Saturday, March 23, 2013

A New Level of Crazy - Race 1 Tom King

I love the half marathon.  It's my perfect race distance.  There's a good balance between needing to train and keeping a normal life.  Unlike marathon training, where you turn your life over to training.  And shorter distance races don't require enough training for me

As much as I love the half marathon, even I think doing 3 halfs in 9 days is a tiny bit crazy.  But, obviously, I'm a little crazy too.  I blame my dear friend Chrystyna for giving us this idea.  Truthfully, we all went along with it with very little complaining.  Well, very little until the second race weekend.

Gail, Nicole and I did our first race as Tom King the weekend before our double race.  Chrystyna is doing hers the weekend after (tomorrow, actually).  She lives in Dallas now (yeah, I'm still a tiny bit sad about it).  So we decided we'd do 2 of the 3 races together.

This is my fourth year to run Tom King.  It was my very first half marathon in 2010.  Here are the things I love about this race - you get to see a lot of friends on the out and back course and you get to finish inside LP Field.  Everyone talks about it like it's a super easy half (is there such a thing really?).  But every year, I find myself thinking about how hard it is.  There isn't a lot of crowd support, and I love the distraction of people cheering and creative signs.  And even though it is relatively flat, it's not my favorite course.

This year I had a blister come up on the bottom of my right foot.  I could feel it start about mile 6.  My shoes were relatively new, but I'd already run the New Orleans half on them with no problems.  And my socks were my most faithful brand (feetures).  By mile 8, I could feel the blister growing.  And finally between mile 10 and 11, it burst.  OUCH!  I have had plenty of blisters, but never had one burst open.  And I hope never too again. 

I had planned to run the race with my friend Lauren.  She was going to pace me to a new PR.  My goal was 2:14:59 or faster.  But it wasn't meant to be this race.  Mark had his hip replacement done just 2 days before the race. I spent the 2 nights prior to the race sleeping in a hospital chair.  They say it folds out to a cot, but I'm in disagreement.  Not exactly a strong pre-race plan.  I backed out of running with her the morning of the race.  It worked out well for her.  She ran the 5k with her husband (his first) and was super speedy. 

Even with the blister and the sleeping in the chair, it was the fastest I have run this race.  Every year, I swear I'm not running this half again next year, but I always change my mind.  I've said I won't run it again, but I'm sure I'll be there next year too.

Mark's surgery went well.  This time he had a full hip replacement.  The recovery has seemed to be much easier and less painful than the other two fixations.  Thankfully, the surgeon who did the replacement suggested Mark see an Endocrinologist.  We learned that his pituitary gland is not functioning properly.  He is very low on several hormones.  Most likely this is the reason the other two surgeries did not work and the reason the fracture occurred in the first place. 

The big question is will Mark run again.  Everyone seems to have a different opinion on this.  The doctor said once he's completely healed and released he can run again.  The risk is he will have to have his hip replaced again sooner than if he doesn't run.  But because Mark is younger than most replacement patients, he'll have to have it replaced again anyway.  The doctor did suggest maybe shorter distance races or tris.  Ultimately, it's really up to Mark if he wants to run again.  We have 2 friends who have had replacements and still run.  I try not to push for one way or the other (I'd be annoyed if someone, even Mark, tried to tell me I should or shouldn't run).  I think he will run.  He loves it too much to give it up. 


  1. We are crazy, aren't we Emily! I agree with the 1/2 Marathon for my 1st full has taken over my life. I'll be glad to drop back to shorter distances after this one's done! Glad Mark is well on the way to recovery...miss you guys!!!!

  2. you and Mark are true inspirations. keep up the good work and take care of yourselves. I'm hoping for a full and speedy recovery for Mark!