Savannah Rock N Roll Race Recap

5 of us were to meet at Starbucks to leave for Savannah on Thursday afternoon, but life would throw us some curve balls leading up to our adventure.  One of my BRF’s Kelly started having neck pain and arm numbness earlier in the week.  We ran together Wednesday morning, and she was doing ok, but by Wednesday afternoon, she was in a lot of pain.  Her symptoms were eerily similar to my problem with my neck that kept me off my bike for a couple of months.  Wednesday evening, I got a text from her saying that she was going to the chiropractor and her doctor on Thursday morning, and she might not make it to meet us to leave at 1PM.

Thursday morning started off pretty crazy as it usually does when I’m going anywhere since I wait until the last minute to pack, but I managed to get my stuff together and triple check to make sure I had everything, and then check again.  I think I have some OCD tendencies, but somehow I still managed to forget my pillows.  I left the house with a couple of errands to run prior to picking up my BRF’s.  I filled the car up, and I headed to Dani’s house then Gem’s house to pick them up, and finally to Starbucks to grab Kelly who had called earlier and said she was going to make it.  When Kelly arrived, we could tell that she was in a lot of pain still, but we were all hopeful that she’d feel better the next day.  Natalie finally arrived about 20 minutes late, which is par for the course for her, but we love her anyway, and we tease the snot out of her about her lack of time management, but she seems to handle it all in stride.  We managed to fit all 5 of our luggage into the Suburban, and we were off.

The ride down was fairly uneventful, and we arrived in Savannah in about 3 1/2 hours.  We found our house, quickly unloaded the car, met Rachel at the house, and headed to the expo.

savannah expo

6 of our 8 housemates at the expo

The expo was huge as usual at the Rock N Roll events.  We all picked up our packets and several of us changed our corrals which was very easy to do.  You just had to ask at the corral change table, and they put a sticker on your bib with your new corral.  After changing corrals, we all wandered around for an hour or two, and I spent way too much money before we left.

We drove to Riverstreet, and actually found parking.  Parking on Thursday night isn’t too bad since most of the runners don’t arrive until Friday.  We found a restaurant called Barracuda Bob’s that had great food.  After dinner, we headed back to the house where we met our other 2 housemates for the weekend Kris & Jennifer.  The two of them didn’t know any of us before meeting us in Savannah, but they fit right in with our crew, and we all had a great weekend.

Friday morning, Kelly was still in a ton of pain, so she called someone to drive to Savannah to come pick her up.  It sucked, but for her, it was definitely the best thing since she is still in severe pain today.  She has already had an MRI, and it showed a couple of herniated disc.  She’s in a neck brace, and hopefully it will heal on it’s own.

We were going to drive to Kroger, but as we walked out the back door of the house to go to the car, I saw a big brick building that I recognized from last year.  Yep, that’s right.  Kroger was literally across the street from our house.  We all made a quick trip to Kroger for dinner items, and then we all walked around Savannah to check out the sites and to see where the start and finish lines were.  As we stepped out our front door and walked down the steps, we could see a tent set up at Forsyth Park for the race already.  We were just over a block from the street with the finish line, so we walked to Forsyth Park, and headed towards the start from there.  We were about a mile from the start line which would be about a 15-20 minute walk on Saturday morning.  While on Bay St., we decided to try Tondee’s Tavern for lunch, another GREAT restaurant.  I’ve always stuck to the rule of nothing new to eat the night before a race, so for dinner, we were cooking pasta in the house, and for lunch at Tondee’s I stuck with ribs.  I’ve eaten ribs hundreds of times before, and they’ve never caused an upset stomach in the past, plus it’s lunch, so I should be good, right?  WRONG!  They didn’t bother my stomach, but if you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I had a pretty bad allergic reaction last month while in Florida.  Well, guess what?  That’s right, 38 years of my life and I’ve only had one allergic reaction a month ago, so it only makes since that I’d have another one the night before my half.  My head had started itching an hour or so after lunch, but I didn’t think much about it, but as the evening went on, I started itching more, and then I realized I had hives popping up, not tiny hives either.  I was in denial and hoping it was just something on my skin, so I headed to the shower only to discover how many I had all over me.  After my shower, I walked to Kroger to purchase Benadryl and Pepcid, but by this time, I was getting nervous and itching like crazy.  I took the medicine, and over the next hour, the reaction just continued to get worse, so I admitted that I needed to go to Urgent Care.  I’m not sure if it was anxiety or if the reaction was affecting my breathing, but my chest did feel tight.  Dani rode with me to UC.  She’s a nurse, so I was in good hands.  I walked in, and the nurse working called the dr on call.  He gave orders over the phone to give me a shot of Benadryl, Zantac, and a steroid, and he would be there shortly.  When he arrived, he listened to my breathing, and asked if I was having any trouble breathing, and I told him my chest felt a little tight, but I wasn’t sure if it was the reaction or anxiety, and he said I wasn’t breathing in all the way.  He proceeded to look at me and ask if I was running the race in the morning, to which I replied, “yes.”  He then said, “you know there are other races, right?”  Ummmm…. no!  I told him, “yes, but I trained for this one.”  He then asked what time the race started.  It started at 7AM, and that facility didn’t open until 8AM, so he wanted me to come in to the other Urgent Care that is 24 hours in the morning before the race to do a breathing treatment.  Ugh, our house is less than 2 blocks from the finish line, and we’re surrounded by the course.  Some roads are already closed.  Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen and me make it to the start in time, so back to the house I went feeling kind of out of it from the Benadryl and not really knowing if I’d be able to run the race in the AM.

I didn’t sleep well that night, apparently the steroid counteracted any sleepiness that could have been induced by the Benadryl.  I woke up every hour at least looking at my watch to see if it was time to get up yet.  Dani said the steroid (dex-something) was a lot stronger steroid than what I probably had the first time.  Finally, around 4-something, the house started to stir, and we were all up and about.  All the hives were actually gone!  It took days last time, so it must have been a stronger steroid, and I didn’t wait as long to go to the dr this time either.  I felt back to normal, so I was hopeful that I could PR my half.  Since we were so close to the start, we decided to wait until 6:15 to head to the start line for the 7:00 start.  One last potty trip, and we were all out the door.  The weather had been up in the air, but it ended up being a pretty nice temperature.  It was a little chilly, but not too cold.  I headed out in a short sleeve shirt, hat, ear cover, gloves, a skirt, and arm sleeves.  On the way to the start, we passed a set of porta-potties, so we stopped one last time since we were about 2 blocks from the start, and we got to Bay St. right around 6:55.  We snapped a quick group photo and headed to our corrals.

savannah group

Our group at the start

Dani and I headed to corral 11 to start together just before the corrals all started to move.  As I started in mile 1, I knew my pace was a little fast as the course starts with a slight downhill, so I quickly slowed down, and ended up right where I needed to be for my average over the first mile.  The next 2 miles were pretty much flat and right on my target pace.  I’m not sure what happened in mile 4, but somehow, I ended up at an 11:10 average which was definitely slower than I needed to be, but I quickly got back on target and was starting to hit negative splits, and all was going well until around mile 10 when my pace went back up to 10:31, and I felt like I was struggling to breathe some.  I kept debating if it was all in my head or if my chest was really starting to tighten up, and then I started hearing myself wheeze some.  I’m still not sure if it was from the allergic reaction, or if I just got in my head, but miles 10, 11, & 12 were a struggle, and I finally felt like I caught my breath again around the end of mile 12.  I knew I was going to be close to my PR, but I wasn’t sure as to how close because I thought my PR was 2:17:23, but that was my Garmin time, not my official PR.  I hadn’t entered it into my Garmin page, so I was going off the wrong time.  My real PR was 2:17:42.  I wish I’d have known, and I keep kicking myself for not knowing it.  I question if I could have pushed just a little harder in that last mile if I’d known if was that close.  Mile 13 came in at 10:03, and I felt I had lost my PR, so I wonder if I didn’t push as hard as I might have in the last 2/10ths.  When I finished I thought I’d missed my PR by about 30 seconds, but later I found out my real PR, and my official finish time was 2:17:54.  12 seconds, 12 freaking seconds!  Was it that I didn’t know my PR?  Was it the allergic reaction?  Was I just not back to where I was before injuries?  I don’t know, but January 4th is the Red Nose Half Marathon in Columbus, GA.  It’s a free certified half marathon, and I WILL PR it.

As for now, I have allergy testing on December 4th to try to figure out what I’m allergic to, and on December 7th, I’m running my longest race to date of 30K(18.6miles) in Rome, GA.  I’m feeling pretty good about it.  I have a 16 mile run next weekend, then the race will be my next long run.  I’m hoping to gain some confidence in myself by running this 30K, and we’ll see what the future holds.

My Garmin data http://connect.garmin.com/activity/403210069

MRTTsavannah ASR savannah

The Big Day

Tomorrow morning at 9:50 I am scheduled for the steroid injection in my neck to help with the nerve the bone spur or disc is pressing on.  I found out at my last doctor’s appointment that I will be put under general anesthesia for the injection, and I’ve been having second thoughts ever since.  The numbness is annoying and at times it hurts, but is it worth going through with all this?  General anesthesia isn’t something to be taken lightly, so I’ve been mulling that question in my mind over and over again.

The numbness started back at the beginning of May and progressively got worse until I could no longer ride my bike because it was causing so much pain.  When I first quit riding, the pain & numbness stayed the same, but in the last month and a half, they have gotten less persistent.  Which makes me question if I should just wait it out.

I really want to get back on my bike though, and every time I think, “maybe it’s done being numb & hurting,” it somehow reminds me, and it did so last night while I sat on the bleachers watching my daughter at her practice, and it proceeded to remind me during my sleep last night as well, so I will be going ahead with the injection in the morning.

I’ve been told that it should improve pretty quickly, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I might be able to make the last evening group rides of the season next week, probably wishful thinking.  We shall see………….

My butt is dead….

I had my first physical therapy appt today, and the PT thinks I have multiple issues, but the Sacroiliac joint is not the real problem.  It seems slightly different on the left versus the right, but it’s not too bad.  Instead, she said that I have “LAS, Lazy A$$ Sydrome.”  Say what?  I biked almost 100 miles last week and swam over 1500m.  What do you mean I have LAS?  What’d you do last week?  Lol, luckily, I had heard of Dead Butt Syndrome previously from 2 women in our running group, so I knew what she was referring to.  I also have tight hamstrings since they want to do all the work that my butt isn’t doing, and I have a tight hip flexor and tight piriformis muscles as well.

So, LAS and Dead Butt Syndrome are the same thing, and what it basically means is that your butt muscles aren’t firing like they should be and instead other muscles are compensating which leads to injury & soreness.  Fortunately, due to the urging of several running buddies, I went to the doctor before mine went on for months and got extremely bad.  I can actually still make mine work with a good bit of thought in one of my new exercises as shown in this PDF at least through step #3 http://www.emr.msu.edu/documents/rehab/gluteus_maximus_retraining.pdf.  I can’t go to step 4 yet because I still sometimes contract my hamstring first on the way up or release my gluteus maximus contraction before my hamstring on the way back down.  In my second exercise, the clam shell exercise shown here http://www.mikereinold.com/2011/04/the-hip-external-rotation-clamshell-exercise.html, I can do without much thought, but I don’t use the band yet because it starts burning pretty quickly, and it’s definitely targeting the area where I am feeling pain when running.  This isn’t something that develops overnight.  It’s apparently from a lack of my butt muscles engaging for a while which has also caused some/a lot of tightness in my hamstring as well since it’s compensating.

The good thing about today’s appt is that the PT came across much more optimistic about me getting back to running that the doctor did the other day, and it all seems to be muscular related rather than joint related.  That’s good, right?  I think so, but then again I’m not a doctor, so I guess that’s a question I should have asked.  Next week, I get dry needling done.  Can’t wait for that! ~note sarcasm

Anyway, all you runners out there, make sure you’re not a lazy a$$ runner and engage those glutes!  lol