Saturday, September 19, 2015

InStep Trail Races - 1/2 Marathon

InStep Trail Races - 1/2 Marathon - September 19, 2015

time = 2:03:16 (42 seconds faster than last year)
pace = 9:25
placed 1 in my age group (40-44) out of 9
placed 5 in women out of 46
placed 23 overall out of 93
link to the strava data

interestingly i also received the masters award this year which (i think) means that i was faster than everyone 40 and older... or something.  not sure but i got a pretty sweet plaque out of the deal so that's awesome.
my sweet masters plaque
it rained on and off all night friday and i woke up to some rain happening at 3am.  i moved to wauwatosa from delafield so the weather can be totally different from here to there, but i had checked the doppler the night before and knew it would also be raining in delafield.  it was supposed to stop by the time of the race so i was not concerned.  before bed i took 2 imodium because i've been having a lot of problems with my gut on runs and wanted to avoid any issues whatsoever.  i had a goal for this race (2 hours), and i really didn't want my stomach interfering subsequently ruining that for me.  my alarm went off at 6:20am so i would have enough time to not have to rush.  took the dogs out, got dressed, had some juice, vitamins, and a banana.  once i handled all that morning business i headed out to lapham.

i got there around 7:30am.  it was low 50's, but was supposed to get to the mid-50's by race start.  it was cold.  i found dave since he was volunteering, and we chatted for a little while.  i ran into a bunch of other friendly faces and had some hugs and pictures.

at 8am i watched the marathoners take off... my friend nic killed it again with a 3:33:22 winning finish time.  it's always exciting to watch a race take off.

at 8:24am i lined up at the start.

at 8:30ish... we took off.  i had planned to run comfortably but still harder than normal.  i have completed the black loop 3 times in under an hour over the summer so i was feeling quite confident that i could maybe beat my time from last year.  all the overnight rain had made the prairies really wet and there were some puddles.  as we hit the first climb i was feeling really good.  my plan was to just motor along, try and run the whole of "gut buster", and not be pooped out once i made it to the top.  i managed to do all of those things and then get to BOMB DOWN the next mile of downhills.  so fun!  there were some mud puddles along the trail but they were easily avoided.  i really expected the trail to be much muddier than it was.  the temperature and cool wind that was whipping around now and again made for excellent conditions to run this race.

my strategy was to run everything that i could, and walk the couple of hills that i customarily walk... namely the one directly before "the wall", i also get to walk "asthma hill", and lastly one just before a long incline next to the tower.  i finished the first loop in 1:01:03.  not too bad but not exactly what i was hoping for.  i was definitely not bombing downhill as fast as i have been known to do which i believe directly contributed to adding some time.

moving on to loop two... i walked A LOT of "gut buster"... i simply couldn't make myself go any faster or harder up that damn hill.  everyone in front of me was long gone and there were really only a handful of people that were running a relatively similar pace as me.  none of which looked to be in my age group... and we all know that my goal is to win in my age group. lol!  running up that hill proved to be harder than i thought the second time around.  i tried... i really really did!  i commiserated with another male runner near the top who started walking just before we crested.  we lamented our misfortune of being on that hill a second time while alternately celebrated our good fortune in not having to run it again since we were only doing the 1/2 marathon.  silver lining people... silver lining.  finally got to the top and bombed my way down the other side.  it was glorious!

i run this loop so often that i know it like the back of my hand and can tick off the miles without even looking.  it is certainly an advantage in that i know exactly where i am and how much further i have to go.  it's a beautiful thing.  i think it makes it easier to run a race when you know what comes next.

by the time i hit "two tier" i felt so done.  my quads were burning.  oddly, my right shin (that i've been having so much trouble with these past weeks) was nearly painfree. whatever mike did at PT last week must have been well worth it.  even so... i walked A LOT of this hill.  in fact, i didn't even bother to try to run very much of it.  i figured i was nearly done and no amount of running now would make much difference in my time.  i suppose i could have maybe shaved off a minute on that hill... maybe.  although, the trade off might have been that i wouldn't have had the energy to bomb down the following hill... "magic carpet ride".  because "magic carpet ride" is longer than "two tier"  i'm going to believe that my choice to walk then run was the right choice.

i finished the final prairie strong and came into the finish with a smile on my face.  it was really great to see the faces of friends at the end.

i love this race.  i love this park.  everything about it is great.  it is well put together, great race director, and the volunteers are fantastic!  best of all it is so fun.  if you didn't get out there after last year's race report... you will really have to try your best to get out there next year.  there is a race distance for everyone now.  they even added a 5K this year... so there's that!

receiving my masters award

Saturday, September 12, 2015

autoimmune thingies

so... on june 9th i had a super weird reaction to something which resulted in my face and the tissues on the inside of my mouth swelling up like a balloon.  it was weird but not weird enough for me to bother much with it.

a week or so later it happened again in relation to something i was eating.  then it happened again... and again.  

after this happened a few times i started noticing that the inside of my mouth was really really sensitive and irritated.  my lips were constantly sticking to my teeth and it didn't seem like anything helped.  i would wake up at night and not be able to pull my mouth off of my teeth.

finally (about 5-6 weeks ago) i went to the doctor.

my doctor did a huge battery of blood tests to the tune of 6-8 vials of my blood.  what came back was weird.  something dinged on my test basically indicating that i've got some sort of autoimmune issue going on.  my doctor's guess is sj√∂gren's syndrome because of the whole mouth thing.  he is simply guessing tho' because he's a primary care physician and not a specialist... so.... i am also scheduled with a rheumatologist for october 5th.  

fast forward to labor day (last monday) and i made myself tortilla crusted tilapia for dinner that i got from the grocery store.  two bites into the fish and my mouth, uvula, throat, tongue, and tissues inside of my mouth started to swell up.  this caused me considerable trouble swallowing so i took two antihistamines as fast as i could... then i waited.  i was pretty scared at this point, but i figured that since i could breathe pretty clearly i was still ok.  

on tuesday morning i called my doctor.  i needed to find out what the allergy tests results were since i either didn't listen when he called to tell me about the autoimmune thing or we simply didn't go over it because of the autoimmune thing.  either way... i'm clearly allergic to something!

when my doc called back and i explained everything... we went over the blood tests.  


i know what you're thinking... how can this be?  yeah... we're as perplexed as you are.  introducing specialist number 2.  now i have to see an allergist.  that appointment is on october 3rd.  *sigh*

i'm not allergic to any of the normal things people are allergic to so we're guessing it's got to be something totally abstract or it's the autoimmune thing that's causing the reactions.

what's worse is that i'm tired ALL THE TIME.  i just thought that i was becoming bad at running because it is hard ALL THE TIME.  it never seems to get easier no matter how many miles i put in nor how much rest i take.  i am always tired and it is always incredibly hard.  additionally, i am getting slower and there is little i can do about it.  i simply cannot make myself go.  i'm also having a great deal of trouble getting out of bed in the morning and this is very unlike me.  i don't ever feel like i get enough sleep and i feel drained.  

i've skipped 2 races now and am contemplating skipping a 3rd next weekend.  i just don't know how i'm going to race them.  i also have lakefront marathon coming up and i am terrified.  i have no idea if i will be able to make it to the end and the idea of DNF-ing is unacceptable.  i should be able to run 15-20 miles fairly effortlessly... or at least painlessly and i am completely unable to do this.  i run this mileage and i am wrecked for the next 3-4 days.  i am unable to complete my long run on the following day and then i cannot even complete my short run usually the 2nd day after that.  there is absolutely something wrong with me.

it is so frustrating.  i have goals damn it!  i have things i want to get done!  i am accomplishing none of the things i've set out to do this fall.  it is exhausting just thinking about it.  

so that's what's been going on with me...  we'll see if i end up running instep next weekend.  i just don't know if i have it in me.