Friday, December 7, 2012

Wrap-up / Fall-out

So here we are five days post CIM, which has been long enough for me to get some time & distance from the race & trust my ability to think about it rationally, but recent enough that I still feel like a total baddass just for finishing. High five to the rest of y'all, too. In case you'd forgotten, you're still a freaking beast.

First, a foot update. On Wednesday I went to The Orthopedic Institute at UCSF Sports Medicine (conveniently located just a couple of miles from me) & saw a foot / ankle specialist. They did some x-rays, took my history, did some general poking & prodding of the area, & declared me stress fracture free, which was a great relief. (Actually, what they said was that it's technically possible I have one somewhere since MRI & not x-ray is the definitive tool for spotting them, but nothing on the x-rays suggested one & when they poked & prodded my bones none of them were painful or tender.)

The doctor diagnosed me with severe distal peroneal tendonitis, which is caused by chronic overloading of the peroneal tendons (ie, doing stuff like this and this). For the next four weeks I am to avoid weight bearing as much as possible and wear lateral heel lifts in my shoes whenever I can, which is supposed to prevent the supination & take some of the load off the tendons. I'm also back in this guy for every-day walking around:

(Which you may remember from last fall's epic Battle Shin Splints.)

In the mean time, the doctor suggested pool running or elliptical-ing through the end of the year to keep up my cardio until I can run again. There is a deep water running class at UCSF on Tuesday & Thursday mornings, so I'm hoping I can arrange my work schedule to make that. Which will also mean buying a swimsuit at some point I guess. In any case, I am walking fine now in the brace, though I've learned that I can only walk about a quarter mile at a time before it gets achey.

Second, a race inquiry update. I saw on Monday that the unofficial results listed my chip time as being the same as my gun time (3:55:40), & since I knew it took me at least a minute to cross the mat, I filed an inquiry about it. Today, CIM sent me this note:

    "On Sunday Dec 2, at the 2012 CIM start line, one quadrant/mat failed at one hour 35 minutes of successful operation due to the electronic reader box being compromised by wind-driven water - blowing the circuits and shutting it down completely.

    We appreciate your understanding our race philosophy on scoring and apologize if this unfortunate omission of chip start data has caused you any personal disappointment. Again, congratulations on completing the CIM under arguably the most difficult conditions ever experienced in Sacramento running. We look forward to hosting you in future CIM’s."

That was pretty much what I guessed -- some electronic malfunction due to the weather. Eh, no biggie. Though in retrospect, boy, am I glad my gun / Garmin times straddle the 3:54-55 line and not the BQ line. Because that really would have sucked.

Third, some other post-marathon thoughts.

2A) Last year, I couldn't even walk like a normal person until the Thursday after the race. I slept ten hours a day for a solid week, & generally felt sluggish for about two. A month passed before I could even think about running again. This year (with the exception of the busted foot) I felt almost normal by Tuesday evening -- just a little residual soreness in my quads & hamstrings. If not for my foot, I think I could've probably handled a little 20 minute jog on Thursday. So that was kind of cool & bodes well for future marathons.

2B) At CIM '11, my only real investment in the whole thing was getting one race under my belt for the experience and seeing how I felt about it. I had a great time, but it took enough of a mental toll on me that when it was over I couldn't even think about running another. Not that I had decided I didn't want to--I just couldn't think about it one way or the other. I thought that maybe by the time registration for CIM '12 opened, I would be ready to consider it, but I wasn't. Not until July could I even imagine the possibility without my brain shutting off, and it wasn't until August that I was ready to sign up.

This year was totally different. It's unlikely that I'll be able to train for CIM next year due to traveling, so since September I'd been stalking a marathon in Southern California next May called Mountains 2 Beach (formerly the Ojai to Ocean Marathon). It's a pretty small race (1,000 runners) that tends to sell out fairly early, but I held off on signing up because I remembered how burned out I felt last fall towards the end of CIM training & how it took me so long to mentally feel ready to think about marathons again. Towards the end of November I was still feeling really good mentally about running & training, though, & since the first price increase was December 1, I pulled the trigger.

Now, I wouldn't blame anyone who went through what I did on Sunday if they vowed never to run a marathon again. But as it turns out, I am already SUPER stoked for a do-over. (And you know what happens in Southern California in May? NOT FREAKING MONSOONS.)

Fellow CIM peeps, I hope you are recovering well & haven't suffered any long-term damage, physically or psychologically. Happy weekend!!


  1. I hope the foot heals super quickly!
    After the first couple marathons I did, I needed a 2 hour nap immediately afterwards and could barely function the rest of the day... now it's just another day, pretty much.
    I'm SUPER tempted to sign up for another marathon for redemption but I have a 70.3 to start wrapping my head around.
    ANYWAY, happy that you're fired up and ready to go for your next marathon!

  2. So glad that you don't have a stress fracture! Hopefully by resting for the remainder of the year you can get yourself 100%.
    I am glad that minus the foot issue you recovered so quickly. I was told by a runner once that the more marathons you run, the easier it is for you to recover. I laughed at them until my 3rd marathon (CIM last year). When I was able to slowly run 3 miles the next day I pretty much became a believer.

    It is a bummer that the mat failed, but it doesn't surprise me with all of the rain. They are probably lucky that more mats didn't fail.

  3. Bummer to hear about your ankle, hopefully it feels better soon. And the aircast was my best friend for 5 months it seemed like, hopefully you are able to dump that soon!

  4. CIM 2012 was my first marathon. The weather didn't really bother me but I did run a slower pace than I believe I'm capable of. I actually signed up for Mountains2Beach about a week before CIM due to a really good discount through my running group. At mile 23 I vowed that the first thing I would do when I got home was to cancel my M2B registration and that I would never run another F@#$ing marathon again. I'm still signed up for M2B though lol. I had a controllable urge to cry when I finished and for the next few days the feeling to cry would come back again if I thought about how much the last few miles hurt. My soreness only lasted 2 days but I got sick (I never get sick) and am still sick :(. I do admit though that I feel a little crazy knowing I will likely feel the same pain at mile 23 again and it scares me a little. I can only say that feeling like a badass for kicking ass at my first marathon in those conditions is fueling my desire to do another.

    It's good that you're doing something about your ankle now instead of running through it and hurting it more. Heal well!