These aren’t my first half marathons, but they are a first in some ways. I’ve been suffering from some plantar fasciitis, and it really, really, really flipping hurts. The frozen water bottle and tennis balls have been my friends. In some ways, it’s most certainly my own dumb fault since I know I should be stretching more. On the other hand, how much more can I do? Stretching every day, trying to keep my calf muscles loose (which really isn’t easy!). I find a curb, I stretch. I sit at my desk, I stretch. I play with my cats while I’m stretching.
My calf muscles haven’t been happy because I’ve been running so many hills: Red Rock twice, River Mountain Loop once, Six Tunnels to Hoover Dam on Thanksgiving, the Vistas (a 3 mile hilly loop). Which is good, but it’s bad. Takes a toll on the body, but all of the half marathon courses are relatively flat. Yay, increased speed!
It’s going to be a busy race weekend, too. I’m bringing my running full-circle this year by participating in the Great Santa Run again. It’s for a local charity and to try and break a World Record, so I’m all for getting up on Saturday to participate in it! Besides, this was the first 5K I ever ran three years ago. At which point I swore off distance running until I found out about Team Challenge and had the motivation of doing good for my family and friends by running. Now I’m totally hooked. Damn that addictive runner’s high!
That afternoon, I’ll be helping out at the Team Challenge booth in the race expo for a few hours, then going to fuel up on a higher carb dinner. I’m actually taking a different approach for this race for fueling: Slow and easy on the carbs. A bit each day (yes, that means I’m gaining a pound or two this week, but I’ll run it all off Sat & Sun), and a bit more than normal on Saturday evening. Sensible brunch on Sunday with a nice balance of protein & carbs, and a good snack around 3:30 pm. I’m trying to avoid having to use the port-a-potties along the race route, too!
Depending on how I feel in a few weeks, I may also run the Come Run With Santa 5K that I did on a whim last year and took 3rd in my age group. Which shocked the heck out of me since I’m a penguin. Fitting for a race in December, though, if you really think about it.
But what I’m really looking forward to is staying healthy for the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge. One group of friends asked me to run the Walt Disney World Half, another group of friends asked me to run the Tinkerbell half with them in Disneyland. And, being as I haven’t taken a true vacation in a year, I’m going to Disney World! I’m going to Disneyland! In the same month, too!
That also qualifies me for the Half Fanatics group at the Neptune level. I also came to the conclusion that I don’t care what my times are so long as I complete all three of the half marathons. And they’re all in December / January, which means no jasmine bushes to trigger asthma attacks (like at the OC Half — grrrr!).
I hope my body can handle it!