Long time no blog! I tend not to blog when there’s not much to say, and as I briefly mentioned in my last post, I’ve been taking a little bit of time off from running. My groin started bothering me almost two weeks ago, so I’ve been taking it easy. Every morning, my legs feel really stiff and it takes awhile for them to wake up, which certainly doesn’t make me feel great about running. However, I also recently mentioned that I registered for the Rock ‘n Roll Dallas Half Marathon, which happened to be this past weekend. Yikes!
Eric and I left on Thursday to fly to Dallas, but not before I headed out for a short run to test the waters. By this point, I’d taken a week off and still felt really stiff. I hobbled a little bit through Central Park, only aiming for about twenty minutes of running. It wasn’t the best, but my legs did loosen up a bit, so I had a glimmer of hope for a race on Sunday, although I asked Eric a million times if anyone would care if I didn’t race. (I’m paranoid, it’s fine.)
We scored a great deal on these flights – Spirit Airlines, which is a cheap, no frills airline to begin with, had a steal of a deal, and we got both of our roundtrip tickets for just under a total of $200. My flight to Dallas in August would have been about $350 had I not used airline miles. MADNESS. Eric’s mom lives in Dallas, and his brother lives right nearby, and his sister and her family came up from Austin for the weekend, so it would have been a good weekend race or no race. (Side note on the flight as well – a five-year-old who was by himself was sitting next to us. Him jumping up and down on the seat didn’t make for the most peaceful flight…)
The days leading up to the race were fun – some running activities and the full Texas experience.
Last time I was in Dallas, I believe it was 100 degrees, if not close. HOT HOT HOT. This time around, it was about 55 degrees with a threat of rain. Music to my running ears! I packed shorts, tank tops, and t-shirts for running. I made the mistake of wearing the t-shirt one day – I forgot how humid Texas can be! Tank tops for sure.
On Friday, I took it out really easy, not sure how my groin would feel. My legs were tight from the flight. There wasn’t so much pain in my leg as there was tightness. Sometimes I loosen up, but this time I never really did. It didn’t help (maybe not the right words…) that I only ran three miles, as I tend to warm up after a few more than that. I’ll also take that with a grain of salt as I don’t think it should take five miles to warm up.
Friday, March 20 – 3.04 miles in 25:03, avg pace of 8:14
After running and lunch, we headed to Dallas for the expo so I could pick up my bib…still not quite sure if I was going to run. The expo was pretty typical, and I spent most of the time wondering if I should buy a visor to potentially wear on race day. I forgot to pack one of mine and the weather forecast was iffy for rain – visors make running in the rain SO much better. I almost bought a “Don’t Mess With the Run” shirt that was a play on the “Don’t Mess with Texas” saying, but the shirt didn’t fit me right – sad day.
Otherwise, we checked out the Rock ‘n Roll Headquarters, highlighting their various races and seeing all the medal options! Some favorites…
I left the expo still not sure if I was going to run or not. My plan was to go for a run on Saturday and decide from there. I wanted to run four or five miles – if I struggled with that I wouldn’t race. My legs were a little looser than they had been, but I felt okay. My groin was noticeable, but certainly not painful. I felt okay, all things considered, and even opened up a bit in the end. Running didn’t feel like the greatest ever, but it wasn’t bad. I ended with a 7:43 mile and that felt almost like normal…just with that “When is this going to hurt?” voice in the back of my head.
Saturday, March 21 – 5.01 miles in 40:37, avg pace of 8:06
I spent the rest of the day wondering if I should run. Would it be silly to even try? I know the advice I would give to anyone else in my situation – don’t run. I want to run Eugene, and I still have plenty of time to take some time off and heal up. I know it would be the smart thing to do. I know I didn’t want to drag Eric’s entire family into Dallas early on Sunday just to pull out of the race after a few miles. But I couldn’t say no, and Eric told me no one would hate me if I didn’t run or if I stopped after a few miles. So I figured that’s what I would do – try to run, take it easy, and stop if I needed to.
Still not the smartest, I know…but I wanted to try. (That’s all for now!)
the texas stuff
Blue Bell ice cream is well known in Texas – not sure where all it’s available, but I know it’s not available in NYC. I consider myself a little bit of an ice cream snob (get that low fat away from me…), and Blue Bell is definitely something to look forward to. Eric chose Moo-llennium Crunch as the flavor of choice for the weekend, and it did not disappoint! The nuts in the ice cream were much better than I expected – I tend to prefer sweet over salty, but they were delicious. Texans are lucky people when it comes to ice cream!
While ice cream is pretty harmless (assuming you’re not eating the entire half gallon at a time…), our other Texas activity had me a little nervous. In Texas, you’re allowed to own firearms, and multiple people in Eric’s family do! Eric had mentioned going clay shooting while we were there, but the weather didn’t quite cooperate for outdoor shooting. Instead, we headed to an outdoor store that had a shooting range. I’ve shot shotguns with my uncle a couple times – last time being when I was maybe 17. It was fine then, I figured it’d be fine again. Right? Hmmm.
We headed to the range complete with eye and ear protection, but after a few seconds inside the range, I had to walk out because it was so loud. We bought the foam earplugs to put under the ear protection, which was much better. (The gun safety rules were also reviewed, in case you were wondering.) The range had five-six lanes, and some of the lanes were already occupied. This is where I realized that guns don’t make me nervous, but other people with guns make me nervous. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I don’t really trust other people who have the potential to hurt me, so I got really, really nervous. I’m pretty sure I almost cried at one point – so manly, Susan. Once we got going, I felt a little better, and for some reason seeing adults with their children put me a little more at ease. They wouldn’t bring them here if they didn’t think it was safe, right? So many thoughts. I did ponder sitting outside and not going in at all, so there’s that.
I won’t post the video because it has so many loud noises, but that also means you can’t see my hands shaking the entire time. Apparently I’m not a terrible shot from 10-15 feet, but any more than that and it gets a bit iffy. The guns (not surprisingly…) have a bit of a kick and it’s easy to feel the power…and they still make me nervous! (How many times can I say “nervous” in this post? Ha.) Luckily I won’t be buying guns anytime soon (not that I could if I wanted to), and this definitely solidifies that I won’t be joining the Army anytime soon…or ever.
Certainly a good way to work out some pre-race nerves, I suppose…
and to top of the randomness…
March Madness started last week, and my Terps are already out after losing to West Virginia on Sunday. So sad. What’s also sad is that Villanova fell, and their piccolo player was caught crying on national television…
I can mainly talk about this because I spent my college years in the marching and pep bands…
SO LONG AGO. I might cry about that part.
However, the piccolo player was on Jimmy Fallon, played with the Roots, and got tickets to a Taylor Swift concert…so I guess it was worth the tears. Color me jealous.
Stay tuned for more on race day in Dallas! I’ll give you a break for now.
How do you decide when to run again if you’re feeling some pain/injury? Favorite ice cream band? Is your team still in for March Madness?