If a blogger stops training for a marathon and doesn’t tell the internet, is it really even happening?

(Is she even really still a blogger? Heh.)

OK. Catching up:

I’m not running The San Francisco Marathon tomorrow. Training was going really well, until, of course, it wasn’t. After the 18-miler I ran before my last post, I raced an Olympic-distance triathlon (more on that later), then ran another even more awesome 18-miler, then ran a 20-miler that felt really smooth. Until a little later that day, when I realized my right heel was a pretty sore. That was June 22. I’ve run four times since then. And that pretty much brings us to today.

I’m still trying to figure out the heel thing. I thought it was a stress fracture, my doctor thinks it’s plantar fasciitis, my physical therapist (whom I finally saw today after a multi-week wait; thanks, healthcare system!) thinks it has something to do with a lack of flexibility in my heel and/or ankle. Sometimes I think it’s getting better, sometimes I don’t. SF Marathon was the last running race on my calendar, and that ship obviously sailed, so I’m willing to take my time to fix whatever it is; I just wish I had a better plan, but I’m working on it. My dream right now is to be able to race the Olympic-distance triathlon in Oakland that I’m registered for at the end of August, but I might drop to the sprint or the aquabike.

I did work at the expo today as part of my ambassador duties, which, truly? Was a damn blast. It turns out I prefer working at expos to attending them as a participant. The best thing I did was describe the course neighborhoods and corresponding elevation changes in great detail to a group of 7 Pakistani runners visiting San Francisco for the first time. The funniest thing I did was try to answer a question about how foggy it would be on the Golden Gate Bridge at 7 a.m. The most common thing I did was answer questions about parking and public transportation, sometimes down to specific walking routes through Golden Gate Park for spectators.

After my shift wrapped up, I went Gu shopping (spotted the elusive Salted Watermelon, finally), bought a Sweaty Band with whales on it, and came home to start prepping for my massive cheering spree tomorrow. I’m planning to bike to four different points on the marathon course, armed with the famous dollar store clapping hands. If I can’t run, I might as well be as obnoxious as possible.

Meanwhile, I’ve been occupying myself by, mostly, getting really into other sports and buying things:

I’m doing a century in two weeks. I actually registered for this when I still thought I was going to run a marathon, which might have been TOTALLY insane. It might still be totally insane. My longest ride before it (and longest since the ride to Santa Cruz in March) will be about 60 miles, but I’ve been routinely riding 50 on the weekends and trying to hit 100 total bike miles a week, and I’ve been promised that it’s a relaxed ride mostly involving eating peaches from the organic farms that serve as rest stops, so I hope it goes OK.

I’m trying out for a masters group. The one closest to me requires some sort of audition. I do not know what this tryout will be, other than that it’s happening at 6:45 a.m. on Monday. The only other time I’ve tried out for anything athletic was in junior high softball, and that’s really best not recalled. I hope I do not have to swim a) well or b) fast. (I’m less concerned about (b) — the program explicitly splits itself into “fast” and “slow” — but (a) could be a challenge.)

I finally have a heart rate monitor I don’t hate. I bought a Mio Link recently, and while I haven’t (obviously) gotten to use it on many runs, I’ve taken it on a few bike rides. It’s the first time I’ve had heart rate data — after the Sports Bra Chafing from Hell, a chest strap was strongly unappealing — and I’m just in exploration mode right now, but I’m wondering if my next running comeback, whenever that might be, might be the right time to transition to heart rate training.

I did a race. This was the Vineman Monte Rio Olympic tri back at the beginning of June, better known as how to torpedo what could have been a goal race in three easy steps. (Step 1: do it in the middle of marathon training; Step 2: miss your swim wave start completely; Step 3: know literally nothing else about the course and get surprised by rough road on the bike and a tough hill at the end of the run.) It was a blast, though. I had a rental house on the river with a ton of friends, I PR’d my Olympic-distance bike, and I finished in 3:06-ish, which considering I spent 3 minutes walking in a shallow, rocky river desperately trying to get to the swim start after the horn had already blown is not too bad at all. I’m really hungry for a sub-3 Olympic tri right now, though, and I’d hoped to do it in Oakland. The whole not-running thing is casting some doubt on that, so I’ve started to think about maybe going back to Santa Cruz at the end of September instead.

And, well, there we are. More regular updates, and I hope more regular running, coming soon.

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6 thoughts on “Un-Hibernating

  1. Jen says:

    Sorry to hear about your mystery heel pain — hope it’s getting better! I’m also thinking about getting into HR training, now that I’m working my way back from an injury (also quite mysterious in how it keeps moving around my body). I’m really curious about the Mio… the only thing that’s holding me back is wearing 2 devices on my wrist. Is that weird? Runblogger posted a review of it recently — don’t know if you’ve seen it? http://runblogger.com/2014/07/mio-link-wrist-mounted-heart-rate-monitor-review-a-runners-perspective.html
    Also, when you used the chest HRM was it the soft strap? I’m curious about the differences between the standard one that comes with Garmin watches (the large plastic thing that chafes like crazy) and the premium/soft strap.

    • kimretta says:

      Ooh, I hadn’t seen that Runblogger review, but it’s pretty much exactly how I feel so far. I wore the Mio on my opposite wrist from my watch, so it didn’t feel TOO weird, but I think on the same wrist it would be strange. Mostly I felt a little silly – like, who needs this much technology to leave the house? It doesn’t help that I have the Garmin 910xt and it’s enormous. For biking I only wear the Mio, since I have a Garmin mount.

      I liked the Mio strap a lot — the rubber on mine is nice and soft — but a) I have small wrists; b) I haven’t gotten it wet yet. I did have to pull it pretty tight (it wasn’t uncomfortable when I wore it, but you could see the outline of the strap/sensor on my skin after), but I like the Runblogger suggestion to put it on the underside of my wrist; it might be more comfy for me there.

      To be honest, the Garmin heart rate monitor never even left the house. I do have the soft strap — so, uh, if you want one, let me know! — but the part that felt like it would chafe me was the plastic heart rate unit itself. Uh, #boobyrunnerproblems? I might be overreacting, but I had the worst chafing of my life in June and it has made me really paranoid.

      • Jen says:

        Oh, I totally understand — bad chafing is scarring, literally and figuratively! After reading some more reviews, and accepting the fact that I’ll be that dorky runner with 2 things on my wrist, I decided to get the Mio Link. Plus, REI is having a special through 8/6 — $20 gift card on purchases $100 or more. I’m a sucker for deals! Thanks for your input/advice!

  2. Christina Schiffner Santschi says:

    Hi Kimra! Are you riding Sebastapol Tour d’Organics? I am, too – it’s Christina S. from TRIMORE. Let me know – hope to see you there! You can ride 100 miles, no problem!!

    • kimretta says:

      Haha, I’ve been found! Yes, I am doing Tour d’Organics – and I’m excited to see you there!! I want to hear about IMWI training. Pete and I are both riding and I’m lobbying to start as early as possible so we have maximum time to get to the post-ride meal!

      • Christina Schiffner Santschi says:

        Hope we can catch up there! I rode Marin Century this past weekend, and it took me less than 8 hours w/ all the breaks (and that’s about 2K feet more climbing) – so you will have plenty of time to eat! I will probably start after 7 am, so hope we can meet up at the aid stations or end.

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