TreesGreenville Turkey Day 8k 2015 Recap

Race #98
8k #9
TreesGreenville Turkey Day 8k #6

I am so excited to be getting into my sixth year of racing. There are only two races that I’ve run ever year since I started running, this one and the Hilton Head half.

I had no goals at all for this race. There’s no need to start racing quite yet. I’m just thankful for the ability to be able to run and to run well.

We parked a few minutes before 7:30 and I took off for a quick 15 minute warm up. We might have called it a little too close though since Mom waited in the car before making a quick pit stop at the public restrooms by the ice rink.

We got to the race start with about 5 minutes to spare. Here we encountered the only negative thing that I have to say about the race. The start was frankly ridiculous. We had the whole street. With as many people as were running the race it would have been logical to have the start line stretch across both sides of the road. It did not. Instead we were all crammed into one lane of the road. Completely illogical.

Mom and I ducked under the barrier at one point but still were delayed a few seconds at the start because it was way too crowded.

A few minutes later we were off.

The first mile (8:24) wasn’t actually our slowest. It felt slower though. I did have a little laugh when someone celebrated the downhill. Never celebrate a downhill in mile 1. You will, more likely than not, end up having to run back up that hill right before the finish.

I felt pretty good through the rest of the race. I let Mom dictate the pace and it felt good.

I did get a few comments about the music. Actually, Mom heard the comments. I ran without headphones and the music playing so that anyone around could hear. This never bothered me when I was on the other side but apparently it did bother someone else. Is this an un-kosher thing to do in a race? Right before the finish though, “Fight Song” started playing. I overheard a girl say, “I love this song!” Happy to help. :)

Miles 2 and 3 were about even at 8:27 and 8:32.

The 4th mile (and part of the 5th) were ridiculous. I am not surprised to see a time of 8:49. The hills were killer.

On the hill just after the end of mile 4, Mom needed to walk for a bit. I didn’t want to walk but I also didn’t want to finish without her so I kept powering up the hill but at a slower pace than I think I could have.

She soon caught up with me and we finished (almost) together.

As I mentioned earlier, “Fight Song” had started playing and put quite a pep in my step. When we were about to make the final turn Mom said “See you in a minute!” and I took that as my cue to take off.

That final sprint felt amazing! I absolutely loved it. Plus, I love the fact that it pushed me under 42 minutes. :)

Altogether a successful 8k and perfect way to start this holiday.

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Recovery/Rebuilding Week 2

This was a much better week overall. It’s nice when normal days get strung in a row. I’m almost ready to drop back to my normal workout/training recaps.

Day 42, Monday, November 16, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: My right knee felt a little stiff. The left ankle felt okay but I was “aware” of the sensation.
Workout assessment:
Run: This run was not fun. At the start my right knee was a little tight but warmed up. I could “feel” the left ankle but think it might just be a bruise of some sort. My legs did not have any sort of pep in them. As the run progressed the right knee felt like it was tightening so I increased my focus on making sure that my form was still good. Most of the run was mentally difficult. The cool down walk went fine.
Post-workout assessment: My right knee felt really, really tight for most of the morning. Stretching seemed to help. I felt frustrated. I knew it’s because this was my second day of running in a row, the first being the long run.
EOD assessment: I think the ankle thing is linked to tight calves. I wore all my compression sleeves for a couple hours and felt almost normal after. I feel frustrated with the slow pace of recovery and almost like it’s two steps forward, one step back.

Day 43, Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt normal for the most part. The left ankle/calf thing feels more like a bruise than a muslce/etc thing. It doesn’t interfere with my stride.
Workout assessment:
stationary bike: I could feel the left ankle/calf thing at first but after a couple minutes all niggles and etc went away. I pushed hard.
NTC ab burner: I pushed harder than last week and could tell because it was harder to talk while completing the exercises. It might be time to think about switching it up.
PT homework: The walking lunges and bridges felt tough fromt he start in a good way. The side planks were tough too because I extended the hold to ten seconds. I think it’s almost time to add the leg lift.
Post-workout assessment: I felt almost completely normal.
EOD assessment: I felt normal, nothing noteworthy.

Day 44, Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt good, normal but a tad sleepy.
Workout assessment:
Run: I easily remembered the lunge matrix. Mentally it was a little tough because for some reason I just didn’t feel like running. Physically I felt great. I could feel the bruise like sensation on the left ankle but only for the first couple minutes. My stride felt spectacular. Towards the end I might have had a tad of tightness in the right leg but it didn’t affect the stride at all.
Post-workout assessment: I felt really good. I made sure to stretch (but forgot to foam roll) even though I was extremely crunche don time.
EOD assessment: Apart from slamming my finger in the car door, I felt great.

Day 45, Thursday, November 18, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: Aside from the throbbing finger, great.
Workout assessment:
Stationary bike: I was distracted and caught up in emotions (long story.) It felt good to push hard. I good a good speed going and felt great throughout.
NTC ab burner: The distraction did not make me push hard. I don’t remember much.
PT homework: The lunges and bridges were still hard.
Post-workout assessment: Normal! Great! Strong!
EOD assessment: Normal and love it!

Day 46, Friday, November 19, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: Normal :)
Workout assessment:
Run: Everything about this run felt perfect. My stride felt strong and even. The tempo intervals were tough but only slightly.
Post-workout assessment: The best and most normal I’ve felt after a run in a long time.
EOD assessment:Really good.

Day 47, Saturday, November 20, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt sleepy but good.
Workout assessment:
Run: For the most part I felt good. Without Mom I ended up running a little slower. Mys tride felt great throughout. I did start to get some tightness in my right knee with half an hour to go. It wasn’t too bad throughout.
Post-workout assessment: I felt pretty good after. I did get some tightness a couple hours later, likely due to the chair at work and the awkward angles.
EOD assessment: Overall the knee felt pretty tight but I did my best not to stress.

Day 48, Sunday, November 21, 2015
AM assessment: I felt almost completely normal upon waking and throughout the morning.
EOD assessment: I had some occasional mild stiffness but overall felt normal and had an even stride.

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Recovery/Rebuilding Week 1

This week has been much better on all fronts. Well, I should say on most fronts. I’ve had a cold that got started last Friday night and is still holding on nine days later. The “structural issues,” though, seem to be on their way out.

Day Thirty-Five, Monday, November 9, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I forgot to push my alarm back to 5 instead of 6 so that was a little off kilter. Other than that? Normal.
Workout assessment:
Run: This run was characterized by tech frustration. Other than that, I felt physically completely normal. I had some ITB tightness around the 30 minute mark but it lasted only a minute.
Post-workout assessment: My legs felt a little more fatigued than I expected. Other than that I felt great, no tightness or aches.
EOD assessment: Throughout the day I felt normal although I did have some mild tightness.

Day Thirty-Six, Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt good apart from the cold.
Workout assessment:
Stationary bike: This was a good ride although I felt a little tired. I felt some tightness on the inner side of the right knee but nothing significant.
NTC ab burner: I still felt tired. Despite that I pushed hard but not as hard as I could have.
PT homework: I could feel the burn in my glutes as soon as I started the walking lunges. The bridges felt really hard. Maybe I need to try to get in one more session of these exercises in the week? The side planks were also hard. I added one second to the hold. I felt really stable on the extensions.
Post-workout assessment: My legs felt sore and I had a very mild ache on the outside of the right knee. Otherwise I felt good.
EOD assessment: I didn’t write this until the following day. To the best of my recollection I felt good for the rest of the day.

Day Thirty-Seven, Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt normal aside from the next stage of the cold, a stuffed up nose.
Workout assessment:
Run: My knee and stride felt absolutely normal. Aside from that I felt fatigued, especially my glutes, likely as a result of the walking lunges Tuesday. I feel like I’ve got a lot of work to do to rebuild my endurance.
Post-workout assessment: I felt sore but otherwise good, normal.
EOD assessment: It’s hard to described the feeling in the knee that developed throughout the day. After standing (while cooking) for a while the knee started to tighten (I think). I could feel it below the kneecap but it was hard to describe. I think it’s okay. (Looking back, I’m pretty sure I was being hyper-sensitive.) Overall I felt fine.

Day Thirty-Eight, Thursday, November 12, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I had to deal with the “stupid cough” stage of the cold but other than that, normal.
Workout assessment:
Stationary bike: I felt completely normal throughout the entire ride. I felt good.
NTC ab burner: I think I should maybe mix my ab workout up a bit and choose something else but for now this workout is still a bit challenging.
PT homework: My glutes were still a bit sore but I did more walking lunges. (Surprisingly, these lunges must have helped dispel the rest of the soreness but the glutes were much less sore after.) I did feel a bit tired throughout the rest of the exercises but not too bad.
Post-workout assessment: I felt pretty normal but I waited too long to write. Nothing sticks out though.
EOD assessment: I felt completely normal, some mild glute soreness though.

Day Thirty-Nine, Friday, November 13, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: My legs felt fine. The congestion, on the other hand, felt like it had settled into my chest.
Workout assessment:
Run: I probably should have skipped or modified the run because of the congestion. My legs and stride felt great. I had to stop halfway through the tempo portion of the run to hack out some congestion. Otherwise I felt pretty good.
Post-workout assessment: My legs felt fine. My frustration level with the congestion was a little high but oh well.
EOD assessment: I felt normal except for the congestion of course.

Day Forty, Saturday, November 14, 2015
AM assessment: I felt pretty good. I still had some congestion plus a small niggle sensation just above the right knee cap on the outer side.
EOD assessment: The schedule ended up workout out best by switching the run originally scheduled for Saturday to Sunday. My leg feels completely normal apart from that small, occasional odd niggle.

Day Forty-One, Sunday, November 15, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt pretty good. I enjoyed hitting the snooze button a couple times before finally getting up.
Workout assessment:
Run: This run felt amazing. I actually enjoy running in the cold but always end up forgetting that when it comes time to start another run. Everything felt really, really good. Our pace started to slow a little as the temps started to rise but other than that this was an excellent run.
Post-workout assessment: My legs felt a little fatigued but not bad. I did have a little bit of odd tightness on the outside of my lower leg just above the left ankle. I’m not sure what this is.
EOD assessment I’m still perplexed about what that tightness/sensation was. It lasted for a little while after the run before eventually going away. Overall I felt pretty good.

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Rehab/Recovery Week 5

I have a tendency towards pessimism. I used to call it being realistic but let’s call it what it is. It’s just so much easier to let my expectations fall to the absolute bottom. That way they are easily exceeded. I say all this because my “mild” freak out last weekend was totally overblown. I’m very relieved. Training went really well overall this week. I’m looking forward to shifting into a base building mode.

Day Twenty-Eight, Monday, November 2, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt some slight soreness and was hype-cautious.
Workout assessment:
Run: It started with the lunge matrix. While performing the side and diagonal-back lunges I felt a twinge on the outer portion of the right knee. Once I started the run I could feel an ache (not pain) on the outside of my right knee. I had Mom check my form. She said it looked good and even. My stride felt normal but I couldn’t get over the ache (maybe 1-2 on the pain scale) so I cut the run down to 35 minutes.
Post-workout assessment: I was a mental mess afterwards. I was sure that I had re-injured the hamstring. I emailed the PT and texted my coach. Surprisingly, my leg felt better after the run than before. The PT did not seem worried at all. He speculated that it was just extra stress from the race and that cutting the run short was the right idea. He also suggested 5 minutes or so of self-massage of the area to work out any remaining pain.
EOD assessment: The massage felt good. I found and worked through some hot spots. Certain areas still felt achey but my stride was normal. I hope to get back to how I felt at the beginning of last week soon.

Day Twenty-Nine, Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I woke up a few minutes before my alarm, again. I was cautious while getting up. This felt normal.
Workout assessment:
Stationary bike: I pushed hard and loved it. I could feel some ache on the outside of the right knee but it felt more like the muscles had been overworked, a kind of soreness.
NTC ab burner: I pushed as hard as I could and felt the burn. I felt strong too.
PT homework: The bridges felt hard but good. I felt really steady and strong on the side planks. I need to work on stability now that I’ve added the arm to the arm/leg extensions.
Post-workout assessment: All lingering soreness from the walking lunges last Thursday is gone. Finally. I felt a lot closer to normal. My right leg still felt a bit achey, like it’s been overworked not injured.
EOD assessment: So normal, it’s ridiculous.

Day Thirty, Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: Everything felt normal. I was cautious.
Workout assessment:
Run: The first test was the lunge matrix. Everything felt normal. Yay! My right knee felt slightly tight during the first few minutes of the run but it warmed up after that. Everything felt really good through the entire run. I forgot to get Mom to check my stride but I’m pretty sure it was even. It felt that way. I think the biggest hurdle now will be getting my endurance back.
Post-workout assessment: Everything continues to feel good and make me feel like a bit of a fool for my weekend/Monday freakout. I do still have some tenderness near the fibular head on the right leg but only when I press. Everything else feels great.
EOD assessment: Not bad. The leg felt a bit achey all day. I probably poked and prodded (“self-massage”) too much.

Day Thirty-One, Thursday, November 5, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt pretty normal, although a bit stiff upon waking
Workout assessment:
Stationary bike: The ride was pretty good. My right leg felt achey throughout but nothing bad. I felt strong and pushed the pace. I do wonder about the achey-ness. (I’m pretty sure that’s not a word.)
NTC ab burner: For some reason this felt a little more difficult this time but I still pushed as hard as I could.
PT homework: The bridges felt really hard. I did notice improvement with the stability of the arm/leg extensions
Post-workout assessment: I felt really good. The right side of the right leg still feels a bit achey but it doesn’t interfere with my stride.
EOD assessment: Feeling back to completely normal!

Day Thirty-Two, Friday, November 6, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: Completely normal. Yay!
Workout assessment:
Run: I almost forgot to do the lunge matrix but squeezed it in just in time. For the first 20 minutes or so, everything felt perfect. During the remainder, the outer right leg and glute felt achey and/or tight but no pain. As far as I could tel my stride remained unaffected. My hypothesis is this. Now that I have strengthened and am continuing to strengthen my glutes, hips and core, my stride is now working the muscles in my right leg how they should have been all along and the muscles are sore from this “new” use.
Post-workout assessment: Completely normal! Maybe a hint of residual ache but no stiffness. Normal stride.
EOD assessment: Absolutely normal! I had no stiffness or aches whatsoever.

Day Thirty-Three, Saturday, November 7, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: Really bad sore throat. I did not want to get up. Other than the throat, the leg felt normal, good.
Workout assessment:
Run: Everything felt really good, no soreness or aches. I did get super sweaty because I had to run inside at home thanks to the rain. I felt really strong.
Post-workout assessment: I had no soreness or aches. I felt really good, normal.
EOD assessment: I felt pretty good throughout the day. I had some tightness and soreness in the outer right knee/leg area towards the end of the day.

Day Thirty-Four, Sunday, November 8, 2015
AM assessment: I felt normal except for the next stage in the cold. (some sore throat and some sinus drainage)
EOD assessment: I’ve felt pretty good throughout the day. My stride has felt good. Some areas on the outer right leg around the knee are a bit tender and stiff but other than that I’ve felt really good.

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Rehab/Recovery Week Four

At the beginning of this week I thought for sure that I would be moving on from rehab/recovery into what I would tentatively be naming “recovery/rebuilding.” However, Saturday’s hard effort was a little too much for my knee/leg at the moment so I, unfortunately, have taken a step backwards in the recovery process. As with everything, I learned a good lesson with Saturday. I just wish that I could have learned it without the backwards progress.

Day 21, Monday October 26, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: The leg felt normal but I woke at an inopportune time during a dream which set me a bit off-kilter.
Workout assessment:
Run: This was the best run in a very long time. Everything felt perfect, except for the humidity. Mom ran behind me at one point and observed that my stride looked great. My core felt strong.
PT homework: Holding the side plank for seven seconds felt ridiculously hard. Other than that, everything went well.
Post-workout assessment: Great! Strong! Normal!
EOD assessment: Nothing stood out as unusual. I’ll take that as a good sign.

Day 22, Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: Apparently I moved around a lot while I slept but thankfully I did not have the same experience as Monday.
Workout assessment:
Stationary bike: The right knee felt a bit stiff at times but nothing significant. I pushed the pace but it ended up being a little slower than last Thursday.
NTC ab burner: This workout has become more than routine. I still tried to push. Other than that there was nothing remarkable about the workout. My core felt really strong during the planks.
PT homework: I felt really good through all of it. My core felt really strong and stable on the leg extensions. I planned to ask about increasing the difficulty at the next appointment.
Post-workout assessment: I felt good and strong. I like this.
EOD assessment: My right knee does not like my work chair after I’ve been sitting for a while. It’s a little stiff when I first get up. Other than that everything was awesome.

Day 23, Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt good, normal.
Workout assessment:
Run: The only two negative things about this run was the 25 minutes it took to for my iPad to connect to the gym’s wi-fi and the rain that forced us inside. My stride felt great. I felt strong, especially for having to run on the treadmill without any distractions.
PT homework: The side planks felt a tad harder. Maybe I was holding them longer accidentally? I felt ridiculously stable on the leg extensions. Starting Friday I will add the arm extension.
Post-workout assessment: I felt fit and strong!
EOD assessment: Everything felt totally fine.

Day 24, Thursday, October 29, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: Other than NPR having dead air aka no alarm, everything felt great.
Workout assessment:
Stationary bike: This was an excellent ride. I had some stiffness on the outside of the nee but nothing significant.
NTC ab burner: I pushed as hard as I could and loved it.
Post-workout assessment: Everything felt great and normal.
PT appointment: The appointment went really well. The PT was impressed with my improvement. Goes to show what completing your homework as prescribed will do. My hip stretch angle is not quite where it needs to be but it is much improved about 10 degrees for both legs. I also had noticeable improvement on hip adductor strength (got a little shout of surprise with that one) and stability on leg extensions. As far as running, the PT recommended that I use the next 5 weeks to build back up to a base of 35-45 mpw and then dive back into marathon training.
EOD assessment: My leg muscles were sore, likely from the new exercise added – walking lunges with a small kettle bell.

Day 25, Friday, October 30, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt pretty good, a little sore.
Workout assessment:
Run: I felt really strong but super sore. At one point the right knee, above it really, felt a little odd but not for very long.
PT homework: I skipped the lunges because my legs were crazy sore from the walking lunges Thursday. I added arm extensions and tried to concentrate on maintaining stability.
Post-workout assessment: Super sore (in a good way)!
EOD assessment: I think I felt fine except for the soreness but I forgot to write until late on Saturday.

Day 26, October 31, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I still felt super sore but felt nothing odd with the right knee.
Workout assessment:
Downtown 10k: I had so much fun. I felt strong through the race and tried to remember to maintain good form but I know that I wasn’t successful the whole time. I don’t remember any aches during the race but definitely noticed it after.
Post-workout assessment: I spent most of the rest of the day trying not to freak out. Maybe I pushed too hard? I did not perform any PT homework because of soreness and the time crunch. I did make sure to stretch and foam roll.
EOD assessment: I felt ridiculously sore, still. The afternoon and evening was mentally rough. I still have more flexibility than when I started the recovery process but the knee was crazy stiff after I got up from the chair (after sitting for 3+ hours). I have to admit that immediately I thought “I injured it again.”

Day 27, Sunday, November 1, 2015
Morning assessment: I was not as sore when I got up as I thought I was while still laying in bed after starting to hit the snooze button. My left hamstring is actually the most sore. My calves were sore too so I wore calf sleeves for some time in the morning before church and planned to wear the thigh sleeve in the afternoon.
EOD assessment: Everything felt much better than Sunday but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong with the leg. I think everything’s still okay but…

After Monday’s run which I cut 10 minutes short (to be recapped next week), I was sure that I had re-injured the knee and emailed the PT to ask for his recommendations. I am definitely frustrated and probably took a step back in the recovery process but also probably did not re-injure the hamstring. Hopefully my recovery journal will start sounding like the beginning of this week soon.

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Spinx Run Fest – Downtown 10k – 51:27

Race #97
10k #5
Spinx Run Fest Downtown 10k #1

This is exactly the kind of race I hoped for when it became my first come back race after injury. Not only was I able to run strong but the competitive bug bit me again. While my credit card is not exactly happy that all my spring races increase in price tomorrow (aka I’m registering today) the competitive racer in me is more than happy to register for all those races. (More on that in a later post.)

Now to the race at hand.

Going into the race I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to perform. That’s thanks to a new exercise the PT added at my last appointment. (More on that in a later post as well.) He added walking lunges and even a couple rounds holding a rather small kettle bell. You wouldn’t think that they were hard but my legs are crazy sore. It’s frankly ridiculous. They’re still sore now but thankfully they did not hold me back during the race.

By the time we arrived at University Ridge to park, the lot was almost completely full so we had a nice walk to warm up. We timed our arrival just a little too close. Thanks to the long lines at the bathroom Mom didn’t have a chance to go one last time. (That comes into play later.)

We moved into the street to line up. I didn’t want to get too aggressive and get too close to the front. However, I always have a hard time with this. We probably could have gotten closer and still been just fine.

Since I was going to play my music without headphones Mom left her phone and headphones behind. (This will also come into play later.)

30 seconds before 8:15 we were off.

The first mile was our slowest but still pretty good. I had no idea what kind of pace I would feel comfortable running. Turns out, it was sub 9.

Most of the first mile is downhill which also means that a lot of the last mile is uphill. So much fun. We weren’t able to go quite as fast thanks to all the weaving around slower runners.

I was feeling really good. I thought I might have felt something around the right knee at first but it went away. I think it may have been a wrinkle or something in my capris that smoothed out as I kept running.

Mile 1: 8:49

A little ways into mile 2 Mom mentioned that she needed the restroom. She didn’t think she would make it through the rest of the race if she didn’t find one. I promised to keep my eye out.

Honestly, I didn’t really want to stop. I was feeling great, really strong and had no idea what a break a little before halfway would do to my mojo.

There wasn’t anything available for the rest of the mile. We kept looking and our pace kept increasing. That’s one way to motivate Mom. ;)

I still felt great and tried to remember to maintain good form: tuck my stomach in, keep my arms from swinging across my chest. Remembering is harder to do than it seems.

Mile 2: 8:13

I figured we might either run past the restrooms near the zoo or at the very least there would be portopotties of some kind in the park. Thankfully I saw one as we entered the park. I pointed it out to Mom. Right away she told me that I could go on without her. I really hated doing that because I had planned to run with her and that would mean that she wouldn’t have any music for a little under four miles. I still was feeling great so I kept going.

Mile 3 held plenty of hills. We climbed up one in the park and I kept plugging away, still feeling strong. If I was going to split from Mom because I was feeling good, I had better put in a good performance for the rest of the race.

Mile 3: 8:28

To be honest, I don’t remember a lot of the individual miles for the rest of the race. I just remember feeling good and wanting to keep pushing. I also realized that I way over dressed. I was fine wearing my blue longsleeve yesterday in very similar weather but that was in the dark at a much slower pace.

Mile 4: 8:05 – plenty of downhills on this mile

Mile 5: 8:22 – more uphills

The last mile got annoying. We rejoined the swamp rabbit trail and then the road right where the trail emerges by Linky Stone Park. The course turns right to head up the hill of death. (That’s what I’ve named it because of how I felt at mile 25 of my first marathon aka right there.)

At that point the 5k merged from the other side (the Linky Stone Park side) with the 10k course. The timing of these races was way off. I spent the last mile weaving around and trying to avoid the way back of the pack 5kers, the out for a stroll walkers and those pushing strollers. The coned off lane is also incredibly narrow here so one person pushing a stroller took up the whole lane. I had no choice but to run in the road on the other side of the cones.

To put my frustration in perspective, the half marathon winners finished just a few minutes (5 or so) after I did. Not only did they have to battle the same stragglers but also the middle of the pack 10k runners. For someone running a 1:20 half marathon (or faster) I cannot imagine how frustrating this must be.

We continued up the hill outside the park, the same one we ran down to start the race, and had to weave around even more walkers, slowed by the hill.

When we entered Flour Field I wanted to take off in a sprint. I was able to increase my pace significantly but no where like what I wanted because these people were still walking or jogging very slowly on the fairly narrow warning track.

Finally there was a gap right before the finish line and I took off.

Mile 6: 8:17
.13 (Mom’s measured short too): 0:46

Chip time: 51:35

Not too shabby for a come back race.

I made my way up to the stairs passing the volunteers handing out the printed mugs. (My opinion, once again, is that they should have saved the money they spent on the stupid mugs and gotten medals that differentiated between half and full marathon.)

I grabbed a water and some grapes and hurried over to the section of the stands where I could come down and get a picture of mom finishing without being obstructed by the net.

Unfortunately, this was all I got.
Spinx Run Fest Downtown 10k 2015

When I went to start the burst, a reminder popped up. I thought I got more pictures but technology foiled me.

Despite the bathroom break, Mom did fantastic! She finished first in her age group less than 30 seconds behind 3rd place grand masters!

Spinx Run Fest Downtown 10k 2015
happy finishers

I have more thoughts on the race but I’ll save those for that later post I mentioned. We’re off to Skytop Orchard for some apple cider donuts. :)

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Rehab/Recovery Week Three

Finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel…

Day Fourteen, Monday, October 19, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt really good upon waking. No creaky or trouble spots.
Workout assessment:
Run: I needed the first few minutes to warm up. After that my stride felt pretty good although not as perfect as it felt Friday and Saturday. I did feel my knee brush once and a couple other times it felt like a stride or two was favoring the right. Since I noticed it and am thus aware of it, I don’t think that it’s a problem.
PT homework: I had no inner thigh issues on the single leg bridges. The Right knee felt a little off when standing from the floor but that went away quickly. I might have short changed the five second holds on the side planks by accident. I simply counted to five rather than making sure it was a full five seconds.
Post-workout assessment: I still felt really good. The inner portion of my right knee did feel a bit stiff but that went away. I love feeling (almost) normal.
EOD assessment: I felt pretty good. My right glute was a little stiff. (I wrote this the following morning.)

Day Fifteen, Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt normal aka quite cautious. I could feel a knot-like sensation in my right glute but it did not affect my stride.
Workout assessment:
Stationary bike: I could definitely feel the “knot” in the glute. I had a couple other odd sensations but nothing significant. I pushed the pace a little and loved it.
NTC Ab Burner: I was distracted through most of the workout because I was talking about work stuff with Mom. It helped the time pass but I probably did not push quite as hard.
PT homework: This went really well. I got my concentration back. I focused on maintaining good form for all. I had mom observe me on the leg extension. She couldn’t see any shifting.
Post workout-assessment: I could feel soreness in the right glute like it’s been overworked. Other than that everything feels really good. I’m optimistic.
EOD assessment: I could feel a mild ache in the glute but everything else felt good.

Day Sixteen, Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt good, not creaky at all.
Workout assessment:
Run: I felt the knot-like sensation in the right glute for the first five minutes but nother after. My stride felt ok but I could feel occasional odd sensations around the knee that felt similar to what I felt before the injury plus some hamstring tightening. I felt bummed, to say the least. I planned to attempt another run on Friday and reevaluate. I also emailed my PT.
PT homework: My legs were tired when performing the single leg bridges, to be expected after the run. I felt extremely stable on the leg extensions. I added one second to five of the side plank reps and could feel the difference.
Post-workout assessment: Mentally, I felt really down. My stride felt fine but the knee felt a bit like what I remember it feeling like before the injury became significant. I hoped that this sensation was more like the inner thing that I worked through and not catastrophic like I imagined.
EOD assessment: I ended the day reassured. The response from the PT was just what I needed to hear. Basically, he confirmed that it is in my head, a pathway in my brain that needs to relearn what normal feels like. I did feel a little achey in the afternoon but that was likely mental as well.

Day Seventeen, Thursday, October 22, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I felt really good, normal.
Workout assessment:
Stationary bike: This was the best ride I’ve had in a while. Everything felt really good so I pushed the pace. I got up to a 15 mph average on the stationary bike.
NTC Ab Burner: I pushed really hard, especially on the first interval. I could feel it as soon as I started the second interval. As much as I am not a fan of strength training, I want to give it my all so that I can become a stronger runner.
PT homework: I’m starting to look forward to increasing the difficulty. I held all ten side plank reps for 6 seconds instead of 5. I felt a little less stead on the leg extensions and think it’s perhaps because of the difference in the thickness of the carpet at home and at the gym.
Post-workout assessment: Everything continues to feel great, normal. I’m so glad that I emailed the PT. That was some significant mental reassurance.
EOD assessment: I felt really good! Normal.

Day Eighteen, Friday, October 23, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: I woke feeling completely normal.
Workout assessment:
Run: I was a tad nervous before starting but reassured by the info that I received from the PT on Wednesday. My stride felt pretty good. I focused on that and on pulling my stomach in for good posture. I could “feel” sensation in the knee towards the end but no pain. I was going to ask Mom to watch my stride just in case but she got in late Thursday night and opted for sleeping in a little.
PT homework: I could “feel” a little on the lung matrix when I didn’t concentrate. My goal with this homework is more concentration. I added one second to the last five side plank reps on both sides. I felt really stable on the leg extension. The two hardest parts of that exercises is my arm getting tired and figuring out how to gradually increase the difficulty.
Post-workout assessment: I had some mild “acheyness” (more than likely not a word) in my right leg, perhaps my IT band. Other than that I felt really good.
EOD assessment: My right IT band got really tight around lunch. I massaged it when I went to lunch. Other than that everything felt normal and good.

Day Nineteen, Saturday, October 24, 2015
Pre-workout assessment: Completely normal.
Workout assessment:
Run: I finally got to run outside and loved it. I discovered that it is harder to concentrate on pulling my stomach in but when I did it my stride/form felt great. I noticed a couple knee brushes when I wasn’t concentrating. I also noticed a couple odd sensations in my knee after stopping and starting a couple times at a two part street crossing but nothing lasting. Overall I felt really good.
NTC Ab Burner: I had originally planned to go to the gym after work so that I could use the equipment there. I decided to go ahead and do it before work because I knew that I would definitely not feel like doing it after work. Since I went ahead and completed the workout at home I had to modify the weight and used a large book instead of the 8lb medicine ball. I pushed as hard as I could and loved it. I’m actually thinking about ways to incorporate more strength training.
PT homework: My knee felt more than normal until I got up after the single leg bridges. It wasn’t bad and went away but it did the same Friday and Monday. (It may have done that other days but those are the ones that I remember.) I extended the side plank holds to seven seconds for all reps. I felt really stable on the leg extension.
Post-workout assessment: I felt really good overall. I had some mild ache around the knee but nothing significant.
EOD assessment: The knee felt almost normal throughout the rest of the entire day. I’ll take that for sure.

Day Twenty, Sunday, October 25, 2015
Complete rest day.
AM assessment: One word: normal!
EOD assessment: Not to sound like a broken record but normal! It’s almost a little sad just how excited this makes me.

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