So it’s been awhile since y’all have had an update, so I shall start from the beginning.
After my decision not to run the Carmel Marathon, I made an appointment to see an orthopedic surgeon for some sort of diagnosis or direction. After xrays and some poking and prodding, I was told that there were no bony problems (yay!), but what I was most likely dealing with was a piriformis/ gluteal strain (boo). No drugs, no need for surgery, but he did tell me that not running was my best option and that physical therapy would be of some help. So after a teeny tiny bit of pouting but tons of determination, I set myself up for my first PT eval the following week. My (physical) therapist, Bob, has been fabulous from the moment we met. In so many words, he told me that I’m a “last minute” pronator, which has caused some tightness in my TFL, which, with high-mileage marathon training, has finally led to some strain. That first session, he popped my hips back into place after noticing some leg length inequality (ouch), did some maaaaajor stretching to see where the pain was at (ouch), and proceeded with a little something called ASTYM. ASTYM is essentially breaking down the scar tissue to allow regeneration of tissues/ ligaments/ muscles so that I will run a little more “properly” and pain free. Think of it as a mini foam rolling session, only with cocoa butter and a small plastic torture device. Hurts. So. Good. I have bruises to prove it.
After my first session, Bob told me that as long as I wasn’t in terrible pain, that running on flat surfaces should be just fine. So I took his advice and went for a test run on the Greenway last Sunday. Though I could tell the hip issue was still there, it was much quieter than on previous runs. So at a steady pace I ran, taking as many walk breaks as needed, and finished off with 4.4 satisfying miles in 44 satisfying minutes. To say I was happy would be an understatement. Me minus running equals a grumpasaurus.
I continued to take things easy, but after a few more painless runs during the week, I decided that I was going to give this weekend’s Mini Marathon a go. I knew good and well that I could be miserable, but I also knew that I could push through the pain. And after this weekend, I knew I’d have plenty of time to rest before my next running engagement (Ragnar!).
Dad and I signed up for this race together at the end of last year. Little did we know that we’d both be cripples come race day. After his PR in Chicago a month ago, his knee has been acting up. Swelling, discomfort, etc. He also went to an orthopod, who sent him for an MRI on Monday with the thought that he may have a meniscal tear. His doc called him the next day to tell him that there weren’t any tears, but he did have a small effusion that he needed to monitor. Since hardheadedness runs in the Moceri family, we decided, ah what the hell ~ let’s run 13.1 this weekend 🙂
The hubs and I swung by the Mini Marathon Expo on Thursday while taking care of some business downtown. I think we spent more time parking and walking to and from the Convention Center then we did actually inside. But I was so happy to get our packets and not have to make three trips downtown like last year.
The rents arrived on Friday night and we endulged in some pre-race pasta while storms rolled through Muncie. I was hoping some of the rain would wash away the projected heat/ humidity, but more on that later. We did some brief strategizing, but decided that our main goal was just to finish the race upright. Though a 2-hour finish would be alright if the stars happened to align 😉
Our alarms went off at 445 Saturday morning and we sluggishly got ourselves geared up. My Weather Channel app said the rain was heading south of Indy, but the humidity was already about 97% with temps in the 70s. Ugh. After slamming some oatmeal n’ PB and grabbing my fuel belt, we were on the road downtown by 530a.
With nearly 40,000 runners, the energy during Mini Marathon weekend is always nothing short of amazing. Like cattle, we crawled up to the corral where the Perfect Strangers were meeting pre-race. I had gotten some texts from Meggie saying her, Karen and Christi were stuck in traffic and were going to be a few minutes late. As we approached letter E, I literally stumbled into Jaime, Kelly and Meghan. Those turquoise #perfectstranger tank tops are hard to miss 🙂 As the announcers were already telling everyone to get in their corrals by 7a, we snapped a few quick pics before heading our separate ways.
Back in corral K, Dad and I tried our best to suppress our pre-race jitters. After some more discussion, we decided that we would try to run as much as possible over the next couple of hours, as starting and stopping can be just as painful on already sore joints. After applying Breathe Right strips, watching a few fireworks and listening to the national anthem, we set off on our 4th half marathon as a duo.
As soon as we took off, the soupiness of the air was more than palpable. Ugh, it was THICK. I was very happy I brought my fuel belt so we wouldn’t have to battle the masses at every water stop. Within the first mile, while running past the Indianapolis Zoo, we passed a HUGE elephant who was watching quietly from the sidelines. So cool.
Dad and I started off strong. Our first couple miles were at a fast pace (for us) – 9:11/ 9:16/ 9:10/ 9:22. We passed belly dancers, cloggers, and a couple PITAREAS. Around mile 4, we saw Meghan, Jake, et. al. on the other side of the median. “FREEMAN!” I yelled. We commiserated about the conditions for a few minutes before we took off ahead. Dad was cruising at this point, and I didn’t want to hold him back 😉
We decided to “gel up” about three times throughout the race. Just before we headed into Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), we took down gel numero uno. Again, so glad I had my fuel belt with me so I always had water accessible. The “Yard of Bricks” is cool to start, but as time goes on, the monotony gets old. And the beating sun/ humidity did not help one bit. We held our own for miles 6-8 (9:48/ 10:06/ 9:55), but mile 9 just wasn’t happening. Dad’s upper back was cramping for some reason and he told me he needed to walk for a bit. So we did, logging an 11:17 mile, picking things up just before heading out of the Speedway.
Miles 10-12 were slow and steady but VERY hot and humid. The sun was relentless. And Dad’s knee was hurting. Fortunately, my hips were eerily quiet. We were walking through every water stop, which we had been doing all along, but the last few were a little longer than those past. Our splits were reflective of our misery, but still consistent (10:07/ 10:34/ 10:18). Possibly the best part of the race was at mile 11.5. Kelly had informed us that her friend, Brenna was going to be out on the corner with a PS poster and a bag of ice cubes. All my focus was geared towards finding this girl. And sure enough, as we made the turn onto White River, there she was. “Perfect Strangers!” I screamed. And Dad and I trotted over to grab a handful of the cold cubes. One in front, one in the mouth. I didn’t care how many hands had been in that bag already.
As we approached the final stretch, I looked at Dad, gave him a fist bump, and said “let’s do this.” We opened things up and pushed as hard as we could, weaving in and out of everyone in our path. I could tell Dad was not feeling great, and people around us were literally dropping like flies. We saw IV bags, EMTs, and even a person being hooked up to a defibrillator. Definitely not a race for the weak. But we prevailed. And in that last 800m, we locked arms and crossed the finish line together.
Official times, 2:10:44 and 2:10:45 (Dad FTW :))
As we approached the medal hander outers, no one seemed to want to place one around my neck! I finally made eye contact with a nice-looking boy and said, “Can I have my medal please?!” He said, “Of course you can! Congrats Briana!” For the love.
Mom and Nick met up with us as soon as we started making our way through the food area. After getting our official post-race pic, we moseyed on into the post-race party in Military Park. We met up with the rest of the Perfect Strangers on the grassy knoll, who were already 1 beer deep. Dad and I got our bevs and the laughter/ picture taking ensued 😛
Then this happened.
After a bit more celebrating, we took off in search of food. Dad & I enjoyed a nice Roxy ride successful in wiping away some of our swass. We found ourselves at Scotty’s Brewhouse where we partook in the bloody mary bar and heaps of dill chips. Mom and I made another stop at Gigi’s Cupcakes to pick up some sweet treats for later. The rest of the day consisted of napping, drinking, and eating. A perfect Cinco de Mayo.
I’m so proud of Dad and I for knocking out yet another race, especially in the horrid weather and the physical conditions he and I were in. And I’m happy to say: my hip feels fantastic! Dad’s knee on the other hand is not in tip top shape, but as noted above, we have quite a bit of time before our next run. I’m so grateful for every race we can run together. And as long as we can, we will.