Don’t worry, the Zombies didn’t catch up to me.

Wow, I haven’t updated my blog since the Phoenix 10k? Quite a bit has happened since then:

  • Got laid off from my job
  • Ran/walked the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n Roll Arizona Half Marathon

Well, okay, that’s not really very much.

My position was terminated due to a reduction in force on December 14. It was a bummer, as I had had a good run with my employer and liked the people I worked with. But, all good things must come to an end. As of today, I’m still looking for work, but things are developing. The biggest issue I had after leaving was that I had to buy myself a computer, since I had been using my company laptop for personal use.

I really fell of the training bandwagon after my last blog post, having continuous problems with runner’s knee. The magic distance seems to be about 2-2.5 miles. Instead of doing any rehab on it, though, I just tried to rest it.

Race day for the Half Marathon came up, though, right on schedule. I knew that because I hadn’t kept up on the training and I had issues with my knee, it was going to be a run/walk/run day.

The half started at 8:30 from downtown, and we were late leaving home. So, I had to jump out of the car from about a mile away and walk to the starting area. I had a cup of coffee, a banana and half a bagel and then got in line to use the bathrooms at about 8:05. By the time I got to the front of the line, the first corral was starting. Luckily, I was in corral 13 out of 26, so I still had some time. I stuffed my sweatshirt, sweatpants, beanie and gloves into my bag and ran it over to the UPS gear check, then ran along the starting field until I found my corral. I still had plenty of time, though.

Looking forward from my starting corral

My corral was released at about 8:50. I was glad to see that pretty much everyone around me was actually running, and most of them at about my pace. I settled in behind the 2:20 pace team and felt comfortable. About 1.8 miles into the race, I stopped to use the porta-potties and when I came back out, the 2:30’s were going by. I thought they were awfully close the 2:20 team. A mile later I had actually caught up to the 2:15 team as they crossed the 5k.

I was amazed at the amount of clothing people were shedding during the first 5k. Even in the starting corrals, the streets were covered with gloves, hats, headbands, sweatpants, sweatshirts and more gloves. They had volunteers scooping them up, and I’m sure it all ended up at Goodwill or something, but there were just tons and tons of clothing thrown on the street.

The 5k, though, is where my knee came into play, as expected. From there through to the 10k, it was a run/walk. I’d walk for a quarter of a mile and then run another half.

At 10k (1:13:14), though, my knee was in too much pain to run on, and I knew that the only way to finish it was walking. The knee felt like it wouldn’t even support my weight when I tried to run on it. I stopped at the aid station been miles 7 and 8 and asked them to wrap and ice it. They tried to get me to take a shuttle van to the finish line, but I told them I was finishing it on my feet. I walked all the way from that aid station to the finish chutes, where I picked it up a little and ran the last tenth of a mile so the pictures would show me running. Chip time when I crossed the line was 2:59:31, just a hair under three hours.
This thing is too heavy to hang around my neck. I wore it to lunch, though.
I got my medal made my way through the finisher area. The aid station was out of ice and ibuprofen, so I just took some Tylenol, which did pretty much nothing for my knee.

This is something I knew going in, but the route was mostly just depressing. Miles 3-9 were nothing but shuttered businesses and strip clubs, and the bands were few and far between.

I decided to get my medal engraved. There wasn’t any real food at the finish line area, and I didn’t to hang around to see Everclear play. I hung around for an hour until they finished my engraving, then I hobbled to the car and went to Rock Bottom for a victory lunch.

I don’t think I’d bother to do Rock ‘N Roll Arizona again. The event is well executed and very organized, but the route is just horrible. So what’s next?

I’m going to spend the next 4-6 weeks trying to rehab my knee. I have a variety of exercises that are designed to strengthen and balance the quadriceps, which is supposed to prevent the kneecap from sliding over and grinding away. I’m also going to try to take Chuckles for a 2-4 mile walk 5-7 days per week.

I’ll ease back into running with a 5k in late February and hopefully a 10k toward the end of March. If that goes well, the tentative plan is to run the Doubleheader at the Phoenix 10k, the Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon and the Surf City USA Full Marathon. This is a progressive schedule that gets pretty aggressive about thirteen months from now. We’ll see how it goes when I start running again next month.

2 thoughts on “Don’t worry, the Zombies didn’t catch up to me.

  1. Congrats on the half marathon, but walk (don’t run) to a good running shoe store and get yourself fitted for the right shoe by someone who knows what they are doing. You said you over-pronate, but you bought Nike Air Pegasus for neutral runners. Go get the right shoe for you and your knee pain may well go away! I hope you’ve found a job since you posted, but a $100 can buy you a shoe that help prevent pain or injury for your stride/foot strike. I can’t make any recommendations for you since I am a neutral runner and have run in the Pegasus (now Air Max Moto 6) but I’ve run in shoes that gave me shin splints/hurt my knees and just changing shoes (and stretching my calves) solved those problems. Good luck!

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