Saturday, February 15, 2014

The family that races together...

Christian and I are incredibly happy to be fit again and races are such a fun motivation.  So many races have a kids' 1k or mile race, too.  The kids get shirts, medals, post-race bagels -- all the fun that goes with paying to run (or walk!) with a bunch of other people.  #2 kid had been having hip pain on and off for the last six months, but it always seemed to resolve.  The x-ray came back completely normal and we figured it was just a fluke.  We never, ever push the kids to try to accomplish anything athletically.  It's all what they want to do, at their own pace.  #2, especially, played harder in the back yard than he did on the soccer field or the race course.  When the limp came back with a vengeance after it seemed to get better over Christmas vacation, we headed to the pediatric orthopedist.  He has been on restricted movement while we figure out what's going on with what seems to be Legg-Calve-Perthes, or the hip joint destroying itself.  The good news is that the hip bone will regenerate, the bad news is that it takes years and he's not supposed to run or jump, ever.  The goal is to have the bone reform in the proper shape to avoid arthritis later in life.  Have you ever tried to keep a six-year-old from running and jumping?  It's contrary to their very nature.  And now that we've been through the MRI and back to an even more specialized specialist, it looks like he may be in for years of treatment involving multiple surgeries.  There are no good answers.  We're being pressed to make a decision about surgical treatment by early next week and I can't even wrap my head around all of it when the experts do not agree on the treatment for 6-8 year old kids.  He's hurting, he's scared and I cannot make it go away.

I seriously considered scrapping all of my race plans in solidarity with my poor kid.  It's just so not fair that he can't join in!  No baseball/soccer/basketball teams, no races, no medals, no team uniforms, no race shirts! But ultimately he needs a mom and I need an outlet so I'm going to my race even though it all seems so trite now, shirts and medals and such.  I'm going tomorrow out of pure selfishness, to get to that point that comes for me at mile 9 where the only thing I can still think about is putting my feet in front of each other as fast as they'll go.  I need an empty head and I can't think of a better way to get it since I can never convince myself to work as hard just walking around our neighborhood as I do in a race.  #2 kid will totally be getting my medal tomorrow and maybe for years to come.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Race 3 : February 2014

Sugar & Spice Half Marathon

February 16, 2014
Clear Lake, TX
4.5 hour course limit

Why This Race?
You may have noticed that I absolutely love women's races.  So with one so close by, I had to choose it for February.  This year not only will there be medals and tech shirts, but wine glasses!  Christian has a collection of pint glasses from races and I am all too excited to add my girly wine glass to the cabinet.  There's also supposed to be a special twist at the finish line and I'm a sucker for surprises.  This will be my last all-women's half until I come full circle at RunGirl again.

Unlike the Cocoa Women's Half, which I thought was flat and turned out to be very much not flat, this course has something like 40 feet of elevation gain.  FLAT!  I'm learning to check things like that before I choose races, but I may have a few more hilly courses coming my way from a registering frenzy I had before I learned this lesson.

I was going to set myself some crazy goal like a PR because the course is nice and flat, but now my goal is just to finish.  I missed my long training walk this race cycle (at the Texas 10 College Station race) because 3 of the kids and I got a horrible stomach bug the night before.  Never in my years of mothering have I had a night like this and I'm hoping to never have one again.  As I'm editing my goal before I post today, I cannot imagine moving from this chair, much less doing a half marathon.  Getting to the finish line is going to feel incredible if I manage that in two weeks.

Turnover!  I am working on my form and I recently found that my cardiovascular system is being challenged much more than before.  I'm going to try to do some of my shorter workouts at a much quicker pace while keeping my long walks slow.  I can hit about 180 steps/minute and close to an 11:00 min/mi for short periods of time.  Knowing that's possible for a mile makes me think it's possible for longer stuff as well if I just put in the time.