As you know, I ran marathons in February and March, then a trail half marathon, all on my way to running a 50K (that’s 31 miles) on the same course where in 2012, I missed a cutoff while attempting a 50 miler. I was looking forward to tackling that course again. But, alas, it was not to be. Just before the 50K, I was running up and down a hill in my neighborhood when I felt, “uh oh, my hip hurts.”
As you know, I’m not a “natural athlete,” so sometimes bad posture causes little issues. Coach Dave suggests it is my running form. He suggested I emulate the running forms of famous marathoners. Instead I emulate Tim Conway’s “old man” form. In that sense, I am a Grandma. Anyway, this nagging Grandma issue caused me to take some time off from running, and then get back into it slowly. But, by last Sunday, I felt about 95% cured of this latest nagging injury, and I was ready for my first double-digit long run since my hip started hurting.
I signed up for Jake’s Reindeer Race, which celebrates childhood cancer survivors, including its namesake Jake Maynard, the son of one of my partners. It offered a 5K, a 10K and a one mile fun run/walk. I signed up for the 10K and decided to run for a couple hours before the race started. During my “warm up” run, I ran over to the finish line of the East Coast Triathlon Festival and watched some of the talented young triathletes race. My friend Lilo took the picture you see under the tent.
Back at the Reindeer Race, families gathered, played games and celebrated. I looked around at the folks lined up to race and thought to myself, “hey, I might not come in last place!” At the triathlon, athletes were wearing svelte triathlon suits and had their “game faces” on. At the reindeer race, folks were dressed in reindeer antlers, red and green outfits and their “game faces” said “Let’s have fun!” on them. The race started, and I found myself in the middle of the pack. It was fun running with all the kids, dogs and folks in costumes.
However, I soon learned that all these fun folks were out for a mile or a 5K. My race would be two laps of the 5K course. Once I finished that first loop, I was on my own! All other runners who had elected the 10K course were clearly talented runners. That is, they were fast! The sun was beating hotter and hotter, and I wasn’t quite acclimated. They were playing Christmas music at the start of the second loop and I got in my head “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” I couldn’t shake it out of my head for those last three miles. I tried to convince myself that I was a reindeer, not Grandma squashed under reindeer hoofs. In fact, my face was so red from the heat: was I Rudolf? Because of the heat, I slowed to a slow jog intermixed with walk breaks. I realized that though my nose was red, I was Grandma. And I had gotten run over!
But at least my hip is okay. I’m happy to be back running long, even if I’m running slowly. This coming weekend, my plan is to run for four and a half hours. J