Monthly Archives: March 2016

Moonlight Run 2016

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On Saturday, March 19th, I participated in my fifth Moonlight Run 10km.  Moonlight Run, as I have written about before, is the marquee running event in Lethbridge.  This year, they maxed out on participants in the 10km and 6km, with 2800 people registered!  I first did this race in 2011.  My race times in the 10 km from my first four years were: (OA=Overall, G=Gender, AG=Age Group).

2011: 51:43—148/607 OA, 52/350 G, 9/61 AG (25-29 y/o)

2012: 54:25—210/587 OA, 74/350 G, 11/47 AG (25-29 y/o)

2014: 47:27—45/540 OA, 4/305 G, 2/42 AG  (25-29 y/o)

2015: 43:37—34/526 OA, 5/292 G, 1/55 AG  (30-34 y/o)

What would this year bring?

funny

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I am having trouble with my foot.  This race would be the true test to see how it held up, as while it is only a 10 km distance, it involves a vertical drop of about 204 feet in the first mile.  Then, you are in the dark river bottom winding around sharp curves and more gain/loss of elevation.  And the final mile includes a gain in elevation of 267 feet back to the downtown core of Lethbridge.  It is quite the course indeed!

flat andrea

Flat Andrea all set!

I was hoping to run something close to my time last year, as that was when I was in top shape and feeling strong.  With this being a night race, I did my packet pickup on the Friday and was able to sleep in Saturday.  Sleeping in is great.  Waiting around the rest of the day for the race is not.  I was so antsy that Dan and I headed to the race start area around 7:00 PM.  Getting their early enough allowed for a great parking spot, and I had time to roam around and chat with people.  The student volunteers were our WCHS kids (where I work) so being able to see them and have them as supporters on the course helps a lot.  A familiar face always helps!

dan and andrea

Husband & Wife pre-race

The race is a self-seeded event, so I positioned myself about three rows deep from the start.  I knew I wanted to be careful the first mile, as last year I went out very fast.  Last year, mile 1 was a 5:32.  This year, it was a 5:47.  (Remember, we are barreling down hill! The +/- differential here was +15 seconds this year.

I felt strong in the river bottom, even though my throat was dry.  At about mile one and a half, a lady I didn’t recognize passed me.  I knew at that point I was 3rd female, so I wanted to keep it that way, and maybe gain ground.  After doing the out and back down the nature centre trail to Tollestrup, it gets pretty lonely.  With the curves of the trails and the trees blocking the sky, you can’t really see much.  And, I don’t want to look behind myself much because that would just slow me down.  Miles 2-5 in 2015 were 6:35, 7:01, 7:16, and 7:27.  I fared better in this segment this year, running 6:33, 7:00, 7:07, 7:12.  The +/- differential was -2, -1, -9, -15.  I was right now ahead of my 2015 time by 12 seconds!  

Mile 6 is the kicker.  It’s the hill.  That damn hill.  By the time I got to the base of hte hill. I really couldn’t see anyone directly within striking distance.  My legs were feeling heavy, my mouth was dry, and my glutes hurt.  I started trying to catch up to a gentleman ahead of me, but seeing him start to walk in parts didn’t motivate me much to push.  It honestly made me want to start walking myself.  While I didn’t walk at all, I knew I was going slower than in 2015.  I did see the 2nd place woman in the distance, and while I didn’t think I could catch her, I tried to keep an eye on her as motivation.  Before I knew it, I was past the dreaded switchbacks and back onto the main road.  Mile 6 was 8:36 in 2015, and a slower 8:48 in 2016.  12 seconds slower.  So, even though I didn’t know it at the time…I was at the exact same race tine in 2016 as I was in 2015 when I hit mile 6.  

I had no clue how far any women were behind me.  I didn’t look back.  I pushed my tired legs the best I could down the final stretch and into the finish line, with a chip time of 44:10.I was slower than the year previous, and my GPS watch said I had ran a 6.25 mile race.  In 2015 I somehow managed to run the tangents a bit better or pay attention to the curves more, because I had ran a 6.21 mile race then.  Regardless, I was ecstatic.  Why?  While this wasn’t my best 10km time, or my best Moonlight time, it was my best Moonlight finish—3rd place female!

Post race at Moonlight brought lots of pictures, eating and chatting with friends.  Dan finished sooner than I had expected, finishing in a 54:37, a 9 minute improvement from last year!  He did no training, so please don’t give him applause 😉  We both waited for awards, got more pictures, and off we went.  Another successful Moonlight in the book!

So how were my stats in this race compared to 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015?

44:10—28/525 OA, 3/289 G, 1/48 AG (30-34 y/o)

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that any day of the week!  Can’t wait until next year!

final photo

Moonlight Run 10km 2016 Complete!

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Marching on in March…

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Oh man.  Where to start?

At the beginning of March, I opted to have a cortisone injection into my foot.  This was performed after I had a “test run” injection of some other solution (yeah, I’m that bad that I couldn’t even name what they injected into my foot…but then i referred to the photo i took and it was Xylocaine.)  This first injection was to give me pain relief for a 3-5 hour window.  If this was successful, then a cortisone shot would most likely work.

xylo

What got injected in round 1

What this first injection caused was pain, swelling, and not to mention, the fact I almost passed out during the shot!  That’s not surprising, because I have a history of passing out with needles….the first time I attempted to give blood when I was 18, after getting a flu shot at the student health center in university as part of a flu study trial (which I got paid $40 for by monitoring the injection site for two weeks)…some of the more recent ones also involved when I gave blood.  Not during the process, but after.  Donated blood and got lightheaded and had to sit down and get help from workers at Safeway grocery store…..TWICE.  My personal favorite was when I walked through The Bay department store after donating blood and then went to check out at the till and passed out briefly.  They had to get the workers at the blood clinic (it’s in the same mall) to come down with a wheelchair to get me, wheel me back, and phone my husband.  Oh, and lets back pedal to the original needle pass out occasion—when I went and got my belly button pierced when I was 15 (but lied that I was 16) and as I walked back to the car with my mom I passed out in an alley in West Allis.  I still have a scar on my elbow to prove it.  I think I was so hyped up that passing out just seemed like the right thing to do.

So, with all those needle freak outs/meltdowns/pass outs, you would have to know I would not handle this injection well.  The doctor had to go in blindly to my foot, without using ultrasound, and had to try it three times until he knew the injection had taken.  It was on the third time that I had to lay down, starting sweating, and started seeing stars.  I left the office after the first injection with high hopes, but then found myself walking around the house in pain, and I couldn’t even put full pressure on my foot, let alone put my shoe on my foot.

first shot

First injection…before seeing stars

By the morning, my foot was better.  I had phoned the doctor a the previous night as the pain was overtaking me, and he believed that the shot may have irritated my arthritis.  Great.  So, a normal person would then cancel their second appointment for the cortisone.  I did not.

I am getting desperate, as I need to somehow function for the next four weeks and finish my training, do some races, and then run the race of my life:  The 120th Boston Marathon.  While Boston is all about completion, I have put a ton of training in, and don’t want to take it ‘easy.’  I still plan on pushing myself, though, I don’t necessarily expect a personal best.  So a week later, I went in for the cortisone.

before shot two

Selfie before the cortisone injection…a tad unsure!

I was better prepared for the needle, and it only took two times to get it injected into the correct spot.  I also creepily took a video of the doctor during the first injection, as to keep my mind off of just thinking about the pain.  This helped, and I didn’t pass out.  I know, after looking at my photos, its obvious I have a tattoo on my foot.  And I have many others too.  But tattoos never cause the pass-out feeling.  Just when the needle is actually under my skin….ugh.  So the cortisone shot was over and done.  The kicker with the cortisone was needing to take one week off of running.  I figured this was worth the chance of possibly being in less pain and having my foot less swollen after.

During those days off, my foot felt good.  It not swell like after the first injection.  I spent lots of time using my TENS machine and taking baths.  Once a week was up, my first training runs (Starting March 7th) went well.  By run 4, however, my foot was flaring up while doing a tempo workout.  Maybe the cortisone won’t help….and then on Sunday I went out to do a long run of 2 hours and 45 minutes max (20 miles max) and stopped at 14.25 miles.  While every mile was in the pace range I aim for during long runs, my foot was throbbing and I just didn’t want to push on.

smart ass

iMessages with my mom, post-cortisone

Does that mean I would quit during Boston if the pain took over?  Hell no.  I just don’t want to make it worse before Boston.  That seems silly because training for Boston and doing races in town before Boston is obviously messing it up more.  If the pain takes over in Boston, I know adrenaline, support, and absolute awe will take over.