The Marathon I Never Mentioned Here – Illinois 2013

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything to this blog. And it’s a little odd, I know, that I never said anything about the Illinois Marathon back in April that I worked so hard for.

The expo was great, and I was READY to run. I worked hard to get to the point where I thought I’d given it what I could training wise. And what an awesome way to start a race weekend – photo op with THE great Kathrine Switzer. This was the second time I’d met her, and this time I have to say she was even more gracious. She took time to meet with each person in line, and sign autographs and take pictures. With KVSwitzer at the Ill Marathon ExpoShe signed both my Illinois Marathon poster and my Boston Red Sox hat (both with “Krista! Be Fearless!”). If you don’t know her story, check it out. SHE is the fearless one, and so many women since that fateful Boston Marathon in 1967 have gotten strength and courage to run another step from this amazing woman. Also at the expo I ran into an old high school friend of mine, Marnee Heller Feldman. What a neat surprise.

It was a great race, great weekend. It was my best marathon, by far. My finish time was 4:57:23. My goal was to come in under 5:00 and I made it. Barely. But I’ll take it! At the finish I felt pretty good. Really good, to be honest. But by the time we’d met friends for a beer after the race, I was done. I was dizzy, feeling faint and sick. I had just *really* pushed myself. Turns out I wasn’t right again for at least a week. On the drive home I was drinking Pedia-lyte, the drink for sick kids who need electrolyte replacement. All well worth it for the finish time and getting to hang with KV for awhile, but I hope to never repeat that feeling again, thank you very much!

Another really great thing about this race was the support among runners and the crowds for Boston. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings had occurred less than two weeks before, and it was on a lot of peoples’ minds the day of the Illinois race. As I ran, on several Finish for Boston Signoccasions, random race watchers would shout “Go Boston!” to me as I passed, obviously a nod to my baseball hat I was wearing to show my own support…. but I’m telling you, for this girl, who loves Boston so much, that was really cool. It’s amazing what the seemingly small things can do for your psyche during long runs. This woman’s sign, at about mile 19, helped me to finish strong. Boston Strong, yes, but also Krista Strong. 🙂

So given that I was feeling really terrible, physically, I took the next month off. Then it was summer vacation season, etc., etc… Needless to say, I wasn’t running much. Then I went for a couple great runs in Charleston, SC, while vacationing there. All was well, I thought, until my left hip started hurting. What SUCKS? It didn’t STOP hurting until, say, a couple of weeks ago! After an X-ray, CT scan and an MRI, no damage. Just a muscle issue. But a HELLUVA muscle issue, to be sure. Technically it was my iliac crest giving me fits, or something around it. Or behind it. Yeah, good times.

This is a testament to resting when injured. I mean, really resting. It is the hardest thing for a runner to do. I worked so hard! I will lose all my Illinois Marathon Finish 2013conditioning! I would lay off it for a while, then try to run again, and it would hurt all over again. The reality was, I wasn’t resting enough. So in September I did some travelling and was pretty much forced to stop running. I got some much needed rest and rejuvenation, and guess what? It worked. A couple months ago, I started working with a personal trainer, strengthening my core, and running only very little. We’ve increased my running very slowly and deliberately, and I seem to be doing just fine.

So here’s the kicker. The farthest I’ve run since June is 3.5 miles. Tomorrow I’m going for 6. And next weekend? I’m running the Detroit Half Marathon on Sunday, October 20. I’m looking forward to it, though I know going into it that I am not as prepared as I want to be.

We’ll see how it goes. 🙂 But for the first time in months and months, I’m feeling like a runner again. Forward!

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