today but this is the only picture I was able to find and it's probably 20 years old since there are only a bunch of hotels there instead of 100.

 We crossed the bridge at around Mile 10 and started the uphill towards the back of the Capitol, when we hear the police coming in.  The marathon winners were coming to pass us.  The three elite males looked like they were going out for a nice stroll (this is an official event pictureSmile

This is them crossing the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge (it's close to 3 miles long) which is part of the marathon course but not of the half.

We applauded them and they soon disappeared from our view.  The last two miles are uphill (gradual 4%) to a downhill towards the Sixto Escobar Park where the finish line was located.  We headed there, got our names mentioned as we headed towards the finish and finished.

Here is us post race (I am wearing one of the event visors):

Hubby was afraid his shins would act up because he has been suffering from shin splints on and off for the last two months but he did the race without issue.  Me?  I didn't even feel a thing.  I have noticed that since removing what needed to be removed, I have not had issues with my leg mechanics at my husband's pace.  I should know more when I start racing at my pace.

We had a blast.  I don't think I'll do this marathon often.  After all, we saw the marathoners pass us by the hotel when it was already 90F and super sunny and humid and instead of jealousy I felt glad I was not doing it.  I will run this race every year with hubby and keep it as a family visit, with me doing the marathon when I feel I need my fix of a marathon that will make me miss Miami weather.

Today was my last surgery follow up.  I have been cleared for everything and basically my recovery has ended.  The doctor is not surprised I ran a half marathon yesterday since, as he puts it, this surgery's recovery is speedy.

I am glad to be back!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

After the Break: Rebuilding

Hello!  Long time no speak.  I've gone through so much since I last posted.  Surgery, recovery, back to running.  I have been meaning to write a quick post as to my whereabouts but I keep running out of time, so here it is (finally).

Surgery was on Valentine's Day.  I had planned that date mainly because I wanted to finish three marathons before I had surgery.  It just never turned out the way I wanted to.  I did the Disney World Marathon with hardly any pain, but lots of breaks and walks, but then I got sick just before the Clearwater Marathon and it was a miracle I even finished the Half Marathon walking mostly the last four miles.  Then, I planned on doing the ING Miami Marathon (now called Lifetime Miami Marathon) and everything was so hard I quit at Mile 8.  By the time surgery week came, I couldn't even run.  I felt like I had gained 50lbs in this short period of time and running was so hard, it was no longer fun.  So, I didn't.  Instead, I used the bike as much as I could.

The surgery went well (I did have some issues post-anesthesia that I hope never have to repeat).  Too well.  They took care of 90% of my issue; the other 10% is still to be taken care of via medication (hormones) or lack thereof.  Hoping that is not the case, but I'll deal with it when the time comes.  My dad came over to take care of me, as the doctor expected me not to drive, move, or walk much in the first seven days, so my dad was here to help.  It was nice to have him around but after Sunday, I was basically back to normal.

Here is me in the hospital:

Science and technological advances are an amazing thing.  This type of surgery used to take 6-12 weeks to recover and even then women couldn't run as far as 12 weeks out.  Shudder.  The first thing I asked for as soon as I was wheeled into my room was the iPad, as advanced registration for the Space Coast Marathon started while I was under the knife.  I was so out of it, my husband had to register myself because I kept pressing the wrong button on the iPad and crying when I had to start over.  Ha.  But registration was done and after that, I rested at the hospital overnight and felt great.

By Tuesday of Week 2 (10 days post surgery), the doctor gave me the go ahead to bike and walk.  At the time, I felt great, except the psoas major was pretty beaten up during the surgery and I still get some muscle issues today concerning it.  But, I still cannot press the area and my massage therapist cannot work on it so we're doing the best we can.

My first bike ride was of an hour.  Slower than normal but it felt nice to be out there.  I still took the full two weeks off work, mainly because I was tired and needed naps during the day, but by Friday of the second week (14 days post surgery), I was ready.  I still could not run for two more weeks (!!) but I was already walking with some running intervals as allowed by my doctor.  A follow call from my doctor at the end of Week 3 (21 days post surgery) indicated I was ready to start running and running I did.  The going has been slow but the miles keep getting stacked one atop the other.  Nothing hurts, and I no longer have that extra weight that kept me back.  And as another positive thing, no more migraines (so far!).  Woot.

The first week I only ran 4 miles.  I just finished my first full week of running (Week 4, 28 days post surgery) and although I planned on doing 15 miles, I finished 22, felt great, and even biked twice during the week.  Overall, I am back!

I go to the doctor next Monday (6 weeks post surgery) and I am expecting to be released to do weights and kickboxing.  I cannot weight to lift heavy weights again and work on my core, which although way smaller than it was before the surgery, it still needs A LOT of work, thanks to the fibroids.

I already have my first comeback marathon and training starts Monday (not at my usual mileage, mind you).  Unless I signed up for an earlier one.  You know me....

Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Wait is Over: On Surgery and Taking an Extended Break for Recovery

The week has arrived.  I have surgery on Friday and, at the doctor's recommendation, I won't be able to run for four weeks.  It is not running related but it has been affecting my ability to run ever since my failed attempt at a PR at the Chicago Marathon.  I've run several marathons since then but all in pain and slow.  It is time.  I am ready.

After Disney, I attempted the Clearwater Marathon, only to wake up that morning with a severe chest congestion (later turned into severe asthma) and some fever.  I still started but talked to the RD and he let me switch to the half marathon instead.  I wasn't even able to complete that in any sort of running fashion but I got the medal and moved on.  It did not help that one of my kitties had died that week after an illness and it did not help that I was sick of work and life at the time.  I don't think I had ever been that meh about a race before.  Nothing to do with the event; it was just a bad week for me.

So, after my husband decided not to run the RnR New Orleans (our next event) due to his shin splints, I turned my sight to the ING Miami Marathon (excuse me, a week prior to the race it was called the LifeTime Miami Marathon).  I wasn't ecstatic about it but I wanted one more marathon before surgery.  The day turned into a hot and humid mess, a very disorganized race, and after my issue started bugging my running mechanics and I felt like I was running at a higher effort than I should have due to the extra work in moving my legs, I quit at Mile 8.  I just stopped, grabbed a cab, and got into my car and left.  Not sorry I did not finish; from what I heard, at least 1500 people did not get medals, they ran out of water at some water stations, and when the rain came, they said volunteers left the stations too.  Not the best Miami event I have run and apparently, I did not miss much.

I have barely run in the last 2 months.  The runs are either painful or awkward due to my changed mechanics.  We bought bikes and I have been able to do some exercise, but that is also going to be on hold for 4 weeks as well.  I'll run some this week (unless I decide to bike instead because it gives me no pain whatsoever), but on Friday, I'll be taking care of something that has pained me (literally) for seven years.  And once I get that taken care of, the sky will be the limit.  Gone are those painful steps throughout marathons, and the nausea and migraines, and the extreme weight changes.  Bring on the normal runner.  I heard those exist but I have never been one.

And to celebrate that fact, I have registered for two races that are not marathons.  Wait, what?

Monday, January 13, 2014

2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Race Report

After finishing 5 marathons in 4 weeks, and knowing you have another marathon five weeks from then, what do you do?  You recover and train for a couple of weeks, right?  You wouldn't not run for 3 weeks (or barely run), and do 11 milers as your long run, right?  Because that's what I did!  Ugh.

Seriously, after Space Coast, I recovered from the multiple marathons and thought I would be able to pick the training up on Week 3, but I did not count on having two severely ill kitties that needed to be forced fed four times a day, and I did not count on working 70-80 hour weeks during the holidays.  The truth is, I really did not have much time to run and when I did, I was so exhausted I just did not have the mojo to run.  And then, all of a sudden, race week was here.  The nerve!

Now that my kitties are doing better and that I have a surgery date, my mojo has returned and the last runs have gone great.  I just did not have time to run much and had to rely on my year of consistent running and good mileage for this race.  And, although I love to do events for fun, I always run until I cannot run any more.  That strategy does not work when you have what I have.  So, during the last 5 marathons with the pain, I created a strategy that has worked for me.  I was supposed to start the strategy at Disney since Mile 1.  And of course I did not and waited until Mile 6 to do so.

We arrived in Orlando at 2:45pm for an expo that closed at 4pm.  Our start was so great!   After the expo, we went to have lunch (at 4:30pm, mind you) at our favorite Puerto Rican place.  And after eating this:

And having a beer (the other one is hubby's), I felt much better.  We proceeded to go shopping at the best outlet mall in the US (after all, having the only Lululemon outlet store in the US qualifies you for that, the end).  Got back to hotel in the middle of a hurricane (normal rain for Miami), went to dinner at Raglan Road, had another beer and food while watching the show:

And went to bed at 11:30pm to be promptly awaken by a nurse calling hubby (he was on call all weekend).  Woke up at 3:30am and got on the bus at 3:50am.  For some reason, this year the buses took forever and after spending 40 minutes on the bus, I barely made it into the corral with 10 minutes to spare.  Before heading there, I met two forumites from the RWOL Turtles group and at the potty line (social network central), I met Sam from the RWOL Daily Runner group.

As I said, my strategy of running 0.90, walking 0.10 (or the water stations) helped my pain remain at bay not only on race day but during the days after.  I have come to find that if I want to run painless, I should do it from the beginning.  And of course, I did not.

Miles 1-6 - The first miles are in the dark and went by pretty fast.  I run at my usual warm up pace and felt fine.  I did not stop at all during these miles except to get some dust or debris out of my shoe at Mile 3 and to take a picture of the Disney castle (for more information as to what is what and where we ran, read Lurch's RR because I am not good with names and I am not a Disney fan).   Otherwise, everything went well.  Perfect weather, not humid, cool of 60F and the highest I got was 63F.

Splits: 11:02, 10:39, 11:08, 10:42, 11:32.

At Mile 5, I started feeling the pain and I knew I have to start with my strategy now, so I did start at Mile 6.

Pictures taken during these miles:

Miles 7-12 went well, and we headed towards the Speedway, then we head to the water treatment plant towards Animal Kingdom.  I stopped to take a couple of pictures from the cars and after that, spent some miles stopping for character pictures and to fix my Hokas which kept getting debris inside them (I was running on the grass some times to pass others).

Splits: 11:31 (gel break), 11:41 (picture stop), 11:22 (picture stop), 10:51, 10:56, 11:12.

Pictures taken throughout these miles:

Miles 13-18 had us through Animal Kingdom and the highways.  It was the toughest part of the race as Lurch mentioned in his RR, mostly because the sun was out and there is no shade (I am used to no shade in Miami but still the sun drains you of energy).  My pain was at bay but it kept creeping up as the miles went on.  I took it easy between miles 16 and 18 because of the bridges and the hilliest portion of the race (before the bigger "hill" at around mile 21-22.  Since the pain was creeping up, I started with strategy # 2, which is 0.85 run/0.15 walk.

Splits: 11:24, 12:11 (gel break), 11:16, 12:08 (shoe debris), 12:52 (medical tent stop for vaseline), 11:20.

No pictures were taken during these miles.

Miles 19-23 had us going into the ESPN Wide World of Sports, out, and then head to Hollywood Studios.  I took a lot more pictures during these miles so the pace dropped.  I still fell the pain was under control but continued my strategy and in fact, added a full 0.20 break throughout the mile if needed.

Splits: 11:40, 13:38 (photo stop), 11:41, 13:08 (photo stop), 13:08 (photo stop).

Pictures taken during these miles:

Miles 24-26.84 passed quickly.  I texted hubby telling him I was at Mile 24 and to get to the finish line when he could and proceeded to run towards Epcot via the Swan hotel and the riverwalk.  Having done this course three times already I know where I am supposed to be and when.  Since I stopped a lot for pictures, the paces were slow as well.

Splits: 11:45, 12:38, 10:08.


And I was done!  Hubby saw me finishing but couldn't take a picture because the area is full of people.  I was surprised that with all my stops, I came in faster than NYCM in November.  And since the pain started, this is my second fastest marathon this season.  I was really expecting to do way slower, so I'm happy.  Until surgery, I won't know how fast or slow I am.  I cannot wait to get back at it post surgery.

Now off to recover and eat (and run) because I do this again next week.  Just because I am getting surgery does not mean I shall stay on the couch and mope the loss of my uterus. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 In Review

I have been debating whether to even bothered to write about how 2013 went.  To me, it was a wash between being a great running year and a sad running year.  At the beginning of the year, I had the following goals:

A - 2500 miles
B - 12 marathons earning me a third star on the maniacs
C - No asthma attacks

Although I basically succeeded in achieving goals B and C, the reason for me not achieving goal A is both sad and complicated.

The first part of the year went really well, I finished the following marathons/ultras: Walt Disney World, ING Miami, A1A Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, DT Endurance 50K, Puerto Rico, and San Francisco, a feat in and of itself.  I almost PRd at Disney and earned my current marathon PR at the A1A Ft. Lauderdale.  Overall, I was optimistic that training for the Chicago Marathon would bring me a new PR and the sub-4:30 I know I am capable of when the stars aligned.

But they did not.  Training for Chicago went great and Walter (my coach) and I had to adjust my goal MP to 10mm because I was doing so well and effortless.  The mileage was high and I was responding well.  Yet, when I arrived in Chicago, I started feeling off and later DNSd the race at Mile 11 due to pain.  At the time, I thought I had hurt myself and believed the best was to leave all my efforts for the MCM marathon coming up in 2 weeks.  But, it was not muscle related, as my previous RRs have mentioned.  I had some bigger non-running issues that after seven years, they decided to make themselves more noticeable...and painful.  Oh, the pain.  Chicago was the beginning, MCM was done and I had fun but the pain was there.  During the New York City Marathon, everything went great until the pain started.  I was demoralized and felt I would never be able to PR at this point.  At the time, I suspected surgery was the next step and a visit to the doctor in December confirmed it.  But I wanted to do something amazing this year and I signed up for my first double marathon weekend: R.A.G. 26.2 and Ft. Myers Beach.  They went great.  In fact, I had no pain during the second race.  So, I went to Space Coast hopeful that I would be able to run strong.  And I did, in part, running the fastest marathon of this season but still with a disappointing time due to the pain.

The next few weeks were sad.  One kitty got very ill with liver lipidosis and I spent most of the time force feeding her, giving her meds, and losing my running mojo.  I had made an appointment with another doctor who would give me a second opinion and if confirmed would do the surgery I wanted.  So, until December 23, I had no mojo.  Once I confirmed the plan included surgery and scheduled the surgery for February 14, my mojo returned.  I still have pain but my runs have been strong since then.  My kitty is getting better (although a second one fell ill and I am repeating the same steps I did with the first, albeit more of an expert at force feeding).  But the fact that I have a plan for 2014 and that I know what I want to do post surgery and what my goals will be, has my running mojo on fire.

So, I did not run 2500 miles, I barely made it to 2300.  I did run 12 marathons but instead of a third star, I earned a fourth one due to the doubles.  And I had no asthma attacks and made it past a year without needing to use albuterol.  In and of itself, the year was not bad.  But until I take care of that other problem, my racing is on hold.  My true racing, not my marathons, hello?

Here is to a new running year!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Space Coast Marathon & HM (for Hubby)

This week Mr. Docket ran his first Half Marathon, not only breaking all expectations on it, but also PRing on Thursday at the Miami Turkey Trot 10K.  I paced hubby on the 10K and treated it as an easy/recovery run for me.  I did the Space Coast Marathon today and had a great time too.  More details below.

Miami Turkey Trot 10K - 1:11:06, 7+ minute PR for hubby
Space Coast Half Marathon - 2:39:XX - 30 minutes below what we were expecting him to do.
Space Coast Marathon - 5:10:XX - My fastest in the last month and I have run 5 marathons in 34 days, so awesome.

Long Version:
Miami Turkey Trot 10K
The cold front arrived in Florida solely for 2-4 hours.  It was a cold 55F at the start of the race, 60F at the finish.  LOL.  Notwithstanding it was that warm, I saw people dressed with long sleeve JACKETS, HATS, TIGHTS, and GLOVES.  Da fuck?

Our plan was to run at hubby's pace and using his strategy of 1 mile run, 0.10 walk.  After Mile 2, I noticed he was doing my easy pace on the run segments (10:20-10:47mm) so for me it was my typical easy run.  I thought he would fade after Mile 4 but in fact, he got faster.  We crossed the finish line at the same time, seems, like, since both got the 1:11:06.  Pictures are not up.

Space Coast HM and Marathon
We decided to stay in Miami through Saturday morning, drive to Cocoa, FL (Middle East Florida, close to 45 minutes from Orlando and 3 hours from Miami), do packet pickup, spend the day in Orlando and go back to Cocoa to sleep.  We arrived in Cocoa at 1pm, did the expo and by 3pm, we headed to El Guavate, the best Puerto Rican restaurant outside of PR.  We ate two huge mofongo platters and went shopping in Orlando.

Orlando has a lululemon outlet, OMG!  I always find great deals and last night was no exception.  We ended up with running tights, gloves, vests, long sleeves, and other Winter running gear.  Obviously, this will not be used in Miami ever, but I don't plan on running in Miami much longer. Big grin

We drove back to Cocoa after a smaller dinner of pasta and ended up staying at a cheap hotel because it typical Docket fashion, we only reserved a hotel on Wednesday and everything else was full.  It was not a bad hotel, though.  We got our gear ready, read our emails, mourned the loss of Paul Walker, and went to bed.

The HM started at 6am, so we were out of the hotel by 5:15am.  Found parking near the starting line and headed for the potta potties by 5:30.  Hubby left for his start at 5:45 and I finished my business and watched the HM start precisely at 6am (I like this race!).  I like super small races and with 3000 for the HM and 2000 for the full, this is one of the smallest I have done.

Temps were 64F at the start with 100% humidity, 64 dewpoint.  So, a cool day, right?  This means....

I even saw a guy wearing a long sleeve AND gloves.  I cannot even make this shit up.  It was 67F soon after the sun came out.  I was wearing a bra top and shorts and hubby was wearing a singlet and shorts.  I felt sorry I didn't wear only a bra, it was that humid, sigh.  Fortunately, 90% of my race was cloudy.  The 10% that was super fucking sunny was when I was heading down South with the sun almost in front of me the whole time.  Good times!

The marathon started at 6:30 and we headed North in a figure 8 that would bring us back to near the starting line by the halfway point, after which we would head South until Mile 20 and head back to the finish.  I thought I would see hubby on the course, but the HM started South, so I only saw the 3+ hour finishers (and the marathon winners and faster people too).

Since I've done 5 marathons in 34 days, including that double three weeks ago, I wanted to make this one fun but I wanted to run easy miles instead of trying to run too slow.  I have a new way to tape the groin area (thanks to my massage therapist) to help with the fibroid pain and it worked better than the other times, but the pain was there even before I started the race.  So I knew it was just a question of time when the walk breaks had to be added so that the loin wouldn't explode.

Whoever told me this race was flat is crazy.  Rolling hills.  And flat apparently has a different meaning when you live in Miami.  Flat to me is zero elevation not that.  Anyway, they were manageable and I was doing fine by the halfway point.  Blinding pain usually starts at the end of the 2 hour mark but I was fortunate in not getting pain until later.

As I round up the figure 8 to start the second loop, I pick a cup of water and the following happens:

I look left and see volunteers, people, cowbells, and my fucking husband wearing his HM medal!  I tell him in Spanish: how come you're already done?  Since people were watching, I switched to English and told him: You're done already?  HOLY SHIT!  People were laughing so hard I felt my job was done.  Hubby apparently finished his HM in 2:39, even with his walk breaks, started with the 3 hour pacer, passed him, passed the 2:45 pacer at Mile 10 and went for it.  We were assuming he would run 3:07-3:15 so he is very happy with his time on his first HM:

Not sure why he is wearing Hokas and inknburn because no one else at the house likes that shit.... Blush

On I go.  Miles 1-14 were done at paces ranging from 10:11 through 10:30, with some slow miles when I had to fix my sock (thank you, arthritis, I really appreciate how annoying you are when it's most wanted!)  Anyway, crossed the halfway point at 2:24 clock time, so 2:20 which is where I wanted to be (easy pace, 4:40-4:50 race).

And then, Miles 15 through 17 were OK but I had to stop to fix the sock at each mile, drank some beer from a nice lady that was handling it and stopped at the medical tent to see if they had tape.  Then, Mile 18: blinding pain.  I walked a bit and ended up with 12:50mm, but 19 and 20 were faster than that, and then Mile 21 was BAM, 15mm, holy pain.  I walked when I had too much pain, and ran the rest.  The running segments were at my usual 10:15-10:30 all through the finish, but I just couldn't run straight through with this pain.  The tape helped a lot, but I still need surgery as soon as I can manage it, sigh.

Anyway, Mile 22 gave me a huge surprise.  As I am looking at the people coming from MIle 17-18, I see Nikki (IRun4Bliss).  She was doing the full and I didn't even know (well, she didn't tell me, ha).  We hugged and chatted a bit, and off we parted ways.  A bit further down, I see a girl sitting on the side of the road.  A guy was with her and kept running after she assured him she was OK.  I asked her too.  She said she was cramping bad.  I asked her whether she could walk with me, she said no.  So, I see the police car ahead and continue on and flag him for her.  She was picked and taken to the nearest medical station 0.50 mile ahead.  When I ran by, she was wrapped in blankets and being treated.  15:08mm for that mile does not feel so bad when you're playing the good samaritan!

Miles 24 through 26 kept me doing the same run when I could, walk when it was too painful.  They were all in the 12mm ratio.  I stopped one time at Mile 25 and grabbed my groin and this gentleman asked whether I was OK.  I told him yes, but he noticed I had done that several times before (we were playing tags with each other).  I thanked him but told him it was something I couldn't help and raced him to the finish.  We finish almost together.  We congratulated each other and went to meet our families.

I finished in 5:10, not even my fastest (which is 36 minutes from my PR--I counted correctly this time, Beth!) but it is my fastest since the fibroid issues arose and after 5 marathons total in 34 days, I can call this time a win since it is my fastest of those 5.

Hubby was waiting for me at the finish with a Yuengling for me.  Such a nice husband!  Then, he took a closeup picture making me look all puffy which deleted all the credits he got from the beer.

And here is a close up of the two medals.  They don't differ much except one says marathon and the other one says that other boring distance. Joking

Next: Disney!

Thanks for reading!