Sunday, April 8, 2012

Is It Karma?

Last year I ran my first marathon ever, Rock n' Roll San Diego, with the help of Team in Training. It was, for the most part, a great experience. Don't get me wrong, I was terrified of the fund-raising part and often thought that I would have to change to the half-marathon after a handful of really bad long runs. But, in the end, I exceeding my fund-raising goal and finished all 26.2 miles.

I'm a marathoner!!
After San Diego I continued to run but not with the same zeal...I no longer had buddy-runs to show up to or group long runs already mapped out which included water stops. It was just me...and my excuses. The first being that I needed to recover from the marathon and the second that I NEVER wanted to do that distance again.

I had managed to lose a lot of the "speed" I once had. With all of those long runs I tried to relieve some of the pressure by allowing myself to run slower. I've never been fast...but I was certainly quite a bit faster then I was finding myself once I started running again. For me, my slowness became a de-motivator. I gave myself a pity-party...which lasted several months.

This spring I finally got the urge actual desire to run again. It's been a slow process working up from about 3 mile 'long' runs to about 5 now but I've been working on getting some speed back as I increase my distance. By incorporating plyometrics and weights I feel that I'm better balanced than when I trained for the marathon (last year I actually had an increase in body fat which is not atypical of endurance athletes) and, until now, I've remained injury free.

My cool finisher's medal!
Which brings me to today. The smell of Tiger Balm drifts up from my knee and a steady stream of Ibuprofen (mixed with a lovely glass of Pinot) is hopefully helping with any internal swelling. A week ago Saturday (Mar 31) I ran a trail 10K put on by my favorite racing group, Brazen Racing. I wanted to use this a jumping off point for more racing this year, my last season in this area, and since it was local and had a cool finisher's medal I was stoked about the race and never even worried about the distance.

Well, it wasn't the distance that was the was when the sky opened up and the bottom fell out. We were standing in the starting corral counting down the last few seconds before the start when Mother Nature decided to make this race very challenging (comparable to Tough Mudder). The first 2.5 miles were road and gravel...the rest was almost all single track cow trails.
I don't know why I'm looking at that guy all crazy.
Finish by any means necessary!
I don't know how else to explain the conditions other than imaging running on a Slip-n-Slide while it's raining. Running uphill was all but impossible since, with every step, we were actually sliding back down the hill. Most of us attempted to run on the side of the hills in whatever grass we could find so we had some kind of traction. I fell was as I was trying to pass a guy pushing a strollerA a downpour, on the side of a mountain, in the mud, on a cow trail that now resembled a river!

I wasn't kidding.
A big portion of the 10K course was like this.

And I wasn't the only one to fall!

But that wasn't even when I felt the first was when I finally got the chance to run all out. It was still pouring down (and cold) so I was sprinting to the finish to just get it all over with when about 100 yards from the finish I felt it...a sharp pain behind my right knee-cap. I quickly forgot about the pain when I spotted my good friend, and TNT running partner, Coleen at the finish. What a great surprise!!

Me (left) and Coleen (right) this past summer during a long run.
After changing into the dry clothes and sipping on the Soy Vanilla Latte she brought me (did I mention how awesome she is??) I completely forgot about my knee. But a week later the pain is still there. I even ran on Friday to test it out and while I felt fine running I am in pain now whenever I go up or down the stairs.

It's bad Karma I'm sure. You see, I had applied to be a Mentor for the fall season for our Team in Training Marathon team and got the position. But in the meantime I had decided that I wanted to run for me this race season (since it's my last). I didn't want to sacrifice my own running to help my mentees out so I declined the position. And then this happened.

3rd Place (age group)...makes me smile!
In the end I found out that I placed 3rd in my age group. And even though I am recovering from my first injury in a very long time, I am sticking to my guns and running this season for me. I'm 41...I don't know how much longer I can do this and I still have some goals I'd like to reach. In the meantime, I'll still volunteer to help my TNT group out by doing water stops for them...that ought to satisfy the Karma Police.


  1. You are such an inspiration, Lynn. And my GOSH how crazy is that trail?? You are a superhero in my book for getting through it. Hoping that knee heals quickly!

  2. rain and all, i loved that crazy run!! my first...way to jump right in, eh? :)


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