FFTFL premiere

FFTFL premiere

Friday, October 14, 2016

Well *THAT* Sucked!

Although I am still up 25 pounds from my running weight in the documentary, From Fat To Finish Line, I am still enjoying running and racing with my good friends. This year was full of big races. Since we had the goal of gaining entry into the NYC Half Marathon in 2017, we had to run 4 of the 6 select races. I was lucky enough to gain entry into this year's NYC Half via lottery, so I was aiming to complete the entire 5 borough series.

As you may already know, the NYC Half was on March 20th and it was frigid. I was running it on my own, which is a really odd sensation, not having my husband by my side. I slogged through it. In May, we ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon and that was my best performance in a long distance race this year. The weather was perfect and the course was scenic. All the stars aligned for me that day. And the Queens 10k, although hot, was a pretty good showing for me with a 1:18-ish finish time. Then came the Bronx...

Bronx start- photo courtesy of Kim's "long" arms

September 25, the Bronx 10 Miler. I was so excited to run *only* 10 miles. My longest run prior to this race was the 10k course on the Selden Hills on my 45th birthday, the 13th. I managed to make the Selden Hills leader board in July and August, meeting and surpassing the required 24.8 miles to get on it. So, I was attempting a 3-peat for September. (I did it!) The hill work would come in handy for the Bronx course. Race day was very sunny and slightly warm. I felt pretty good about the day, though, and my first 5 miles were strong. 1:03:08 to be exact, and I was cruising steadily up those hills. Then I started to feel icky. It's the only way to describe it. I thought I was hydrating and fueling well. My body was telling me otherwise.

Game face Media's AWESOME free race photos!!

And the sun was beating and the day was getting warmer. I started to get queasy and light-headed. I took a gel and it hit my belly like a gut bomb and just sat there. I managed to finish with a second 5 mile split of 1:18:47. I crossed the finish in 2:21:55 and immediately looked for a place to sit and drink some water. I refused to go to the medic tent. I'm an idiot that way. I managed to recover somewhat for the long ride home, but we didn't get to do our usual celebratory meal because of me. I was better when we pulled into my friend's driveway and I vowed that I would hydrate and eat well 2 weeks out from the Staten Island Half.

I did what I said I would. Along with my usual coffee I was drinking 2-33oz bottles of plain water. I should've just set up camp in the toilet. I have a bladder the size of a Gu Chomp. I ate pretty well and tried to stay away from my crappy treats. I wanted one last good long run before the half, one run that would boost my confidence, so Kim and I met up in Sayville for a flat 8 miles. NYRR was enforcing a firm 13:45 pace or a 3:00 course limit. I guess Staten Island doesn't have the sidewalks the other courses had for you to move over to if you are slower than that projected pace. That made me nervous.

I ran 8 in 1:43:48, a 12:59 pace. Not bad! That made me feel a bit better going into the half.

And then there was the weather report for the 9th. It wasn't horrible, but the forecast can always change on a dime. The Weather Channel was calling for the rain to stop around 9 am, and although the race started at 8:30 am, with the corral we were in, it would take about 30 minutes to plod up to the start mat. We were SO fortunate that our friend's husband drove and we parked in a dry garage with access to bathrooms. The goal was to stay dry for as long as possible.

Of course there was a .75 mile walk to the start, so we headed out and found a bus stop enclosure to huddle under until it was time for the last pit stop before the corrals. It was getting ugly out. It didn't look like it was about to clear up in an hour. We made our way to the corrals and got to cheer on our friends who were running in the 5k race. It's pretty discouraging to see the elites finish their race before you even start your own.

waiting for a bus that would never come

We finally began running at 8:50 am. My first 5 miles, again, were great. They were slower than the Bronx, which is what I was aiming for. I didn't want to blow it all in the first half. I was under a 13:20/3:00 finish pace but not a lot. It was cold. And it was windy. And it was raining a slushy, messy mix. I slowed down in mile 6, but not horribly. My 10k split was 1:21:23. And then we turned to run alongside the upper bay and the wind was pushing us back. And the running stopped. It was miserable race conditions and I was miserable.

still dry-ish at the start

The next 5k took me almost an hour... We were trudging up hills and wading through flooded streets. The scenic views of the Verrazano Bridge and the Manhattan skyline were nearly invisible in the fog and we couldn't even try to take it all in because the wind prevented you from picking your head up. And then, in mile 11, I felt a suspicious pop in my right foot. I didn't land hard or oddly. It was a normal footfall. I was walking for God's sake! It felt weird but not horrifically painful. We moved along. (We never saw a sag bus, probably because of the running conditions. We made sure to thank all the volunteers for braving it with us!) The glorious finish at home plate of the Staten Island Yankees was a muddy mess and I can't imagine even attempting running through it if I could. Our friends were cheering us on from the stands and hearing them scream our names made the floodgates open. It was a bad Oprah ugly cry right then. We finished in 3:28.

on the way to the finish

The smile masks the misery.

We all cried a bit together then got our shit together for the .75 mile walk back to the parking garage. We all changed into dry clothes and I tossed my saturated pants and hoodie, not caring whether I ever saw them again. Charlie couldn't stop shivering. It was an hour into the long drive home before he stopped. And my foot started to hurt.

By the time we got back to Long Island and hit an Applebee's to celebrate our accomplishment I couldn't bear any weight on my foot. I needed assistance to walk into the restaurant. I still enjoyed my meal and our reflections on the year. We did it. The Fab Four is running the NYC Half Marathon together.

photo courtesy of JS Lit

When we got home at 5:30 pm I took off my shoe and my foot was swollen and bruised. Not good. I decided to ice it and call my orthopedist in the morning.

But I couldn't get an appointment until Friday so we went to the local ER for xrays, and this happened...

I broke my 5th metatarsal. At Mile 11. And I finished with a broken foot. In really shitty weather. It sucked. I finished. And now I'm wearing this. I am ordered to be non-weightbearing for four weeks. I go back for new xrays on the 24th to make sure I'm healing well and then at 4 weeks if all goes well I can bear weight on it with the boot, driving without it. Best case scenario, I am free after an additional 2 weeks. I can't work right now because I'm not quite sure how to figure out the logistics with transportation and the actual work. I'm very thankful I have older kids, a very helpful husband, family and friends, and I never signed up for any other races this year. It pays to procrastinate!

So the goal is to be the best patient ever and get back to running the end of November. I'll be back to square one. My goal right now is to watch my diet carefully to not pack on any more weight. I'm using my upper body tremendously being on one foot, so I can feel those muscles as well as my core working overtime. I'm doing an aerobics workout from a chair. I have no excuses now not to "work out." I'm afraid to run, but I'm not going to give up. No matter how slow I go, and what other people may think of me, I'm a runner. It doesn't matter how slow I go, as long as I don't stop.