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Monday, February 25, 2013

The verdict

It's a day and a half after Sunday's race and so far, so good. No hamstring pain! I am sore in a few places - mostly my calves and feet. My feet are out of shape! Not only did I lose a lot of my callouses (sorry, gross) and haven't built them back up yet, but the roughness of the New Orleans roads just tear my feet up. This course especially hits a lot of pot-holed, cracked, rough areas.

I took a 3 mile walk yesterday afternoon, and that was the real test of hamstring pain: whenever I've run "far", then walked later, that seems to precipitate pain. Still no pain. I'm hopeful, but still hesitant to claim full victory because I didn't run this morning. I had a PT appointment at 7:30 am which filled my day up to the point that I opted instead for core work and strength tonight after dinner. Tomorrow I'll do an easy run, although an early morning work conference (at which I am required to wear a repulsive light blue polyester polo shirt, why on earth I do not know) may push that to the afternoon.

For your viewing pleasure, here are a few more pictures David took at the finish (he is slowly adding them to Facebook and I'm slowly stealing them for my posts):
Geb Gebremariam greeting fans after a 2nd place in the half

Women's half winner Meseret Defar: watch her cute interview here

Half marathon champion Mo Farah giving high-fives. My husband got one. I want one. :(

I wanted to clear something up from Sunday's post. In all your charming comments I noticed several that mentioned that I ran a fast half for not really training. I just want to go on the record saying two things:
1. I don't recommend it. Really.
2. Running a half-marathon straight off injury with minimal/no training does not make me or anyone else bad*ss. It makes me silly. The best way to run a race is, duh, to train for it.

I've noticed that some runners do the whole, "Yeah, I PRd and I didn't even train for this race", or "It's not my fastest, but I only ran 17 miles this month" or "Yeah, I decided yesterday to run the full marathon*, whatevs, haven't trained at all" or "I only ran one long run and just ran a 2:43 marathon" thing. I think people use the not-trained excuse to make their times seem faster - and I don't want to be one of those people. It's like a warped way of bragging. And even more important, it is foolish to suggest we should all just go run races unprepared. Way to waste a race fee!

So, in the interests of transparency and honesty, let's see what kind of preparation went into this race:

Miles: In December I ran 30 miles. In January I ran 77, and this month I crept up to almost 100 before the race. November, pre-injury, I ran 181 and in October I ran 241. So not close to my old levels, but not non-existant, either.
Pain-free miles: I had two pain-free runs pre-race: a 3 miler and a 5 miler. But when you're healing up, you can tell. It gives confidence.
Distance: Since my injury I ran four 10-milers and one very slow 12 miler. All the rest were 3 to 5 with a rare 6 miler. One of those 10 milers was right after injury and was dumb and excruciating; I was trying to keep my hubby company but it was a mistake. The rest were more recent, when I was clearly on the mend.
Speed: Exactly one mile. A few weeks ago I ran a 10 mile progression run and near the end of it I ran into my running buddy Jared. He's fast. I ran with him and got in one 6:40 mile, the fastest I've gone in forever, and it thrilled me to death. But the pace for the whole run was 7:04 average, and that's what I based Sunday's pace on: I wanted to run 7:04 or 7:05 pace or faster if I felt better.

Hopefully this shows that while I did not specifically train to run a half marathon, I did keep up enough mileage and practice for it not to be a stupid decision to run the race. I think after almost a whole year of injuries I'm finished with bad decision-making when it comes to running. From Sunday on out I'm going to be a smart runner and die at 101 years old with my running shoes on!

*My little brother actually did this, but he also ran a 2:49 debut marathon when he was 19. So.


  1. I have a good feeling you are on a good path :) and your husband took some awesome pics!!!!

  2. You're just like my Fashionista wife ... what the heck's wrong with light blue polyester polo? I think it's awesome you ran as fast as you did with out as much training as normal. It seems like I do nothing but train all the time, and never run as fast as I think I can. It was probably exactly what your body needed.

  3. I am glad you ran a strong race and are not feeling too much pain after the fact!

  4. Great job! I am so glad that you are not having hamstring pain! That is such great news! And dude, I am so jealous of your husband's high five!

  5. YAYYYY!!! This makes me so happy. You are due for a great year. :)

    And your brother sucks. Just kidding. sort of. :)

  6. Yep, it's called closet training and it's an epidemic!

    Good for you for pointing out that smart training is the way to go. Very happy to hear you aren't worse for the wear...hopefully this is a big step toward normalcy for you!

  7. Nice try, but I still think you're a badass. ;-) Not saying that you don't work hard and you didn't train any for the race, but you've got some incredible natural ability. Sounds like it runs in the family too.

    Happy that you're on the mend, and congrats on a great half last weekend!

  8. Yea, I'm with Allison, you are badass. And great pics again, awesome that Mo was so close!

  9. no pain.
    I like that.
    happy for you Gracie.
    here's to hoping this lasts...a long long time.