December 8, 2010

Down and out

I have good news and bad news.
The good news: I'm going to run the Bentonville Half Marathon in April!

I'll get to the bad news in a minute. I've never run much farther than 3 miles, but I think if I start now and train diligently, I should be able to handle 13.1 by April. Right? Sure. I was able to run a 5K, and I never thought I could. So I'm hoping this will work out too.

I have a good training plan, thanks to Mr. Hal Higdon, and I'm confident that if I stick with it, I can do this. The training plan is 12 weeks, and there are 17 weeks until the race. So this should allow enough time for repeating weeks when necessary or getting off schedule due to nasty winter weather. My only goal at this point is to be able to finish the race without collapsing. Unfortunately, the race director thought it would be fun to run the last mile UP the Crystal Bridges trail hill. See that squiggly line in the center of the map right below the number 12?

That's the STEEPEST, MOST TERRIBLE hill I've ever tried to run. I think they had to make it crooked because cyclists would probably reach 80 mph by the time they got to the bottom. Seriously. It's ridiculous. And to make this the last mile of the race is just plain mean. I tried running it once and vowed never to go back to that awful place. Yes, it's pretty and scenic and all that, but it is wicked steep! I guess I know where I'll be training now.

And now for the bad news.
Remember my one good run? Well, there are occasionally days like that, and then there are days like yesterday when you quit your run 2 miles early and cry tears of frustration all the way home. I had an awful run last night because my left knee is injured. It was injured by a chiropractor who was asked to fix my right hip. Confused? Me too. I've had a wonky hip for a couple of years, and running has aggravated the problem, but the problem has never stopped me from running. Still, it's an annoying pain that I notice all day while sitting at work, while running and walking, and now it even affects the way I sleep. So I went to a chiropractor who also does PT and is known for helping injured athletes. However, after three "treatments," my hip is no better and on my last visit, he somehow tweaked my left knee while stretching my right hip. I knew as soon as it happened that it was a bad kind of pain, but the damage was already done. It hasn't stopped hurting since, and when I try to run, I feel a stabbing pain on the inner side of my knee. Not cool, doc. Not cool. I guess on the bright side, I've focused less on my hip.

Therefore, week one of half marathon training? Not going so good. In fact, not going at all. I got through ONE DAY before it all went kaput. I can't run. I'm terrified that this is an actual injury that's going to leave me sitting out a while. I talked to the doc about it today, and he apologized profusely and is a little baffled about the situation, but there's not a lot we can do except stretch, foam roll until I'm dizzy and rest, rest, rest.

Oh, and to add insult to injury, my husband is following the training schedule that I chose for the race I want to run. And I have to be nice and say, "Good job!" when he reports that he ran the prescribed number of miles at a 10:22 pace even though I can't run. And if I could run, I know I couldn't do much better than a 12:00 pace. Being a sidelined supporter is hard


  1. You can totally do a half marathon in April! I followed Hal's plan for my first couple of halfs and they work great in bringing you to the finish line.

    If I may offer one piece of advice though, and this is in lieu of your knee incident: DO NOT DOUBLE UP WEEKS!!! Without having a few halfs under your belt, this is going to make you burn out and feel really lethargic by the last couple weeks of the plan. I know we want to feel safe & prepared come race day, but by double up weeks, it's only going to make you feel sluggish. Training plans (especially Hal's training plans) are strategic for a reason. Trust in the plan, and it'll work for you. Change the plan, and you might as well just flip some coins to figure out your workouts. There's no use to even following a plan!

    Now (sorry I'm winded), to hear that you're injured, you need to take these additional 5 weeks and rest up. it's going to be bad news bears if you head into a training program with an injury (and then want to double up weeks while you're at it). Take this time to rest, heal, stretch, ice, compression, work on upper and core strength (it'll help you tremendously when you start slouching at mile 12 of your race!). it's your first half -- go into this ready, willing, and healthy!! Good luck! Can't wait to read how it all goes. :)


  2. There's plenty of time to train. Great work putting the half marathon on the calendar. Believe it or not, signing up is usually the hardest part.

    I always say that the first 5 miles are the toughest for new runners. Once you get over that 5 mile hump, your body is used to the motion, stress, and built up pretty good cardio fitness so the next miles add easier. I huffed and puffed my way to 5 miles...and then seemingly zoomed up to 15. Good luck to you and the hubby!

  3. You have plenty of time to get ready for a half in April. And my man Hal will have you totally prepared! Exciting!!!!

  4. Hal is awesome!! You'll do great!



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