Warning: I get a little deep here and think I needed to write this more for me but I hope you gain something from reading. =)
Here’s the thing. I know I must have said this before but I’ll say it again. Running is so much more than the miles that your feet cover. Today as a non-running runner, I had so many happy moments that it almost became insignificant that I didn’t actually run 13.1 miles.
Of course it wouldn’t have been half as fun without Elvia, my fellow injured running peep, sharing the morning of spectatorship (is that even a word?) with me.
It started this morning at 6:30am. I got up, dressed, took the dog out quick and then drove from Staten Island into Brooklyn over my favorite bridge where I parked and hopped on the subway to get out to Coney Island.
By 8:15am I hopped off the subway and made my way up toward where Elvia was parked.
We walked up onto the boardwalk right past the finish where they were giving out the finishers’ medals.
It was fairly early still but I happened to notice a Facebook friend’s dog. Long story but through the worlds of labradoodle and running I became “friends” with someone on Facebook. He had just finished running and his fiancé and their dog (who is a bigger version of Duncan) were there to greet him and take pictures. Always so awkward to say “hey we’re friends on Facebook”. Anyway, I chatted with them for a bit and then Elvia and I got busy tracking our friends. For whatever reason Elvia’s phone was working well while mine was having a hard time connecting to a signal (and we’re BOTH Verizon!) so she was the official tracker. All of a sudden it started to pour but we were right by a bar/restaurant with an awning so we grabbed ourselves some cocktails and sat under the awning to stay dry.
Lucky for us the rain stopped just before we saw our first friend was approaching mile 13.
And so for the next hour we continued to greet our runners with loud cheers (i think the margarita might have made me a little extra punchy and photo snaps.
First up was Robin…
She actually took a little detour to run down her childhood block and still managed to break 2 hours.
Next up was Mike…
I don’t think I’ve seen Mike since February so it was nice to see him for a bit. And then it was Lisa…
Just before we left to go meet up with everyone at the designated post-race spot I said to Elvia that there were two runners from Staten Island that I was hoping to catch—Michelle (NYC Running Mama) and Jen (Mom’s Gotta Run). So we quickly tracked them on the livetracker site and saw they were literally approaching the finish line! Sure enough not a minute later I saw Jen and Michelle walking down the chute to get their medals. And Elvia and I SCREAMED their names!!!!
I knew Michelle was coaching and pacing Jen and that Jen’s goal was sub 2. I also knew that Michelle always has that infectious smile so when I saw the smile I still had to ask….how’d it go? Jen not only beat her sub 2 goal but she PR’ed by 2 minutes. 1:56:xx. The were just the cutest. Walking arm in arm. I’m glad I got to be one of the first to congratulate them.
And then it was off to the Brooklyn Cyclone’s baseball stadium to meet up with everyone and listen to some music. We finally connected with Cindy.
So you see—half marathons are fun whether you run them or not =) But no worries…..i’ll be back to running them in September.
Have you ever spectated before?
Did you see everyone you were there to see?
Ever injure your rotator cuff?
Do you like the color pink?
I have so much to talk about and I thought i should break this post up into chunks. First Let’s talk about my
unnecessary rollercoaster ride process to my decision on whether to run the Brooklyn Half tomorrow.
EVERYTHING BUT THE MEDAL
Wednesday afternoon, on my lunch hour I took the subway from my office in Manhattan to Pier 2 at Brooklyn Bridge Park where the Brooklyn Half “Pre-Party” (expo) was being held.
I wanted to pick up my race bib and t-shirt regardless of what my final decision on running would be. For one, I paid a good amount of money for registration including the tech shirt….
plus, i love that it was being held at such a scenic spot in Brooklyn where the views of lower Manhattan are just breathtaking. For whatever reason this race has become a large event with runners from all over and they made sure to tailor the pre-party for the out-of-towners and also highlight some of Brooklyn’s unique eats and music. I love when my hometown (while I live in the neighboring borough of Staten Island, I was born in Brooklyn) can be shared with others.
Yesterday morning, I drove to physical therapy for my shoulder and i was still wrestling with the whole Brooklyn Half situation. How could I possibly be in jeopardy of having to drop out of running this half marathon due to injury 2 years in a row???!!!! And for the same (overuse) injury! After 6 weeks of knee-hab here I was dealing with my ankle demons.
I shut down my mind and focused on the exercises they had me do for my shoulder. Unfortunately due to insurance reasons this was my last session. Crazy since I’m nowhere near healed. But I know the exercises i need to do and will continue to do them 2x a week at home. And maybe Mr. SOTSS can pinch hit for the shoulder massage part. =)
But as soon as I left PT, my mind was racing again….literally! I know I can physically run 13.1 miles on Saturday which is what’s been making it so hard to make that final decision. It’s what i’m risking in the long run. I’m pretty sure it would leave me with a longer road to recovery. My ankle tendonitis is mild at the moment. But this could be just too much for those tendons to handle and I know it took 4 months to heal last year when it was severe. I don’t want to lose 4 months again. Especially after I just experienced being sidelined for the knee.
And I am running a 5k on Sunday with Mr. SOTSS and his daughters and I definitely don’t want to jeopardize that in any way. So really It’s my pride that’s really has been standing in the way here. But I made the final decision just hours ago that I won’t be running. And you know what? It’s not the end of the world. And the silver lining is that I get to be a supporter/spectator this time. I had lots of practice being a spectator last year at the Spring Lake 5, Jersey Shore Half and NYC Marathon. I’ll be waiting at the finish line to cheer as my running peeps cross and then I’ll hang out with them after and help celebrate their finish. I miss them! Plus, my running peep Elvia is also needing to sit this race out so we’re going to meet to run/walk just a couple of miles while we wait for the rest of the crew. YAY!
With my pre-party experience, race spectating and post race celebration basically I’ll have everything but the medal. =)
This brings me to my next share…
PERMISSION FOR LONG SET BACKS
It started back in Sept. 2013. I trained to run 5 half marathons in 5 days.
Yes, I trained hard for that. I ran 65 miles in 5 days in the week of those races. I had never run as much as I did that fall….and then came the NYC Marathon that November followed by a cold and snowy winter that I battled to keep my training going for the NJ Marathon in April of 2014. I did lots of speedwork on a treadmill mainly because the snow forced me indoors and treadmills bore me. So the speed intervals kept me focused. This all proved out as i set a HUGE PR in the 1/2 marathon last March (in the pouring rain) in Philadelphia and then another HUGE PR at the NJ Marathon. I also set a 5k PR in that time as well.
So when I think about all my injuries….the ankle, the knee, the hip, the hamstring, and non-running related but definitely draining the shoulder it makes sense that i’m still suffering (also, i’ve been poor about the preventative stuff like strength training and stretching).
And so I have given myself permission for these set backs to take a while longer to recover from.
Permission that 2015 just isn’t going to be a stellar year for my physical running capabilities.
Permission to let it be the year I learn a whole lot about the importance of the 10 percent rule and strength training.
Permission to stick to (and rekindle the joys of) short 2 and 3 mile runs a whenever I feel up to it instead of double digit long runs and a religious schedule.
Permission that planks just can’t happen until my shoulder is feeling stronger.
Permission to take multiple trips to bring in the groceries while my arm isn’t 100 percent.
Permission to accept that this is temporary. And temporary doesn’t have to mean a week or a month. This could be an entire year of working toward getting back to where I was.
But the biggest permission slip here is still new for me. I’ve been in a relationship now with Mr. SOTSS for a year now (side note: We went out last night for dinner to celebrate one year since our first date and I even got flowers =)
The last thing I want to do is whine about my injuries and not being able to run blah blah blah….but I’ve given myself permission to do it anyway (within reason!). He’s a great listener and as a runner himself he gets it. He understands that missing out on a run can impact so many things and like a catch 22 I don’t want to become irritable for not running and then take it out on him. Gosh I’m such an adult these days! I’m so grateful and lucky to have hjm as my biggest fan and to be supportive.
Yesterday I ran an easy 2-ish miles in my new Lululemon shorts that I bought last weekend when shopping with my niece. Let me just say that I LOVE them!
The first time I’ve had a pair of shorts just fit without riding up or needing to be layered over compression shorts. I’m going to be blunt….I have a lot of thigh-age. I don’t hate my legs but I know that they rub and I chafe easily. I also know that most running shorts creep up and look pretty unflattering. So usually i’ll put a pair of compression shorts underneath. These came with an already attached pair of tight fitting shorts but they are so light.
I met my friend for a walk later on in the day and we came across this cute lil frog.
This morning I took Duncan to the vet for a checkup. He got a clean bill of health. We celebrated with a walk in the park.
Do you have a pet?
Favorite running shorts?
Anyone running a race this weekend?
Anyone going to be at the Brooklyn Half?