Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hubby does a Marathon! - The (real) story

Hubby felt that my narrative of his half-marathon run wasn't good enough, so he decided to write one of his own. Okay, I wasn't there, but I thought I did a pretty bang up job telling the story.

I guess not.

So without further ado, the real story, all in hubby's own words...
(ETA: pictures can be found here)

Monkey off my back:

*** 2005:
  • training for half marathon (Vancouver International in May), feeling good, a few knee issues
  • did the Sun Run 2 weeks before the event for fun and ended up injuring my knee (Patella Femoral Syndrome) and can't walk properly, let alone run
  • tried two weeks of physio, several different modalities, but no go
  • swallowed the very big pill, but from the sidelines, watched my friend run the event herself (she did awesome, spot-on with her training!)
  • went through a more structured rehab program into the summer
  • started running and training in the Fall, and ran a couple of 10K races with a PB (personal best) in the second event
  • feeling confident and planning to run the First Half event in February 2006, discover I have to bail on my colleagues because I won't be in town (father's birthday)...am I ever gonna run a half marathon???
*** 2006:
  • training for Vancouver International instead
  • missed a couple of weeks of running due to travel and illness, and did 14k with run group

  • got assessed and went through program of strength/flexibility training and Trigenics-based rehab under guidance of chiropractor (my body mechanic), using all kinds of balls, foam rollers and rubber bands
  • knee pain gone!
  • did some more intense speed and hill training
  • with a bulge the diameter of a quarter
  • more physio, more Trigenics, better warmup habits
  • started to do more cycling to cross-train and work on other muscle groups
  • deep massage and stretching
  • 2 weeks before the race, skipped the Sun Run to be safe
  • 1.5 weeks before the race, in taper mode for over a week, playing head games, thinking I need to test the body again, so decide to do more speedwork
  • caught soon enough, and irritation went away
  • got calves stripped to soften the tissue
  • feeling good until...
  • Wednesday before the race...couldn't eat properly for a few days and worried it may be flu. Am I gonna have to bail yet AGAIN ???
  • finally able to eat plain pasta meal Saturday evening before the race.
  • updated the emergency info on the back of the race bib to let people know about the GI issues in case I puke on Sunday
  • piss pouring rain, windy and cold
  • first 3 miles spent weaving past the walkers and slower runners [SLOWER RUNNERS SIDEBAR] who didn't pay attention to the pace bunnies when queueing up at the start line, and trying to avoid getting tangled up in the garbage bags that people were wearing and then discarding without any consideration of who behind them might slip on or get tangled in them
  • feeling good until mile 5, felt tightness in IT Band...stopped for quick stretch. Didn't help much...felt some discomfort in the knee ("uh, oh, should I stop?") ran through the discomfort for a while and pain went away, but suspected I may regret it
  • 2 miles before Prospect Point hill, sucked back a gel pack for some energy and approached the next water station - no water! [NO WATER! SIDEBAR]
  • Prospect Point hill is coming up. Ok, shorten up the strides up this hill...don't need any achilles problems now or it’s game over...just make it up the hill safely...man, this hill was long.
  • we conquer the hill feeling pretty parched. Next water station - no water! [NO WATER! SIDEBAR]
  • my running partner and I just had a half a cup of Ultima sports drink and a gel pack during the whole race
  • feeling effects of dehydration, hamstring starts to cramp up. Stop and stretch, then lengthen the stride to open up the hams a bit and catch up with my running partner
  • leaving Stanley Park, we notice that it stopped raining...lots of spectators cheering...what an energy boost!
  • left my running partner at end of mile 12 and tried to finish strong
  • saw a colleague (an avid marathon runner and Boston qualifier, who had sprained her ankle Tuesday and could not run the full Marathon, but came out to cheer everyone on instead...imagine the disappointment after all that training!) at about the last 500 meter mark or so, came out onto the road and gave by far the most energizing cheer and words of encouragement as an extra energy boost!
  • approaching the finishing gate, I hear my chiropractor, yelling in my ear as well as I run past her towards the finish line
  • apparently, a friend who works for the City of Vancouver was at the finish line working the event, but he didn’t see me because he was chowing down on a big muffin when I finished…clown
CHIP TIME: 1:52:31
  • other than being wet and cold, felt really good for about an hour and a half...left BC Place, and

  • here we go again. Monkey's not completely off my back.
  • will enjoy a nice sports massage at the Spa and some hydro-therapy (like 1000 jets or something like that). Maybe some more trips to physio or my body mechanic.

My running partner's sister was also doing the Half. She had apparently been going through a bitter relationship breakup and trained up to 12km max. We decided not to run with her because she would be “too slow” (estimated time: 2:30). After we finished, we were trying to figure out if we should get our bags, change and then go to the finish line to cheer her on. As we were looking at our watches, we see her walking up to us with her finisher’s medal on already, and barely out of breath! First word that came out of her mouth was a victorious "A$$-hole!!")


Apparently, there was an incident with the water truck, and Canadian Springs could not access the park to deliver the water to two of the water stations in Stanley Park. The Vancouver International Marathon Society apologizes for this and for not having a backup plan. Being Canada's largest marathon event, that was a MAJOR SCREWUP, and we were actually lucky the weather was so miserably cold and wet or there could have been a lot of medical problems!

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