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The way the Cupcake Crumbles…

May 10, 2011

Clearly it’s been a long time since my last post. I’ve kind of been in hiding because I got hurt training. It goes back to my back to back 8 mile runs that I did back in March. At the end of my second run I noticed some sharp pain on the outside of my knee on the last 1/2 mile of my run. It wasn’t so bad that I had to stop so I pushed through and finished. Then, as so became the custom, I started skipping my short runs during the week. I was so busy with school, wedding planning, family, and working 24 hours a week. It was so stressful and I started feeling like if I was at least getting my long run in then that was enough. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The following Monday I went out for a 16 mile run. At mile 14 the pain returned. It was all I could do to keep going past 15 miles. It was a sunny Monday and I had my favorite trail to myself. It could not have been more disheartening to have this pain return. I slowed down considerably and managed to finish at 16 miles. However, I could barely make it to the car. I decided to take a few rest days and run on Thursday before attempting my 18 mile run. Thursday came and went and before I knew it, it was the day of my 18 mile run. I decided to check out a new trail that is much longer and flatter than my usual trail. The pain that had creeped up on my long runs showed up after only 2 miles. I could not have been more worried. I took short walk breaks and started running once the pain subsided. The pain free moments were more short lived than I hoped. As soon as I started running the pain grew. I made it to 7 miles and decided I couldn’t go any further. I started crying and called my fiance Joe. It was a low moment when I was walking on the trail watching runners pass me effortlessly. Joe picked me up and we talked about whether or not the dream Marathon was salvageable. I decided I would cross train and attempt some smaller runs. I started doing Skinny Girl Yoga. I loved it. I felt as though my whole body was breathing. However, it did not affect the serious pain in my left knee that I came to know as the IT band. After 2 weeks I decided that the dream was over and I decided I would do the half marathon.

It was a really hard decision to step out of the marathon. I though about trying to run/walk it, but I knew that wasn’t how I wanted my first marathon to go. Before I knew it the race was here. Between filling in at work and finishing my nursing internship I worked a 62 hour week! I knew that the race would be ugly, but I was determined to stay positive an enjoy the day.

I met Joe and Robin after my last internship day for some yummy carb loading.

Don’t worry I changed out of those icky scrubs after the Kodak Moments!

After a delicious dinner and lots of laughs and smiles we all headed home. The race began at 6am and  we had to be shuttled to the starting line. My alarm went off at 3:15 and I had some major second thoughts about getting out of bed so early to essentially bomb a race. However, I managed to sleepily pull my hair up and change into my tight itty bitty running shorts. I love these teensy running shorts. They make my lower half look way more toned than it actually is. Feeling good about yourself is key!

I made it to Joe’s house by 4 and he made me a cinnamon raisin bagel with Nutella. Can I just tell you that Nutella is from heaven? It really is. I could eat it with a spoon…. one day I just might.

We got in the car and made it to the OC Fairgrounds fairly early. After a quick shuttle ride Joe and I made it to the starting line with enough time to stretch, use the potty, and relax! What a change! Normally we are so delayed because of parking we barely make it before the national anthem.

Once I made it over the starting line I began running. I tried to hold back and take it really easy. As I made my way out of Fashion Island I was greeted by this lovely view:

Wow! I told myself “You are so lucky to be in this race, seeing this sunrise, keep your chin up!” It was barely before 2 miles that my knee started hurting.

Mile 5:  The race had definitely become a run/walk situation. At least I had this incredible view to brighten my day!

I think this was Mile 6… so gorgeous!

7 miles: The Incredible Back Bay Road…. how I wished I could have given this trail the run it deserved. At this point I started to feel really down. I knew I was a better runner than this. I started wondering if I would ever feel better again. I decided to run as hard as I could until I got to the tree at the end o the trail. It hurt but I made it, and my spirits lifted a little.

I chugged along.. and then there was this sign. I loved seeing my name on a sign, even it wasn’t for me! The next few miles crawled. I was really struggling. I kept trying to run as long as I could and then walk to recover. After mile 12 I saw something that nearly made me fly…

LULULEMON!!!! They make the cutest signs, it was just what I needed! I kept trucking along and made the last 1.1 miles, my official time was 2:44 average pace 12:30 per mile. Crossing the finish line was bittersweet. I had achieved my personal worst time but on the other hand I was glad it was over and proud that I had stuck it out when so many odds were stacked against me. I was so excited to see my Joe cross the finish line with a massive PR. I also found out Robin PR’d too. I couldn’t have been more happy for my friends.

After the race we all met for pizza and then Joe and I took a few well deserved days off together. It was fabulous. I have since returned to the gym to work on trying to heal this injury. The results have been great and I can’t wait to share what I am doing, but I will save that for another post. Until then…..

Hugs,

Sarah

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