Thursday, June 11, 2015

Want to Run. . . Easy as 1.2.3.

The surgeon told me I should wait at least a week before running. I ended up waiting another month.  I figured this just meant more healing time!  Actually, the underside of my toe/foot pad was pretty raw, as I had skin that softened and then had to be cut away, like a blister almost.  I've been building up that skin by walking with the brown Born Sandals, helping The Mike with the fence (and standing on the feet for 4 to 12 hours in my boots), and generally just trying to use the foot. Something I found I cannot do:  push on the shovel into the ground with the left foot --that pulls at the top of the foot. It's not something I would do normally, but since I managed to trip getting into the car a month ago and bruise my right foot, I thought I'd mix things up.  
I try and try, but I still cannot get my left foot into my black Born sandals(above right), nor can I get a toe sock over the surgical toe.  

I thought I'd go for a run on Running Day (June 3) but that didn't happen.
Instead, my first run was Thursday, June 4.  I went about 2.8 miles that day. 
Clothing layout:  Athleta capris, Under Armor tank, Fox River socks and a race long sleeve shirt in case it was chilly(do you hear the manical laughter for Iowa June weather and 'chilly').  
Okay, I'm all dressed and ready to go for a run.

My thoughts include: 
Eek, will I be able to do this?  
Will people laugh at me trying to run?  
Will my toe hold up to the pounding? 
Will I need to adjust my foot and shoe?  

I grabbed my waist water holder and put in a 8 oz container of water in one pouch and my phone in the other.  I did remember a house key as well!  

I started the watch and went out the driveway. No music today, just going out to enjoy nature, my neighborhood, and see what the body can do.  I actually made it further than I expected. I thought I'd have to stop after a couple blocks in the neighborhood. I ran a little over half a mile and then took a walk break and re-evaluated. My body felt good-but strange to be running again. My lungs were not happy with me (the reason I started walking) and half a mile is more than I thought my aerobically denied lungs could do.  The next mile was a combination of running and walking. Running about a block, walking for a little bit, and then walking again.  When I got to the gas station I had the option to turn left and head home, or turn right and keep going on the loop.  I turned right. I didn't see anyone else on the street at all, but a few blocks down the road I was passed by this sprinter dude out of nowhere---and not even a "on your left" out him either!  Once I got past the water tower on my loop and to the next street I decided to just walk the last mile home.  I figured I had gone out for my first run in two and a half months and didn't need to twist my ankle or anything. This lasted for about half a mile, then I ran a block, then stopped at a garage sale(!  turned out to be a smoker's house-GAG!), then headed on home with just walking again. 
My time obviously wasn't my best, but it was my best run after surgery and recovery!

Since I am starting over again, I made sure to do a lot of stretches when I got home!  
Adorable minion box from amazon.  Had to share the cuteness of it. 

After the run, I ran some errands, then worked in the yard with The Mike --we're replacing our fence-- and had to take a pic of the pedometer at the end of the day.  15,000 steps!  No wonder my feet and legs were a little sore.  

The Mike has a sweet tooth which I do tend to feed.  I had an "ah-HA!" moment earlier in the day with the Immaculate Gluten and dairy free cookies. I decided to cut the cookie forms in half and make 24 instead of 12 cookies.  Each one does make a jumbo cookie and half of that would be good.
It worked quite well! 
One's missing due to cookie monster. 

I spy. . . . 
Out in the yard, one of the fence posts we set looked a lot like a curious and shy four legged creature. 
It just so happened that "What Does The Fox Say?" came on the radio about the same time we were setting this post.  :-)  

Fast forward to Tuesday, June 9. I signed up for my first race!  I verified with the organizer that it would be fine to possibly walk most of the course.  

What type of race is it, you ask? 

A Prediction Race!  

The local organizer has had a couple of these before, but I've not participated because they were(are) at 6:30pm and I am a morning runner, I had to get up for yoga, I was tired after work, I wanted to _______.  I had so many reasons to not do one, and then this year I thought "why not?".   $10 entry, included dinner too (which I didn't realize). 

In the car, getting up the courage to get out into 94ยบ weather. . . quite unusual for June. 
(Shades stayed in the car for the race). 
The race director/organizer did let people choose to adjust their times because of the heat.  I didn't need to, because it was just heat, not humidity, and he also changed the course to be run on shaded trails and not the open road.  

Whoa! Cool number. . . and a reminder that running IS as easy as 1-2-3. One foot in front of the other, faster than you walk.  That is the basis for running!

Only 44 people showed up this evening, though more were anticipated.  Perhaps the heat did scare a few people away.  We started in the parking lot and headed into the trail system. Pretty straight forward route. Keep to the right on the way out (two possible turns, but stay to the right). At the cone, turn around and then stay to your left on those return possible turns.  We finished up into the parking lot through a chute area. 

What is a Prediction Race?
In a prediction race, you sign up with the time you think it will take you to finish the miles. Tonight's course was 3.1, a 5K.  How long do you think it will take you to run this course?  If you're a runner who is very consistent, it should be fairly easy for you to predict your time. If you're a runner who has taken several months off and haven't really run 3.1 miles in over three months, then you might be slightly off in your prediction.  

No watches, no phones, no music, no timing chips, no finish clock at the chute, nothing that could aid you in how you're running, nothing that would make you sprint at the finish.   A person who completes a 5k in 50 minutes might actually wind up in first place.
I was off my time by two and a half minutes---in a good way. I over estimated how long it'd take me. The good news? So did the lady who finished slightly ahead of me, we both put down the same minutes (different seconds). 

What makes the races by this director the best?  He takes care of his runners!  
Ice cold finish washcloths for everyone! 

The Finish
Remember that part about stick to the right, then after the turn, stick to the left?  When I finished there was talk of the leader/fast guy who never came back to the parking lot. EEK! What happened? His racing friend had no idea what happened to him either.

After the race, there was pulled pork, BBQ, sauce, buns, chips;  ice cream, m&ms & Hershey syrup.  Not knowing what was all in the pork, I had myself the following: 
The chips were not too salty after a run and the ice cream became a drink, which was tasty. 
We all cooled off, ate, and then had finish prizes and door prizes.  Awards went to the top 10 people.  The 10th person was off by about 30 seconds, the No. 1 finisher was off her predicted time by ONE SECOND.
The gentleman who got lost? He showed up as everyone was heading to their cars. I have no idea what happened to him, but glad he came back in one piece.  

A reminder to get a full body check by a dermatologist for Melanoma and pay attention to your body. If something is new or feels weird, get it checked out!
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