50 State Challenge Map

50 State Challenge Map
States completed

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Texas: Done (1:41:52)

Austin race day

Austin can sure put on a great Half Marathon.  It was a fun race today.  It started just as the sun was coming up right in front of the state Capitol building.  Lance Armstrong was also nice enough to make some opening remarks.  That was pretty cool.

It was a scenic race.  I got to see lots of downtown Austin as the race took you through all parts of the city and along the Colorado river.  And then there were the hills.  The hills were awful.  It wasn't so bad in the beginning as they were short and sporadic but the killer hill came right at mile 11 (thanks race organizers).  It was long and steep.  It hurt.  A lot.  But, once I got over that it was smooth sailing to the finish line.

A great day.  And now after a little bit of resting I'm going to treat myself to some Texas BBQ with my friends Jodi and Rusty.

Up next:  Washington, DC Half.  March 17.

Stay tuned for an update.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Arrival to Austin

Austin has finally arrived!  Half Marathon four in this running challenge.  Race is tomorrow at 7 am.  It's been a great trip thus far.  I had a fun evening and a fun day today with my hosts Rusty and Jodi (Jodi running the 5K portion).  The journey getting here was a little cumbersome being delayed in Chicago for nearly three hours.  But, it's OK.  A margarita at Polvo's and Shiner Bock at Crow Bar after touching down in Austin made it all better.

Today we picked up our packets at the Expo.  I also picked up a new 13.1 key chain that will be with me the duration of this challenge.  It's been a bit rainy in Austin with cool temps but race day should be cool minus the rain.  Tonight is pasta and mentally prepping for race day.  I'm ready.  I'll update with race day pics tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

First 50 state challenge injury!

I guess this wouldn't be a true running challenge if I didn't have my first close call just four weeks prior to my first Half (Austin, Feb. 17).  Every challenge needs a little drama.  I just had mine. 

Last Monday I went on an 8-mile training run and ended feeling a slight pinch in my right knee.  It felt like I had bumped into something.  I didn't think much of it.  I just stretched and went to bed thinking of Austin. 

Tuesday morning I woke up with an intense sharp pain in my knee that almost made it difficult to stand up.  Walking up and down stairs was out of the question.  I had to take escalators whenever possible.  This was not clearly good.  The alarms went off.  I was pissed.

My immediate thought was I just blew my first Half of 2012.  So I made an appointment with an orthopaedic doctor.  Upon observation he said it was most likely a stress fracture.  I was the annoying patient that asked him over and over, "are you absolutely sure??"  He said without an MRI to confirm there's no way to be 100%.  But, he was pretty sure that's what it was.  I asked him about Austin.  He said if it is a stress fracture I'd be off the knee for six weeks and then another six weeks recovery.  Translation:  no Austin.  Reaction:  DAMN IT!

I made the appointment for the MRI.  The waiting around to get the MRI and then the results are the worst.  It gave me too much time to ponder the why.  Why did it have to happen now?  Why couldn't this have happened over Thanksgiving?  Why did I push myself so hard on that run?  My sister and good friend Bill told me to relax and just wait for the results.  Easier said than done.

I got the MRI and my doctor called me yesterday to go over the scans.  The result:  NO stress fracture.  Reaction:  jubilation.  My doctor gave me the green light for Austin on the condition that I stay off the knee for the next 10 days and take Aleve twice a day. 

However, I still wanted to know what exactly happened.  He said he wasn't sure but thought it may just be stress on the knee due to pushing too hard on a run after a week of not running.  I can accept that.

So, that was my close call.  I wouldn't say I'm out of the woods quite yet as the knee is still bothering me.  But, knowing it's not an injury the size of a stress fracture is certainly a relief.  

And now I look towards Austin.