"Let's run the Spokane Half-Marathon!" Traci said so convincingly that I thought "sure, why not!" Usually it was me on the front end of big ideas, but not this time.
Not surprisingly, when the race crept up in October and I had undertrained, I ended up with my first "official" running injury. Granted, my body had given me plenty warning signs prior to the race which I'd stupidly ignored.
Smiling through the pain and appropriately wearing my "Give it your all" tank top, here are a few photos highlighting the race:
Two weeks later, I found myself at U District PT beginning my journey of weekly therapy for IT Band issues. It hasn't been a fun five months; my progress has been slow and very painful. But, I promised myself I would be the "perfect patient" and do everything I was asked to do because I got myself in this situation and I would do whatever it took to get better and run again.
Some PT treatments have been not-so-pretty:
I have learned that I can endure the pain and I will never look at a plunger the same again. Luckily, my therapist is amazing or I'd probably hate her.
My upcoming half-marathon in Nashville, TN on April 30 is the carrot dangling in front of me moving me forward. In order to reward myself for my PT, I got a gallon jar and have been matching my distances run with money. My first deposit into the jar was $.50 for running half a mile and it has gradually increased each week from there. I will cash it out when I head to Nashville.
I'm writing all of this because today marked a number of milestones:
1. I ran my first race in 5 months: The Rapid Rabbit 5 Mile Run.
2. I ran WITHOUT pain!
3. I BEAT last year's time, running a PR for this race!
4. I found a 24-year-old girl who I used as my pacer and in the last quarter mile when she was struggling on the hill, I came up beside her and told her she was doing awesome and couldn't stop now. I told her to run with me, and we ran side-by-side up the hill. In the home-strech to the finish line, I told her to sprint and beat me because she'd been ahead of me the whole race and deserved to finish before me -- and she did! After the race, she thanked me for helping push her to the end. I thanked her and told her she probably helped me more than I helped her!
Now I get to look forward to building strength and mileage each week until Nashville. I have one more race in the books between now and then with a solid plan in place to work from.
I'm excited for what is yet to come!