Sunday, August 20, 2017

State #33: Nebraska

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted. I feel bad. This blog is sort of like my running diary - so no posts might seem as if I haven't been running  - not true. Me, not run? Hah!

After the Boston Marathon, I struggled with speed. So, I did a couple of 5K's, like the The Ridgewood Run in which I placed 1st in my age group
Ridgewood Run
and the Milford Run
Essex Running Club: New Milford Run
Wasn't feeling it that day: 23:19, but that's running. Still, I was going to the track a couple of times per week to help maintain pace for when I run the Berlin Marathon. Then came June and July. And life unfolded:
Huge Celebration for my daughter, Juliette, 
who graduated from Fordham University with a BS in Psychology:

Congratulations My Beautiful Daughter!
Next Stop: Masters at NYU
And in July, I took an amazing trip to Italy with my family. No running for 10+ days! Even though I didn't run, after touring Rome and Venice, we hiked about 10-12 miles per day with Backroads Tours through the Dolomitii in Northeast Italy. So breathtakingly beautiful:

Las Vegas, Altor Badia

From our first Ruffugio

Ron, aka Drone Geek

Il Dolomitii

With the fam

Me and My Gal
Roma, Italy
Mini Man

Me and My Mini Man
Just want to cry looking at these pictures - we had so much fun. Italy is so very beautiful. Ron always says that when he retires, he wants to move to Colorado and become a Ski Ambassador. I am working on him to think maybe San Cassiano or Val Gardena instead. Black Night, Georgio - what do you think? We'd be neighbors.

And through all of this, I studied for two new Dietetics Certifications! I am now LEAP Certified, which means I can order  Mediator Release Blood Tests to identify food sensitivities. Based on these results, I work with my clients to develop an Immunocalm Diet. I am seeing amazing results with clients who have IBS, IBD, Chronic Migraines, Arthritis, and Fibromyalgia. It is very satisfying.

I am also now Board Certified Specialist in Sport Dietetics (CSSD). I worked at least five years toward this certification! With these two new certifications, business has boomed! 

And training was going well - that is up until a few weeks ago, when I started to have heel pain. I was doing really well. Running somewhere between 7:40 - 8-minute mile splits to break 3:30 in Berlin. This all came to a screaming halt after a 19 mile long run. After that run, I had trouble walking - let alone run. Dx: Plantar Fasciitis (PF). 

Everyone told me not to run the Logan View Half Marathon in Fremont, Nebraska. I would have listened, but I saw so many positive signs. Ron and I thought that maybe I should VLOG instead of BLOG. So, we went to Best Buy to buy a shoulder harness to wear his GoPro. When we got to Best Buy, the number on the building was #333 - which if you know me, reminds me of my late husband. I can't make this stuff up.

I prayed, 'Okay, if I find something that works, and fits (I'm a small person), I'll wear it and not run. Well, I did not find anything I thought I could wear comfortably for 13.1 miles. And after facing the heat of the day, I am really glad I didn't even try the shoulder harness. Decision made: I would run this half marathon!
Let's Roll!
Well, as my Coach put it, it was really just "The Survival Shuffle". It was 85 degrees Fahrenheit, No shade, corn fields, cows all around, on a sandy, gravelly dirt road (not good for PF), in which I turned my ankle, not once, but twice - still getting pebbles out of my sneaks! Did I mention that there were more challenging hills in this half than than in the Boston Marathon? 
At about mile four, I almost turned around. 
Thoughts of DNF ran through my brain. 
What? I never did not finish.
I started yelling at myself 'C'mon, you can at least shuffle through. You have less than 9 miles. I made a pact with myself to at least try to make it to the turn around'. 

When I got to the turn around I thought, 'Okay, see if you could run a full 90-minutes'. I took it easy when I felt some pain, backed it down, and repeated to myself, 'Berlin is the goal. Berlin is the goal.' I thought of all the suggestions everyone made over the past couple of weeks:
Ron: Just use this as a training run, concentrate on your form
Dr Monica at Parabolic Performance and Rehab: If you have to, walk run. It's Okay. I will pray for you (Thanks Dr Monica!)
Dr Mike at Advanced Performance and Rehab: Berlin is the goal. Don't push. 
Sissy: You shouldn't do this. This is bad
Mom: My friend needed surgery for this. You gotta take care of yourself. You're running yourself down.
Jacquie: What would you tell me?
Coach Joel: If it starts to hurt - even if your walking, STOP!

I struggled to find the balance between all of these caring, 
and thoughtful suggestions.
I don't know why, but it seems all my common sense 
flies out the window when it comes to my running goals.
I'm glad I wore my headphones and listened to music. I kept one earbud in, so I could listen to how my feet were hitting the gravel. Since it was a small local race, there were stretches of road where no one was around me - it was so quiet, I could hear an echo from my own footsteps. 
Don't let this pretty picture fool you -
the hills were pretty intense!
Going up the final hill in mile 12, I thought, I never, ever want to run - ever, ever again. I was very uncomfortable, disgustingly sweaty, covered in sandy dirt from when the wind picked up, and I had tsetse flies flying into my eyes and mouth. But - 
You know you are a runner when you can think:
No good decision is ever made going uphill

I suspect that even if I didn't have PF, I likely would not have done that great. It was very hot, and I'm not a good hill runner. I took my time, had a few conversations with the locals at the water stops, tried to encourage others whom I past and who past me. Frankly, I was glad to finish in just under two hours. 
No age group classes, but 
I actually finished fourth female overall!
In the last few miles, The Stones came on my iPod: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime you get what you need" It was wisdom to my ears. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep a fast pace, but I came for the finishers medal in State #33: Nebraska, and that's what I got!
State #33: Nebraska