Shelburne Spring Half Marathon

On Saturday I completed my fourth half marathon in Shelburne, VT. The morning was very cool and overcast which is actually great running weather. I always have to get a pre-race photo with my little guy. So here we are. He is actually really mad that he can’t go play on the huge school playground behind us.

Pre-race Mommy and Carlos shot

There was enough wind to make me put my sweatshirt on at the start of the race even though I knew I would want to ditch it a few miles in. This was a very small race. They cap registration at 450 runners, but only 162 runners signed up this year. It is touted as being one of the most beautiful courses in New England. The race descriptions reads, “The course will run you through some of the area’s most picturesque scenery including a portion of Shelburne Farms, the historic Ti Trail and along Shelburne Bay. ” It was indeed a gorgeous run. It was also an incredible hilly run. I absolutely loved the mix of trail and on road running. Running alongside the lake was so tranquil. The scenery made up for the lack of spectators.

The race started promptly at 7:30. It was extremely well organized from start to finish. There was no lack of volunteer support on the course and adequate water stations. As I mentioned in my last post my plan was to enjoy the race, have fun and run safely so as not to re-injure my shin. I had no pain in my shin as the race began. I started out at a moderate pace to get my breathing under control. Soon I found my groove and I flowed nicely through the first couple of miles before the first big hill.

I never wear my Garmin when I race and there were no time clocks along the way. I felt a bit slow especially with the constant uphill climbs and minimal downhill returns. By mile 8 I was ready to tear off my sweatshirt. I was in need of fuel and there was no water station until mile 10 so I ate my Gu while walking up a steep incline. I changed my bib to the front of my T-shirt and tied my sweatshirt around my waist. That made me feel instantly better and I picked up the pace again. I’m proud to say that was the only hill I walked up.

I played some mental games between miles 9-11. I kept telling myself that it is ok not to achieve a PR (personal record) in every race. I started to feel some discomfort in my left shin, but no pain. For the last couple of miles we were on a quiet trail. I loved it so much. I felt like I was alone on a training run.  I felt my pace quicken naturally and before I knew it I was back on the road. The finish line was only about a half mile away. I turned down the drive to the finish line and as I entered the chute I saw Carlos and Orlando. As bad as I am at taking photos, my dear husband is worse!! He did manage to get this one, just as I noticed the time clock ahead.

Shelburne Half Marathon Finish Line

Tears welled up in my eyes and I felt a surge of energy rise up inside me. I bolted for the finish and crossed with a new, very unexpected PR.

Time clock as I neared the finish line

I know it’s really hard to read but if you squint and hold your computer right up to your face you might notice the 2:14. Here is what my finish looked like in numbers.

Official finish time: 2:14:47 (10:17 pace)

Overall place: 139/162

Gender placement: 85/104 females

Age group (35-39) placement:  8th out of 9

I don’t usually break down all the stats for a race, but the results page for this race made it very easy to do so. I also pulled up all of my half marathons to visualize the progression of my times. They are in order of first to last.

Hartford ING Half Marathon in 10/2010 – 2:21:49 (10:49 pace)

Old Sandwich Road Half Marathon in 6/2011 – 2:16:51 (10:27 pace)

Monson Memorial Classic Half Marathon in 11/2011 – 2:22:57 (10:55 pace) – 1st race after the broken rib saga and super hilly course so I didn’t expect to PR, but I actually did much better than I thought I would

Shelburne Spring Half Marathon 5/2012 – 2:14:47 (10:17 pace)

I am really proud of my time. Despite the shin issue I felt well trained for the race and I am pleased that the speed training I have been doing since the Disney Marathon seems to be effective. I walked around the rest of the day with a huge grin on my face. Running challenges me in a way nothing else in my life ever has. I am in awe of what my body is capable of doing. Running truly makes me feel amazing.

This was a wonderful race experience and overall a great run. Of course I also used it as an excuse to enjoy a mini family weekend getaway. We stayed in Burlington for two nights. The weather perked up as the sun came out on Saturday afternoon. It turned out to be a very pleasant and relaxing weekend.

Shelburne Half Training – Week 5

You might notice in my workout chart that as the week goes on the running comes to a complete stop. I’m officially side lined at the moment with left leg shin pain. The issue was brought on by ice skating not running. My shins were always a little sore after ice skating, but never as badly as when I started taking ice skating lessons. I’m not going to diagnose myself and declare I have shin splints because I really don’t know. I could walk with little pain and I could even run, but the pain after running scared me enough to finally cool it. I thought the elliptical was a reasonable solution, but then the discomfort began to bother me when I wasn’t working out. So I’m currently taking a break from everything.

Date

Scheduled Workout

Actual Workout

Sunday, 4/15/12 3m with speed intervals, 15 minutes on elliptical
  • .50 warmup at 5mph
  • 6×400(7.0, 7.0, 7.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.2)
  • Total miles = 4.10 includes warmup and 2min cool down in 45 minutes
  • Elliptical for 15 minutes – 2.10 miles
  • Some strength training
Monday, 4/16/12 5 mile pace run No workout. Went to Boston to cheer on the marathoners.
Tuesday,  4/17/12 60 minute tempo run 60 minute tempo run. 6 miles was done in about 1:01:30. I continued on and ran a total of 8 miles.
Wednesday, 4/18/12 Speed Training – 11 x 400 meters
  • 11×400 mostly at 7.0 but with some 8.0 and 7.5 thrown in on the last 3.
  • Total miles 5.10 in 54 minutes
Thursday, 4/19/12 Plyometrics Rest Day
Friday, 4/20/12 3m + strength
  • 6.55 miles on elliptical in 45 minutes
  • upper body strength exercises
  • 1.5 hours hike with Carlos
Saturday, 4/21/12 12 mile run
  • 8.70 miles on the elliptical in 1:05
  • 3.30 miles on recumbent bike in 22 min.
  • Total = 12 miles

I’m trying to look at the bright side of things. I have 11 days until the half marathon in Vermont. I feel a marked decrease in discomfort today. I am listening to my body and hopefully doing the right things to ensure a speedy recovery.

I have stopped ice skating. I was disappointed to have to cut the lessons short, but I am 100% certain that it is what initiated the problem. I hope to return to the lessons next year because I really enjoyed them and learned a lot in just a few lessons.

As with my rib injury last fall I have reached out to my local herbalist. I’m taking a Complete Tissue & Bone supplement and a calcium supplement. I’m also drinking a mineral tea 2-3 times a day. I haven’t exercised since Saturday. Today is the first day I’ve felt a real improvement. I have had almost no pain. However, I am really feeling a strange apprehension toward running. I miss it a lot. I am anxious to start running again, but there is a whisper of a voice inside of me telling me to wait a few more days. So I’m going to listen to my body.

I plan to go to the gym in the morning while Carlos is at school. There are plenty of other activities I can do without aggravating my shin. Whenever I take time off from planned exercise it is difficult to get back into it. Losing momentum seems to make me lose motivation. I think just being back at the gym tomorrow will help my mood.

If the pain was increasing with the addition of my home remedies then I would make an appointment to see my doctor and have the leg X-rayed. My goal is to be active in the most healthy way possible. I do not intend on doing anything that will cause ongoing injury or additional injuries. I welcome any comments on shin injuries, shin pain or helpful treatments.

*I am not a doctor. I am writing about my personal experience. If you are experiencing pain, running related or other, you should seek medical attention.