It has been 48 hours since starting Women Rock marathon, one of my toughest races I have done. I still taking Tylenol every 6 hours to help with the pain, inflammation.  To understand what a big deal getting out and running was this morning, I need to take you back to the beginning of August and walk you through the past month.

I left the states on 02 August for 1.5 weeks in Asia and 1.5 weeks in Africa. I was doing camps for kids living overseas and the days are full of activity. There is no time for long runs. So prior to leaving for Asia, I did 3 20 mile runs; 1 18 mile run and a 15 mile run.  While overseas I did 3 4 mile runs – on a tread-mill!  Arriving back in the states on 21 August gave me 1.5 weeks to recover from jet lag and get ready for Women Rock!

Add to that the fact that the temps were warm and our air conditioner decided to go wacky – I was not in good shape going into the race.

However the weather was cool to begin with – cool enough that I took my son’s sweat shirt to keep warm prior to race start!  The first half of the marathon went well – i was running solid 10 minute miles!  If I could keep this pace, I would finish around 4:30-4:40 – I was thrilled.

Then around mile 12 I felt it – a slight twinge in my left calf. I was able to run through it and began to slow the pace some. At mile 16 the slight twinge turned into a cramp, but I was still able to run through it. By mile 19, the cramping was bad enough that I began walking. At mile 21 I called my sons to let them know that I had seized all the way up to my gluts and would be walking most of the way to the finish. They were at mile 22!

Son number 2 joined my at 21.5 and we had the following conversation;

Son – “So how are you feeling?”

Me – “Tired, sore and I have seized all the way up to the gluts.”

Son (after a brief pause), – “So do you want to run?”

Me – “It hurts to run.”

Son – “Well does it hurt to walk?”

Me – “yes.”

Son – “well if it hurts to walk or run, you might as well run.”

So I did and he ran with me. Coming up to mile 22 my other son yells at me, “I thought you were cramping!”

Me – “I am.”

Volunteer at that mile marker – “And she is not letting it stop her.”

I continued to run to mile 23 and then there was a big hill. I walked.

Another runner gave me some biofreeze to help numb the areas that were cramping – like the whole left leg!  It helped because as I hit completed mile 25 and the feather fans, I decided I could run, well jog to the finish line.  Once I saw the mile 26 flag and knew I had only .2 of a mile left, my body just took over and I began to pick up the pace. Not a sprint like normal, but a strong steady finish.

At the finish line, I really thought I would go down I was dizzy and light-headed. Several people tried to get me to sit down – but I knew if I sat down, I would not get up – at least not easily.  I knew I needed to keep the muscles moving until they recovered – at least a bit. So I headed over to get my glass of champagne for finishing the race and drank half of it.

The post race shower felt good and although I was sore, I was still able to move.

So this morning even though I am still taking Tylenol every 6 hours or so, I was able to lace up my running shoes and do 4.5 miles. It was a mental battle I needed to win this  morning, not a physical one.  I felt good and at mile 3 knew I could run 5-6 – but stuck with my 4.5.

Six weeks until TCM. Six weeks of hill training and speed work.

Six weeks will go by quickly.  I will slowly build my miles up this week and then hit my regular training program for the remaining time up to TCM.

Looking forward to a great race in October!