So Rock The Parkway Half was my miracle race in more ways than one. My husband didn’t do much training. Ha! He did like maybe three runs before the race and that includes the Westport St. Patrick’s Day Race. Like I said, he does a lot of cycling so he isn’t totally out of shape or anything. He did a 2:22:38.2 half. He was hurting a little after it was all said and done, but nothing too major. My husband was absolutely amazed by how well he did considering all this. I was even more amazed by my results.
My issue started the Tuesday before the race. Of course most races like this run on Saturday morning. I had planned to rest on Tuesday except for walking to the nearby church to vote in the most recent election. I came back and didn’t stretch because I walked and it was only a little over a mile round trip. I sat down to my laptop to do some work. It sits on the kitchen bar and I sit on a bar stool. We have an open floor plan which I love. I can work and watch the kids play in every room on our first floor. The issue is that it isn’t real great for my back (you see where I’m going here?). I was sitting at the laptop when I felt a little something in my lower back. I got frantic and start stretching like crazy. Every half hour or so I would lay on the floor and try to stretch out whatever was hurting my back. It just kept getting worse throughout the day. I thought maybe once I got some rest that night I would feel better the next morning.
I was wrong. I was in tears in the next morning! I could find no relief no matter what I did. It hurt to even lay down. My mother-in-law took my kids to a play date while I went to my chiropractor that was just a few blocks away from them. I had been pretty loyal in seeing him when I could since my insurance covers almost all of my visit with him. I “bragged” to my mother-in-law in the car that I usually only take about 10 to 15 minutes on the table. I told her I knew some people he worked on for an hour and did not know what on Earth would cause that kind of work, “Bless their hearts.” Ha! I walked in and he couldn’t even touch me until he had a heating pad on my back for at least 8 minutes. By the time I got out I had been there about an hour!
When I went in I was more concerned with the pain but by the time he was done with me I asked about the half marathon to come that Saturday. He got this look on his face like I had just sprouted horns out of my head. He said it might be possible but it would hard to do. He recommended that ice it at home and not use anymore heat. He also said no running until maybe Friday. He told me to find a firm mattress to sleep on for the first night maybe two nights. I tried to think of a bed in our house that was firm. I think that is another issue. Our mattress is so old and too soft. He said some people were known to sleep on the floor. So that is what I did. I slept on the floor for two nights in a row. I wanted to do it all the way up to race day, but my husband asked me not to. I think he was worried the floor was too hard for me. It was a little difficult to get to sleep at first but my back felt so much better in the morning.
I tried icing my back sitting in a chair, but it just wasn’t working for me. So I laid down on the floor to ice my back to make sure I got the full benefit of it. I did that every few hours. We also moved my laptop in the dinning room so I could have my feet flat on the floor. I did not like it there. I just couldn’t see everything like I could from the kitchen.
So race day comes and I am super nervous that I won’t be able to finish. My husband is supposed to be in a corral up in front of me. We get at the front of my corral with the 2:30 pacers. He looks at the sign and asks me if I am going to finish it in 2:30. I laugh as I say, “Yeah, right. I wish.” He decided since his corral was the very next one he would at least start with me. I usually don’t like that, but he promised he wouldn’t try to stay with me. I hate it when I know I’m the reason he isn’t doing his best.
Once I got running, I actually felt fine. My back didn’t hurt. It was sunny but a little cool. I wore arm warmers and kept them on until about mile 4. I got one off just fine, but the one under my arm band for my phone was harder. I kept pinching myself. It didn’t hurt real bad, but I pinched it quite a few times. I finally got it off when we got to a down hill portion of the run for me to slow down a bit. When the race was over, I had some nice bruises. My husband wasn’t happy about that for several reasons. One was that it kind of looked like I was abused.
The rest of the run was beautiful! We could not have asked for better weather or a day to go for a run. I stuck with the 2:30 group. I was running and thought that the pace was actually doable. One of the pacers, Crystal, was a hoot. After each mile marker she would count down from 3 and everybody would scream, “Wooooo!” She talked about slowing down on the up hills. I just can’t do that. I like to power up and get over it. I stuck with them all the way up to about mile 8. She had said we were a minute or two ahead of 2:30 pace schedule. I kept them in sight all the way to mile 11 and caught a second wind. I didn’t catch up to them completely and lost them the last mile or so. I wondered what my time was when I crossed the finish line. I mean the time flashing there was not right because we started in waves and I was a few waves behind the first group.
I found my husband and we walked around a bit. They had one band on the course and some singers at a park later on in the race. There was a band at the end. I would have excepted a few more bands during the run since the name of the race is Rock the Parkway. We tried to get some massages. I told my guy what happened to be sure he didn’t accidentally do something worse. I felt pretty good except behind my right knee and my calves. He only worked on my calves. I think he might have been scared to touch my back. After that it was pretty dead except the line to get pictures in front of the Rock the Parkway banner. We got a few of us together and then we walked back to the car which I think was a mile in itself.
My legs were a little stiff when we got back home. My in-laws stayed the night and watched the twins since we had to get up at the butt crack of dawn to do the race. My husband’s legs were worse due to lack of training. After we cleaned up and got back to our day, I checked my results. I always start my phone a little early. My phone said I did 13.38 at 2:37:29. My chip time was 2:30:42.3! I check my best time for a half and it was 2:39:21.4. I shaved off about 9 minutes with a bad back! I was happy just to finish. I was ecstatic that I finished with that time.
I think we learned some lessons from all of this. I learned that we need a new mattress even if my husband does not agree. My husband learned he needs to train more (something he already knew really). I learned to sleep on the floor a few nights before a race to improve my results. I’m just kidding, but I am sooooo using Rock The Parkway as my proof of time for Goofy.