My Summer of (not) Running

On September 5, 2010 I ran my first 5K. It was a momentous occasion. Never in a million years did I ever think I could run a race of any distance. I felt very proud and even with all of the exercise time I had put in over the 3.5 years since I had started to lose weight, I considered it by far my most impressive physical achievement. Over the next several months I would run a handful of 5Ks, and slowly but surely running became something that I actually looked forward to doing.

At the height of my running glee I signed up for the famous (infamous?) Bay to Breakers 12K, a race that I had always wanted to take part in. I didn’t exactly train very hard for the race, but I did knock out my very first (unofficial) 10Ks and I was stoked. During the weeks leading up to B2B, I saw all of my Bay Area running acquaintances buzzing about the Nike Women’s Marathon lottery. Despite having never run more than 6 miles, I decided to sign up for the lottery. I figured I probably wouldn’t get picked, and if I did, it was 6 months away, which would give me tons of time to train. Also during this time period, I found out about the inaugural Tinkerbell Half Marathon in January 2012. I thought that if I didn’t make it into Nike, Tinkerbell would be a good goal to have for the future. If I did make it into Nike, well, I’d be at a training level that I could maintain until January.

I successfully ran Bay to Breakers, and though I didn’t achieve my desired time, I had a blast. I also found out that I had been selected in the Nike lottery, so I had two half marathons on the horizon. While some might get antsy and nervous about making TWO commitments to run a distance I had never even come close to, I felt jazzed. I was on a running buzz from my 12K, and I knew that with 4 months of training, I’d be able to nail Nike Women’s Half come October. I decided to give myself a couple of weeks off from running to regroup, then start up training for the new distance with fresh legs.

Bling, baby.

My first run post B2B went amazingly well. I felt strong, happy and alive as I tackled my usual route near Golden Gate Park. At some point during the run, I felt a slight twinge in my right hip. It went away shortly after the run, so I didn’t give it a second thought. My next training run, however, didn’t go so hot. About a mile in to the run, that hip pain came back…but about 5 times worse than I had felt it during my previous run. For some reason I tried to power through the pain. Instead of listening to my body, I plowed on for another mile and a half before It was too much. I headed home to ice.

The hip pain didn’t go away after the run this time. I limped around for an entire week, feeling the pain every time I walked or moved. It wasn’t unbearable, but I wasn’t a fan. Once the pain finally stopped, I tried to run again. A slow, very short run. No dice. The pain was not to be ignored and thus began my two month running hiatus.

I probably should have gone to the doctor, but every time I go to my doctor they try to convince me that whatever I’m feeling is all in my head. This really shouldn’t have been a deterrent for me, but being someone who tends to like to avoid problems, it was. I decided I was just going to take several weeks off and see if I healed on my own. I felt very bummed out to lose the form of cardio that I had come to rely on. I mean, how easy is it to throw on your sneakers and run for 30 minutes? No commute to the gym. No waiting for machines. It’s quick. And now for me, completely not an option.

To make matters worse, instead of doing other cardio or strength training while my hip mellowed out, I instead decided to be emo and sit around doing nothing, while letting my TV set and chocolate stash keep me company.

I may or may not have achieved mayorship of Powell’s Sweet Shoppe in Berkeley on FourSquare during this time. Cough.

I also fell off the face of the blogosphere due to feeling incredibly sorry for myself.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, when the going gets tough, I crawl into a hole and want to die.

Can you say, winner?

Sometime in August I realized that the pain had subsided quite a bit, so I went out and attempted a run. It was both awesome and miserable at the same time. On one hand, I was experiencing very little soreness and had no lasting effects after getting back out on the road. Yay! On the other hand, after nearly two months of couch potato-ism, I had lost all of my fitness and was winded easily. Plus, my casual pace had become painfully slow, even by my standards. Sucko.

I continued to build up again from scratch and as September hit, I finally was starting to get back up to 5K status. Coincidentally, at this same time, Maya was planning her annual visit home and she asked if there were any fitness related things we could do together while she was in town. I threw out that Race for the Cure would be happening the first Sunday after she and Eric arrived. I asked if she would be interested in running it. There aren’t as many chipped race opportunities in Tokyo, so like last year, she was into the idea of us getting in a 5K while she was in the states.

I was into it as well. I did the race last year, during which I achieved my current 5K PR. It seemed like a good way to get back into racing, which was an absolute must, given how fast October was sneaking up on me. I also figured it would probably get me to start upping my mileage. I’d get back into the running groove.

Either that, or I’d panic, sleep through almost all of my planned runs, stock up on junk food like it was going out of style and kinda pray that Maya had been completely kidding when she expressed interest in running a race and really  she just wanted to meet up so we could go out to breakfast and eat monstrous stacks of  all you can eat pancakes….

Next up: Race for the Cure 2011 Recap

4 thoughts on “My Summer of (not) Running

  1. Hey, now. Despite your injury sidelining you for just a little bit, you have accomplished a LOT this summer — 5ks, 10ks, a 12k, a half marathon, and another half just months away. You may not feel like you’ve been running a lot LATELY, but this has been a huge year for you. Be as proud of yourself as I am for you.

    1. Aw, thanks Alyssa!

      I feel much better now, post Nike….I was sort of stuck in frozen mode leading up to it. I’m totally going to discuss it, but I felt like after not saying much of anything on my blog for months, I sort of owed a bit of explanation before I dive into the present. 😉

  2. Glad to see that you’re back in the blogging saddle! I’ve missed reading your posts. So sorry about the hip pain but your reaction is totally understandable; when it’s raining I don’t get on my bicycle like I would otherwise, but do I go to the exercise room in my apartment complex? No…

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