Sunday, February 14, 2016

Let the Games Begin!

It has been forever 4 months since I last raced. No matter how long you have been racing it is always nice to get in a no pressure race to shake off some nerves and go through the race morning motions before the meat and potatoes of the season begins. I love the Fragrance Lake Half Marathon, not only because of the course, but because I get to toe the line with my friends and have pizza and watch them drink beer after.

The BTRC Family. PC: CamE Tasker
I was getting really excited about Fragrance, especially after my Wednesday workout. It was an aggressive 2x a lap around Lake Padden, the fastest I've ever run. This was really confidence-boosting for the future and shows that all of the fitness I gained in the fall that did not manifest in a race is still there. But right after the workout, I was struggling with intense heel pain that was almost unbearable. The rest of the day it continued to be crippling, so much so that I could not even walk home from the dentist. Obviously, I became distraught and naturally I thought the worst until Tad calmed me down and reminded me that I was seeing Kerry (Prime Massage and Sports Medicine) and Chris (aka Dr. Lockwood, Align Chiropractic) the next day. He was right; they have been known to possess miraculous powers so I needed to stay calm until they had time to work their magic.

Getting ready for some slipping and sliding.
The next day the pain was still excruciating, and ran one minute and called it a day. I went to see Kerry who almost immediately diagnosed the problem - a strain in my calf muscle that was expressing pain at the attachment point on my heel. She did a combination of massage, joint mobilization and Graston Technique and then tag-teamed me off to Chris. Because I have been seeing Chris for so long now - about 3 years - my body has become extremely responsive to his adjustments and we're able to fine-tune tweaks and weaknesses fairly easily.

Heading into Two Dollar.
I left my dream team feeling much better about the situation and confident that I was not doomed. I may not be able to race on Saturday, but we knew this was not an issue that would derail my training for weeks. On Friday, the pain was night and day. I was able to get in 5 miles on minimal pain that never progressed. The plan was to run Fragrance Lake with the goal of practicing race morning, but be smart enough to shut it down or stop if the pain was bad. Well, an incredible thing happened: there was no pain. I couldn't believe it! From not being able to walk on Thursday to running a technical, muddy trail half on Saturday, I can't tell you how grateful I am!

Climbing Rock Trail.
The race itself was pretty uneventful; I ran completely alone the entire time. This was totally fine for the day as it allowed me to listen to my body and still give a solid effort without killing myself. Candice changed up the course a bit this year, taking us the long way around the lake, and fallen trees and thick mud really slowed things down so it is hard to compare to last year. I was first female and third overall. Results here. Congrats to my training partner, Josh Vander Wiele for crushing the course and getting some Fragrance Lake redemption! And congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend here in Bellingham, at the trials and afar. There was no shortage of inspiration!

Thanks to Candice Burt (who has the cutest dog in the entire world!) and Garrett Froelich for directing and organizing the Bellingham Trail Running Series. For more "Destination Trail Running Events for the Adventurous," check out Destination Trail.

I seriously can't thank Kerry and Chris enough for their care and concern in keeping me healthy. It means an incredible amount to me that words can't describe. I can't wait to see what opportunities and results this year will bring because "together we can do so much."

Side Note:

Happy Valentine's Day to my best friend in the entire world - I love you a stupid amount!

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