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Friday, November 28, 2014

Turkey trotting

Before I talked to my doctor, my leg started hurting, etc., I had signed up for our local 5-mile Turkey Trot. I figured I might as well run it, which turned out to be a bad idea. Races when you hurt and haven't been doing any workouts are just always a terrible idea! 
Race T-shirt and my checkmate shorts from Coeur
I woke up to cold, clear, breezy weather and ended up dressing in shorts and a long-sleeved shirt. I debated going sleeveless, but I was so freezing in the wind when I checked the weather that morning that I went for sleeves. David and I parked about a half-mile from the start, and I lightly jogged to the bathroom line. Here's the problem with running hurt: You're going to hurt while you warm up, so you're going to want to skip your warm-up. Since my first conversation with my doctor, this hip as been getting progressively worse, and this was the first time that I really didn't want to run on it. But since I' m obstinate/dumb, I did anyway. I only did that tiny half mile warm-up, and that was not really fun, leading me to decide to skip any strides at the start. I squished in to a massive crowd of 3000 people; I ended up taking a good 15 seconds to get to the start after the gun. There was a lot of weaving right off the bat - it was just too congested. And I was working too hard, right off the bat. At least the crowds blocked the wind. As we followed the turns of the course, we ran in and out of headwinds (and got some tailwinds, too!) and I quickly started cycling between being freezing cold (headwind) and way too hot (tailwind and sun). The long sleeves were a bad choice; I was sweating in the sunny sections and that just made me colder in the wind.

Speaking of wind, I was winded.  I just didn't have any speed, couldn't get my hear rate up, and had an uncomfortably aching hip. I have learned that 1. I race better if I warm up long and do strides (duh), and 2. Even though I can tolerate pain well, that doesn't mean I can run fast while in pain. Your body is compensating, and you WILL slow down. I just ran a pain-free 5k at 6:24 pace; a few weeks later in a 5 miler I was struggling to stay under 6:50. The difference was partly the pain!

Mile 1 I was mostly struggling through the start, and ran a 6:50. I tried to pick it up in mile two, and it seemed like the wind was favorable that mile: 6:44.
Mile 3 was when my leg started to feel pretty bad. Nothing like when my left hip was hurt, but kind of a stabbing pain, and my pace reflected it. I was rolling my shirt sleeves up by now. 6:48. Mile four and five were basically a pass-fest, as in I was being passed by everyone. 
I was passed by my friend Celeste, about twenty guys, and a rocking 50-year-old woman who breezed by me. Not exactly my favorite kind of race! Both those miles were 6:49.
I ended up crossing the line around 34:15 I think? My Garmin was way off the gun clock, because I stupidly started it at the starting line, not when I heard the gun, and I was far back. Altogether it was a sour sort of race, but it left me feeling a little less hesitant about having this hip operated on. It's slowing me down, and it needs to be done!


  1. It sounds like the race was confirmation of your surgery. But that's still a pretty decent pace considering you were hurt. Have a great weekend!

  2. Agree with Jim, at least you got confirmation of your choice to have surgery. Onward and upward, Grace!

  3. Sounds horrible. But I'm glad you've had your doubts about surgery taken away. It makes it so much easier to cope with when you know you're doing the right thing.

  4. Glad this gave you some answers Gracie! And um, can I have your version of "no speed"?? ha! I'm seriously so slow these days. Even the thought of a 6:xx mile for even one mile right now seems crazy but I know it will come back. Ah, Gracie, I just want to see you get things all figured out!! I know you want that more than anyone!

    1. Thank you! I love your genuine sweet concern! I am glad now to at least KNOW this is a hip thing, and fixable. Better than years of misdiagnosis like last time, even though I'm not looking forward to the surgery.

  5. Ugh. I know what you mean about being stubborn (been there, done that) causing you to make not that smart of decisions. Sorry that your race was so unpleasant, both physically AND having to watch those rotten people pass you. ;) I'm glad you've got an answer and a solution to the pain. Hopefully this next surgery is the last one!