The last 10 days have been rough as my body rebelled and forced me to slow down and realize that I have to take care of it in order to recover from a race. The night of the Orange Curtain 100K, I could not sleep; maybe it was the adrenaline still pumping or a standard bout of insomnia but, regardless, it was not what I needed. I spent the next several days exhausted and unable to sleep well at night...not exactly what is good for recovering, allowing the body to heal, preparing for traveling cross-country. While I did not suffer from DOMS or any major discomfort, I continued to feel the pain in the arch of my foot and the knee/quad/ITB tightness in my right leg. I went to PT last Monday for ultrasound, massage, stretching and to the chiro for ART on Tuesday. I still felt the lingering issues so I took most of the week off running, except for 30 minutes on the treadmill Wednesday.
I knew I was going to Tampa tired and not recovered, but the trip was for a good cause (Operation Jack) so I looked forward to it. Unfortunately, I awoke Friday at 3am feeling like knives were embedded in my throat, the sure sign I was getting sick. My friend Sam picked me up for the airport and we embarked on our journey; two long plane rides later we arrived in Tampa. After eventually getting dinner at Macaroni Grill with one of Sam's biggest Operation Jack supporters (and her running buddies) and picking up a selection of cold medicines and Airborne, I looked forward to a good night's rest and hoped I'd feel okay to sign up and register for the 15K the next morning.
I had to have coffee and a chocolate donut hole...why don't we have these in Cali?!
Neither one happened as I felt progressively worse but I decided to head to the expo and hangout/shop while Sam ran the 15k and the 5k. Tampa puts on a series of races as part of the Gasparilla Classic, though this year was the last year they will host a marathon due to low participation and the cost of it. I was very impressed with the expo and with the organization of the race, the goodies given out, the selection of post-race beverages and food...basically, everything!
After the expo, we grabbed brunch at Cracker Barrel near my brother's house; I grew up loving their food and one problem with rarely having the chance to eat at one is that I cannot decided what to order. I LOVE their biscuits and hashbrown casserole but wanted breakfast so I ordered one with: 2 eggbeaters, turkey sausage, hashbrown casserole, grits (bleh), biscuits and gravy. WOW! So much food...I ate waaaaayyy too much but did not finish all of this monstrosity:
I was very tired (waking up at 4am without sleeping=need a nap) but feeling so sick that I failed to sleep much that afternoon and evening. Needless to say, I was very happy that I had made the wise decision of registering for the 1/2, not the full! Getting to the race was easy, despite the freeway being closed right before our exit due to a wreck, and I loved having zero pressure to run fast or hard. Being sick made my plan of running slowly easy to manage. The race started in the dark and we ran through some nice neighborhoods, with the highlight being the fire juggler...very cool to see during a race! The arch of my foot started hurting during mile 1 and I regretted my decision to wear my custom orthotics as they fit my arch too well and were pressing on the "messed up" spot every second; around mile 3, my right knee/quad/ITB got super tight and I started counting down the miles. The race was pancake flat and I kept eyeing the grass when we ran along the bay as I wished for hills or trails, with grass being the closest I could see. I stuck to the asphalt and was so happy to see the finish line as my foot and right leg were killing. Crossed it in 1 hour 50 minutes with my Garmin showing 13.3 miles; I sucked at tangents and weaved a lot during that short time. I limped back to my car for a sweatshirt and returned to see Sam finish, ogle the food but not eat any of it, snap some pics, chug some coffee.
Tampa and Pirates...it makes sense!
Sam and I sporting our Operation Jack shirts and nifty medals
Just some of the food provided by the Columbia restaurant...
Sticker in the Starbucks across from the race...so true!!!
Since the arch of my foot hurt so much, I decided to cave and buy Vibram KSOs in Tampa at Fit2Run, a runner's paradise. My best friend helped me choose the least weird color (black was sold-out in my size) and I sported them around the mall and at lunch since my foot felt better in them than in my Mizunos. Hmm...I'll keep testing them and let you know my final verdict. Since I've been sick (can't shake this cold), I've been taking rest days and hope that my arch and still hurting right leg heal soon. Fingers crossed as the Malibu Creek 50k is only days away.