CIM (California International Marathon) – 2010
That felt like a really slow race. But, it was the best I could do yesterday. I’m just proud I finished! I am very happy that I did it. And, at the same time I have a strong feeling of never wanting to do it again! I like my 10ks.
During this training, I have had so many issues/injuries and have run in such pain that it took the joy out of running. I had a strong desire to complete the marathon training and make it to the race so that I would truly know if it was for me or not. I’d like to announce to the world that marathoning isn’t for me! At least that is how I’m feeling right now. For those who love it, go get ‘em.
I’m not sure what got me to sign up for CIM to begin with. I have always wanted to run a marathon. And, after completing the 1/2 ironman in July, I decided that this was the year that I had the endurance to complete a marathon if I ever wanted to. Luckily, a friend’s husband agreed to coach me through the marathon.
I was very excited to start my training after my second 1/2 ironman. I had to take a rest week, but started training the next week. I watched my long runs increase and I was having a good time. I was amazed at what my body could do. Sure, I had a few little tweaks and pains, but that is not uncommon when you are running so many miles. However, after running my 17 mile run, something was wrong. I tried to go for a run and my leg wouldn’t rotate. I stopped and stretched and felt that the problem was coming from my hip or glute area. There was a pain in my butt (yes, literally), that was like someone was prodding me with a stick. I went to have a massage hoping that the pain would go away. Some of it did. Later that week I was able to go on a few short runs, but when I hit the track, the pain came back. So off I went to get another massage. I skipped my long run and wasn’t sure how it was going to affect my training. During these weeks, at one point, I went on a run and had to stop because the pain was so bad. Obviously, there was still a problem, I just didn’t know what it was nor how to fix it. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do at that point. I started talking to friends who had had similar problems. I was trying to compare symptoms so I could find a cure.
A few weeks went by and I was able to run, but I couldn’t get to my normal pace and I had some discomfort. Finally, I went to see a physical therapist. He was able to realign my hips which solved the problem! I still had a lot of sore tissue from running when my hips were unaligned. My IT band and piriformis were still tight, but I was going to be ok. The next run I went on was a boost in confidence as I was able to run fast and without pain! The weeks went on and I continued to train. I was feeling pretty good, but could feel a shin splint that would come and go. I was scheduled to run 20 miles. I knew that I could do it, but I needed to listen to my body and if the pain was there, I should stop. I ran with a friend and we managed to crack out an 8:25 pace for 20 miles. Yeah! I was right on schedule.
At this point, I was icing multiple times a day and really stretching. I felt like I spent equal amount of time recovering as I did training. I started asking friends about shin splints and treatment. I also went to the running store where I bought a wrap to help support the leg with the shin splint. The following weekend I had another 20 miler on the calendar. In the meantime, 3 people asked me how old my shoes were and how many miles I had run on them. I was convinced that since I had been doing triathlon that I didn’t have that many miles on my shoes. I took the time to calculate the miles ( I have them logged in a book) and I was shocked! I was way overdue for new shoes.
The next day I went to buy new shoes. Since it was 2 weeks from the marathon, I wouldn’t normally buy new shoes, but I knew that I needed them and I didn’t want to do more damage to my leg. A few days later I went for a run and had to stop after 4 miles because the shin pain never subsided. The only thought that came across my mind was that I wasn’t going to be able to run the CIM with the pain I was feeling. Once again I started the R.I.C.E. treatment (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Because it was Thanksgiving week, I wasn’t able to get an appointment with my physical therapist until the following week. Time was ticking away and each day I wondered if I would be able to run the marathon. I was well trained and was determined to run it. I wasn’t going to give up yet, so I continued to cross train.
The week of the marathon, I went to PT 3 times to massage my rock hard calf and to tape my shin and arch. Finally I had my leg wrapped for the final time the evening before the marathon. My attitude was good. I knew that I would show up at the race and start to run. I had already changed my race plan several times. I could alter it one last time. I would plan on starting the race and if the pain was too much after being taped and taking Advil then I probably shouldn’t be running anyway. It’s always hard to get up at 4:45, but I was excited to go run my first marathon. It was also helpful that I was going with 2 friends.
We were able to catch the shuttle to the start without any problems. We along with 6000 other runners were lining up to use the porta potty, stretch and get a little water before we started. Before I knew it, the horn sounded. I had a very different feeling at the start. I was calm and by this point, I was out there to cross the finish line. After all, I was going to run from Folsom to Sacramento. I knew I had to be conservative if I wanted to make it because of my leg and also because it was my first marathon.
The first 1/2 of the race was pretty uneventful. I felt great and I was ecstatic that I didn’t have pain. I may have had some discomfort, but no real pain! The miles kept passing and before long I was at mile 20, “the wall.” I had never run more than 20 miles so I was going into unknown territory. Hearing and seeing the crowds was great. The music and the cheering kept me going. After one stop at a porta potty I was back on the road. However, around mile 24 my body was feeling it. I think this is where I noticed that I was no longer running, but doing the shuffle. I was going to do this, I was going to complete my first marathon!
As I turned the finally corner, I heard some friends yell my name and I saw them wave. I then heard and saw Mark and my kids yell out to me. I was surprised at my emotions during the last stretch of the race and when I finally got close to Mark, I burst into tears. I had an overwhelming sense of accomplishment for just finishing that darn race! It even got better when I figured out that I had qualified for Boston.
I am so grateful for my supportive husband who helped me find the time to train and listened to me complain about all the pain I was in during these last weeks. I’m also grateful for my coach, Jon Klingensmith of Vitality Multisport, and appreciate the fact that he didn’t give up on me even though I resembled a yo-yo. Because of the pain, I was changing my mind about the race on a daily basis. In addition, I am grateful for all the help that Mike Beretta of Beretta Physical Therapy gave me. After all, I don’t think I would have run pain free without having my calf and arch taped.