Half Marathon Happenings: To Run or Not to Run

…That WAS the question I had been having for the last two weeks.  It seems like I keep hitting obstacles in my half marathon training and it has been quite frustrating for me.  First my foot injury that took me out for over a month, icy weather that is forcing me to run more on the treadmill than I would like, and now? Well a week and a half ago I started getting a terrible pain in my hip.  It was to the point where it was so painful that I actually dropped a few F-bombs while at the track and needed to walk for a bit.  But of course being stubborn I kept on going.  Bad move? We shall see.

Soaked from head to toe.

Soaked from head to toe.

The day I actually first started feeling my hip pain I was kind of feeling like a badass hardcore runner. Was it my super fast speed? My ultra long distance run? No, not at all.  Neither of those things were extra spectacular.  What made me feel like a hardcore runner was actually the weather I was running in.  I was always a fair weather runner before.  Too windy? snowy? cloudy? Guess it’s a treadmill day! But now, not so much.  My run that day started off with a little rain, which turned into hardcore wind/rain, which then turned into big fat flakes of snow, which then turned into sleet coming at me so fast that it was actually pelting me in the face.  And the whole time I kept thinking that it was kind of awesome.  Crappy weather isn’t going to stop me, I’m a hardcore runner now! 😉  (Ok, ice is a completely different story.  I do not run on ice.)

Just past the 9k mark I was running up a hill getting completely soaked by the wet snow, fighting the ultra strong winds when I see this older man walking up the path.  I kind of laugh and make a comment about the weather.  I then go to wipe the snow off my face and realize that no, that wasn’t just snow, yes, I did have snot on my face.  Awesome.  Does that add to my hardcore runner status? Hmmm.

It was right around that point that the hip pain started. Not SUPER bad…but kind of bad.  But I was so close to home that I pushed through. The rest of the day and the next day I could barely walk.  Yeah, perhaps it was a bad idea.

That weekend I had a 16k to run.  I was so excited to get outside and run this distance I’ve never run before.  My husband was out of town, so I had my parents coming into town to watch the kids.  Running on the treadmill is one thing.  Running 16k on the treadmill while watching kid’s shows…yeah that just was not going to happen.  So my parents came into town and what do you know? More snow.  Slippery conditions.  Seriously.  It’s mid April.  This is getting ridiculous.  So my husband came up with the brilliant idea that I should go to the track.  Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? What a good decision that was.  I was able to people watch, listen to music and just chillax and run.  And then at 10k the pain in my hip hit me like a knife in my side. F-bombs flew a little (I seriously don’t drop them often.  I save them for special occasions like this). Steam started coming out my ears.  And I started walking.  I knew that if I didn’t finish this run then the half marathon wasn’t going to happen.  I was torn between throwing in the towel right there, breaking down and crying, or just doing my best to push through and finish the run. So I started out slowly running once again.  It didn’t exactly feel awesome but after a few km it was fine.  I pushed through and finished the 16k run.

Since I knew I had to do something about my hip, I booked an appointment with my acupuncturist the next day and started foam rolling like crazy.  My runs this last week were mostly pain free so I saw that as a good sign but of course my 19k run today was the big test.  This is the longest run I will be doing before the half. Since we hadn’t booked our flights yet I decided that this run would seal my fate for the half marathon.  If I could make it through with minimal pain then I would book the flights tonight.  If not…well I guess that dream would have to be postponed.

So I headed down to the Bow River Pathway for my 19k this afternoon.  I’ve always wanted to do a long run down by the river but so far haven’t had a chance.  I was feeling amazing, smiling and waving to all that passed (even the grumpy ones), and just really enjoying my run.  At about 8k I believe it was, I went under a bridge and saw there were pigeons and geese crowding the pathway.  Now, I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before but I HATE birds.  I was pooped on once (like diarrhea poo all over my head), and now I am so terrified of being pooped on again. So I cautiously approach these wretched creatures.  I’m almost through and all of a sudden they scatter.  Holy heart racing! Scared the bejeebees out of me!!! Birds are flying all around me, over my head, squawking and seeming far too aggressive for my liking.  I ducked, squealed and ran a little faster. I’m happy to say I made it out of there uninjured and poop free.

Back to the run, I made it past 10k with no hip pain.  11k, 12k…I was now started to sing out loud and dance a little.  (Yes, I’m THAT girl).  13k, 14k, I check my Runkeeper….crap….low battery.  NOOOOOOOO! I quickly close all my other apps, realizing that this whole time I had GPS running in my Google Maps app as well. I turned off my music trying to conserve the battery.  I can do this with no music right? It’s ok…I’ll just talk to myself?  Enjoy the scenery more? No, turns out I really need my music.  I make it to what I think should be the 16k mark waiting for the app to tell me I’ve hit a km mark, look at my phone…and it’s black.  Grrrr.  This is where I really realized how much I count on both music and Runkeeper calling out my pace/km marks to keep me going. Unfortunately the next 3k were not awesome.  BUT, I made it.  I made the full 19k.  And the best part? No hip pain!!!!! Woot woot!!!!  So what am I doing as soon as I’m done this blog? That’s right, I’ll be booking my flight.

I can’t believe that I am only two weeks away from my half marathon.  TWO WEEKS! It just seems insane to me.  Every time I’ve head out for one of my long runs these last few weeks I’ve been getting this nervous anticipation.  Almost the same as I did for my first 5k.  Excited to conquer the runs and prove that yes, I am capable of so much more than I have ever thought.  I have told myself that “I can’t” for so long, it’s nice to prove myself wrong every once in awhile.

I can’t wait to head to Vancouver and get ‘er done at the BMO Half Marathon! After all that I’ve been through to actually GET to this half, I need to remember to be happy with whatever time it takes me to finish.  But again, as someone told me when I was about to do my first 5k, no matter what time I finish it will still be a PR! 🙂

About Leesa D

Wife and mom of two crazy little monkeys. Trying to take on life's everyday challenges with love, laughter and a lot of impromptu dance parties!
This entry was posted in fitness, Running, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Half Marathon Happenings: To Run or Not to Run

  1. Bethany says:

    YAY! So awesome. You go Leesa!

  2. Gail - Mom says:

    Awesome Leesa! WTG on your 19 K…your blog made me smile once again. Brought back memories…and enjoyed hearing highlight of you run today….keep at it I know you can do it!


  3. Nice job on your 19k! Sounds like you are ready to kick some half marathon butt. I hate birds too. When I was little a goose chased me around the park and I’m pretty sure tried to peck my eye balls out. It was terrifying when I was 4 and the thought terrifies me still! Damn winged creatures. ;). Good luck on your half!

    • Leesa D says:

      Ahhhh I can so picture that bird chasing you around. Evil creatures. On my way back I was trying to make noise and scare the birds away before I ran by them. You should have seen this one dang goose giving me the hairy eyeball. I swear he was out to get me!

  4. spottedimages says:

    So glad you got through the long run without pain!!!! And the bird part was hysterical! I don’t know if you are an android or iphone user, but with Android you can shut the data off. Runkeeper will still work with the GPS and it conserves battery life. You will only be able to use downloaded music though.
    You are going to rock that race 🙂

    • Leesa D says:

      Thanks! My husband mentioned that tip after I got home so I will definitely be turning off the 3G for the race. I’ve never had an issue before but then I never used to do these long runs! The hazards of being such a hardcore runner eh? 😉

  5. Way to go! I am so proud of you for kicking butt on your 19K – despite the setbacks of birds, music issues, and the like. I know it isn’t easy when RunKeeper isn’t tracking and encouraging you on your path, or when your music messes up but you did it! What an accomplishment! And now onto the half!!!! Wish I was there to cheer you on – will be cheering you on a province away and wish you all the best as you achieve this goal, Leesa. Woot! Woot!

  6. Brittany says:

    I am so glad you are going to go through with the race!! Pain is NO joke, so take it easy and don’t try to set any world records!! Being with all the other racers and runners will be a great experience and I am sure you will surprise yourself!! HELL yes running with snot and snow and rain makes you hard core!!

    • Leesa D says:

      Yeah I was pretty worried that the pain was the end of me but acupuncture and foam rolling has made a world of difference. Still no pain after yesterday’s 10k. Woot woot! But I’m still taking it slow and really focusing on form.
      Glad to hear you agree with the assessment of my newfound hardcore status 😉

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