Thursday, May 24, 2007

Marathon Weekend

This weekend is the Coeur D'Alene Marathon. It sorta snuck up on me. Let me rephrase that - I knew it was this weekend, I knew it was creeping ever closer, but I just put it out of my mind. Today I finally decided it was time to check it out - I looked up the expo, I looked up directions to get there and the start time. I still haven't checked the weather.

The marathon starts at 7:00, the course closes at noon. Finish line closes at 1:00. They advertise that the course is open for seven hours, but it turns out that is for the walkers - they start at 5:30. I have to say, I'm starting to feel a little frustrated. It takes me anywhere from 5:30 to 6:00 to run a marathon. I know I'm not fast, but darn it, I don't want to register as a walker! I'm running, albeit slowly, most of the the time. Runners aren't typically allowed to take an early start - and I get that. I understand that it makes time-tracking a nightmare. I'd just like the course to stay open a little longer - even a steady 12 min/mile pace will bring a runner in at 5:15. It feels a little elitist to me - that my slower pace puts me in the walker category rather than the runner category. I also know it is my choice to skip the race if I don't like their policy. I chose to run this race and I accept that I will be finishing on a closed course, because I registered as a runner. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Now onto other things, like my sore calf. I've been running on it this week - I ran 4, 4 and 5 the last few days. If I take ibuprofen and warm up slowly (about a half mile of a limping run) then I'm okay - it hurts but I can run. Then it is fine for the rest of the day. There is a slight pain every time I put the ball of my foot down - it goes up the inside of the calf, and then knots up in the big muscle at the back of the calf. Today the chiropractor worked on it for me. She said it is my tibialis posterior and my flexor digitorum longus (?!?). Obviously an overuse injury, she said it is just irritated (so am I - see above). She started working on it, digging in with her thumb, and later with a massage tool - she said she could feel micro-spasms all along it. It was very painful. Anyway, she worked hard on it and warned me it might bruise. It did - I have a two-inch wide, four-inch long bruise - but who cares? Not me, because right now, the pain is gone. I can plant my foot and not feel a thing. I'll see how it feels tomorrow.

I really appreciate this chiropractor. I asked her if I should run the marathon this weekend, and I told her if she said "no" I would abide by it. I do not want a long term injury. She told me if it felt good tomorrow and Saturday, to go ahead and run, but, if I start to feel pain during the run, then quit. I am going to try really hard to do that. I won't promise though, because it is so hard to stop once I've started. It would have been easier if she had just said no running. I have an appointment for Tuesday morning and depending on how my leg is, may go back in a couple more times next week. As far as the work she is doing with me on my upper back, it's going good, though apparently I am very tight and I tense up every time she tries an adjustment. I've got some exercises to work on to loosen and strengthen the area.

Signing off from sunny and warm Puyallup, where dry weather is visiting, runners are trying to be sensible and the weekend adventures begin...

21 comments:

Robb said...

Hey, all sounds good except the nasty calf. Listen, we need a photo to properly grasp the severity of the injury. yuk yuk.

Weekend is almost here! Go get 'em!!

Donald said...

Be a runner. Think of yourself as a runner. Your times have all been good enough to make the cutoff. Use the cutoff time as extra motivation. You'll do fine.

Sarah said...

I always get a massage before an adjustment. It helps to be relaxed and loose. : ) Hope the calf is feeling good for the marathon!

Juls said...

I hope your painfree moments last and that you can run your race.

Jack said...

I wish you a painfree run this weekend. Have fun in any case.

Thomas said...

Good luck for yet another marathon, and don't let them put you into the walker category.

Mind, in my last race there were a few people in the walker category, and some of them were running pretty damn fast.

Wes said...

You are a runner extrodinaire! You can come in before the finish line closes. I know this. Hope your leg holds up, and have a great time.

E-Speed said...

ooh that calf sounds painful. I hope it holds up this weekend!

And I hope you finish before the course closes. Huge fiasco at the Cleveland marathon where they claimed the course would be open 8 hours but were taking down markers and aid stations closer to 5:30. Lame!

Try@thlete said...

Enjoy the run and have fun!

Journey to a Centum said...

Have a good run and a careful drive to Idaho! I'm sure you will have fun at your brothers house! You can do it!

Eric

olga said...

Run your own marathon, Michelle, and don't worry about time they put there. Hope the calf behaves.

Sunshine said...

We ran/walked (!) the NYC Marathon and the finish was open for 8 hours... really. What inclusive joy!
I think early-closing finish lines are sexist, agist and just mean.
My attitude can probably be explained by the fact that at age 62 I lost 25 pounds and started running. I am 68 years old and did 5 marathons in the last year.
You GO Good Runner!!

Meghan said...

I ditto exactly what Olga just said. Run your own race!

Sorry to hear about your calf ails. My calves are constantly becoming tightly wound as a result of a lot of elevation or speedwork. Self treatment: 1. Place tennis ball on table. 2. Place calf on top of tennis ball on table. 3. Roll calf around on the tennis ball, applying pressure as you feel necessary to work stuff out. Oh, it's so painful, but my calves feel so good the next day!

Good luck this weekend!
Meghan
www.running-blogs.com/meghan

wendy said...

I hope you enjoy the run this weekend, and that your frustration slides away as you pass each mile marker. =)

Remember, you do this because you love to run, how you feel, etc. Don't let any "race" change your spirit. You are a runner and a finisher, many people hope to do what you do and have already done!

Gotta Run said...

If you are like most of us once we start a marathon it is do or die to the end. I was in the WORST pain of my life for the last 10 miles of that marathon but there was no way I was not going to finish.

I will cross my fingers for a pain free marathon for you. Have fun no matter what!!

D said...

Michelle - I like Olga's advice. You are a pro at these now. You'll do fine regardless of whether the route closes or not before you are finished. I hope that calf holds up for you. Good luck - kick butt!

Joe said...

Ditto Olga.

You have your watch, your soy milk, your peanut butter crackers...shoot, who needs a finish line for official-dom?? Run your race, at your pace and don't risk an injury by pushing too hard just for an artificial end time. You can stop your own watch when you get to the appointed place, whether or not the official folks are still there.

Drive safely...enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way!

runliarun said...

I got excited when you first mentioned the Couer d'Alene marathon - months ago. I wanted to run it. Couer d'Alene is a lovely place. I believe the course will be beautiful. I believe you will enjoy it. In spite of the elitism, yes, that would bother me too.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

good luck this weekend! i understand the frustration of a course like that - there is a 10 miler in Tucson that closes at exactly 2 hours. when i first starting running, i could run, but not faster than 12 min miles, so i didn't think i couldn't finish the course in time! i didn't want to be left out on the course with traffic all by myself, so i never ran it.

hope the calf continues to do well.

Dori said...

My experience with marathons is not if it starts to hurt, but when. :-)
You always come in under 6 hours, so you should have no trouble running the race. And a lot of times, race directors will keep it open if they see someone approaching. When I did Grandma's last year, the course was supposed to close in 6 hours. I plodded on, to cross in 6:44, but they gave me the medal and counted it anyway. One thing I've learned though, is I can't afford a negative thought when I'm trying to run a marathon. Attitude is everything when trying to cross the finish line.

Do you take ibuprofen when you run? I read that it compromises your kidneys and that Acetiminophen (tylenol) was the better choice for running. That's why some marathons give out 5 hour tylenol.

robtherunner said...

You're a runner, Michelle, and don't let anyone ever tell you differently. You'll make the cutoff and you are right about having to choose the marathons that suit you. Perhaps letting the race directors know how you and I am sure other runners feel would be helpful and maybe they would make the necessary changes. Have fun!