Monday, March 7, 2016

Game On in Arkansas!

State #27: Little Rock, Arkansas
Game On!
This was a tough race. I chose this hilly course as a way to train for Boston. I've been avoiding hills for the last year because my hamstring issues. Since I've been training a little differently, my hamstring issues are gone, but now I have new aches and pains!

In fact, at the track Wednesday, I had to go home. The first time ever that I didn't complete a work out. I couldn't - my iliospsoas was too tight - it felt like a sharp stabbing pain. I actually started to cry. And really, I have been doing so well.
I've been finishing sub 8-minute miles on my
 long training runs for the upcoming Boston Marathon. 
I've been feeling so strong!
Even my long standing hamstring issues have cleared - I started to be able to stick with the other runners running up hills on Sunday mornings. My biggest problem has been my Crohn's disease. I've had to run circles in the local park to stay close to the Port o Johns. To help my tummy issues, I tweaked my diet. I had some cramping yesterday, around mile 10 - that's the usual mile of late where my stomach has been falling apart. But no sense of urgency - and I pushed through. My stomach was even okay after the race - which is super unusual for me. I tried to pick it up after the cramps in mile 10, but those sharp psoas pains veered their ugly head. I looked at my watch, and saw I was running 7:20., so I backed it down a bit.
Not wanting to push it, 
I made it a point to hang with the 3:25 marathon pacers.
At about mile 11/12, the marathon and the half marathon split. So I was on my own for about 1.5 miles. I pushed, a little, and came in feeling pretty strong (all things considered) at 1:42:35. I was happy that I ran that strong for such a hilly race. If I were in the age group above me (45-49) I would have taken first! But you know, you're only as good as your competition. I came in 5th for my age group. First place ran 7:02! And second wasn't far behind her! Great job ladies!
Overall, it was a great race that took you through downtown 
Little Rock. A couple of highlights stood out to me ...
It was great hearing the live bands playing along the course. 
They were mostly church groups praising Jesus! It was so very Southern Americana! The streets were dotted with little churches, and their congregants stood outside playing music and singing praises! It was very cool passing through the streets, hearing their voices on a Sunday morning.
Another highlight was the guy in Coral B standing next to me. 
He had a bib on both his front and his back. The woman next to me asked him why he was wearing 2 bibs. He told us that he was running for a friend - they were training for the half, but she recently got hit by a truck and lost her leg. I told him that I just ran with someone who ran on two blades. He was amazing! I also run with someone who also was in a motor vehicle accident - she didn't think she would ever walk again, let alone run again. She saw me hobble off the track on Wednesday and texted me: "You get to the start, and God will take you to the finish". I told this to the man that was running for his friend. I pray one day she can get a blade, train, and make it to the start. For sure God will carry her to the finish. 
I can only think that's how I made it through yesterday.
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