The Problem? I believe my form started developing a serious supination. Supination is the opposite of over-PROnation (pretty common in runners). My foot actually rolls outward while I run, shortening the inner ligaments and putting stress on bones that cannot support the weight that is baring on them. How did this start?? I have NO idea! I felt like my gait was off over the past month or so and after last months double (supinating the whole way) it really started to get bad.
The Fix? First I bought new shoes at Boston and even though the damage was done I wore them during the race. (I actually do this quite frequently-- wear new shoes to the day of a marathon. I know it's risky but luckily I've never had a problem). Second- I focused on my stride and form (especially in the double this weekend) making sure to land with a soft, straight, controlled stride.
The Plan! I decided that this weekend would make or break WS100 training for me. If my ankle couldn't support the double, it was going to require more rest than I can give it while training. If I could just make it through this weekend without my ankle giving out on me I was going to be ok!
Double Marathon Weekend!
Nashville Country Music Marathon & The Flying Pig Marathon
This double weekend logistics were a little easier than others I've run because the 2nd race is in MY city... Cincinnati! Another MM (Aaron) drove down from Chicago and he, myself, and Justin (first time marathoner!!!) went to the Flying Pig expo before Aaron and I got on the road for Nashville, TN.
Nashville was fun as always. The expo is the typical Rock'n'Roll Marathon expo with all the brooks stuff. Race morning was FREEZING. We got there EXTRA early to avoid traffic to the finish line. They shuttled us to the start then I hid behind a light generator to try and get warm.
... then the sun came out! Please keep in mind that it's been raining non stop by the past 3-4 weeks in Cincinnati so heat has yet to be an issue this year. Nashville got up to 80 during our race. I focused on staying extra hydrated because I knew I had the Pig the next day! Unfortunately they had cytomax that is SO sugary. A lot of that mixed with GU led to an upset stomach. I had to make a few ummm... pit stops... along the way and took the last few miles easy to conserve a little. Final time?: 3:47:17! I got my sub-4 TN time and redemption from the 2007 CMM that got into the 90's!
Traffic getting out of the marathon finish is crazy but we managed to get to the hotel and pack and shower in under 30 minutes then on the road again back to Cincinnati. Along the way we stopped in Louisville to pick up Elizabeth from 50 for Billy who was running the Derby Marathon and brought her with us to Cincinnati where she would complete her first double marathon this weekend!!!
The Pig Eve!
I was SO excited to host a HUGE group of marathon maniacs at my home marathon this weekend, many of whom I "speak" to all the time but I've yet to meet. We had a huge dinner-- taking over Rock Bottom Brewery. Of all these crazy MM's almost ALL of them were making the pig part of a double marathon weekend pairing it with Nashville CMM, The Derby Marathon, or the Illinois Marathon.
After dinner we went to the hotel downtown-- yes, I stay at a hotel rather than fight traffic the few miles from my apartment-- and went to bed (probably a lot later than I should have).
First, if you haven't run the Flying Pig Marathon you NEED to add it to your list. The buzz of excitement every year is amazing marathon morning. You'll never meet a happier group of spectators that will cheer like crazy-- even in the rain, and for some reason it rains every year! Of course we met up for a Maniac pre-race picture to start the morning off right.
A HUGE high five to...
Sue M. - for her 10th maniac star at the Flying Pig!
Sandy S.- Qualifying for the maniacs at the Flying Pig!
All the amazing MM's and Half Fanatics that ran a double this weekend-- the pig is NOT an easy course, especially when it's the 2nd one of the weekend!
Like every other year the morning of the pig was rainy! I managed to find Justin and his running group as well as a few other running buddies in "Pig Pen B" (corrals) as we waited to be let loose.
|One of the Roncker's Running Groups|
|Newbie Runner, Justin, trying to navigate the "trash bag jacket"|
|Chelsea and I!|
This was Justin's very first marathon and I was SO excited to see him finish this huge accomplishment so I opted to be the "photographer" for the race and run with him and his group. Slowly we lost members of the group... then he was stuck with me-- keep in mind I ate about a million GU packets and lots of very sugary gatorade-- you should feel very bad that he was stuck with me in this state for over 4 hours!
The pig has "THE hill" that hits around mile 7. It's pretty steep and is actually a series of 4 climbs in a row. That climb is followed by pretty regular rolling hills all the way til mile 22 where it's flat for the last few miles.
|Steven and Justin made it past Eden Park Hill!|
It didn't stop raining almost the entire race, but luckily it was a steady drizzle so it felt pretty good. Around miles 23-24 it let up a little in celebration of Justin's furthest distance run! In training he had gone to about 22.5. Of COURSE we took a picture of mile 23... then again at 24. SO close to finishing!
The finish of the pig is always packed with spectators for about the last mile or so. It's a great way to end a race. Even if you're feeling drained and tired they'll get you through the "Finish Swine" (line).
My official finish time was 4:22:56! I'm very happy to report that my ankle felt good the whole way. I made a point when I was tired to focus on good form- staying light, keeping my foot straight, and staying controlled. It worked and now I'm gearing back up for WS100!
A HUGE CONGRATS to Justin for finishing his very first marathon. After the race we celebrated... each in our own way... (don't judge)
Give to a Great Cause!
If you were impressed by Justin- Both in his running and his ability to survive a marathon next to a sugar-high Stephanie you may want to check out what he's up to for his next goal.... raising $100,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in attempts to be Cincinnati's "Man of the Year." His blog can be found here. And try to keep in mind what is important... if he wins I get to be his date to the finale and wear a REALLY pretty new dress! haha jk (sort of)... but really it's a great cause and he's been running the campaign WHILE training for a marathon. Impressive, right? Check out his story and if you can- make a donation please!
50 State Marathon Finisher!