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September 9, 2007

the half

Earlier this week I really wasn't looking forward to running a half marathon. I was having a tough week. So many consecutive days felt like it was taking it's toll on my legs and my confidence.

I got some great advice from Tom at Runners Lounge.


If you’re going to take Ibuprofen, you might as well do it right. There are two factors to get the most benefit—dosage and duration.

Unless you’re a really tiny person or have stomach issues, the best way to take it is 800 mg x 3 per day, with food. (That’s 4 pills as all Ibuprofen comes in 200 mg).

And the other big mistake most people make is treating ibuprofen like asprin or tylenol, which are pain relievers Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, which will help your muscles. So continue taking the Ibuprofen for at least two consecutive days to get the full benefit of reducing micro-swelling of tissue. It will provide a great relief.

I have always taken ibuprofen like tylenol. When I hurt I pop a couple. I've never thought about it like a form of treatment, like an antibiotic. Thanks for the advice Tom, it is greatly appreciated and worked! I started taking it on Friday, 3 times a day and this morning, my pain was at about a 2 on a scale of 10. Huge improvement!

My race strategy has changed at least 20 times in the last 3 days. Just finishing seemed like a realistic goal. I'm running a marathon in 4 weeks, so don't want to do anything to jepordize that. But, I would like to PR, I think I've got faster and this would be a great chance to see.

It was cool and very very wet this morning. It had rained most of the night, by race time, it was a light drizzle, but the route was filled with lots of large deep puddles.

The first 5k felt sluggish. My pace was a little faster than I thought it would be and my legs were heavy and tired.

5k - 30.45

Everything seemed to loosen out after 5k, by 6k I had found a comfortable pace. I picked it up a little just after 8k. I saw someone I knew up ahead and decided to try and catch them. By 9k I had caught and passed them. Then I start thinking I am going too fast too early. The next 3k has lots of rolling hills with a couple steep up hils.

10k - 1.01.22

I got trapped at the next waterstop. There were runners going in both direction. Those who had already turnaround and those still going out, like me. The water was on the far side, so I to dodge a few speedy runners. The next 3k were my slowest of the run. The rain had completely stopped and it was hotter and more humid. Between the heat, the hills and taking a gel, which I couldn't get unpinned from my shorts then couldn't get opened, I had added at least 3 minutes.

I tried to pick up the pace after taking the gel, but either I really slowed down or the next marker was in the wrong place. I had be averaging just over 6 min/km. When I looked at my watch it said 8.20! Seriously, I could walk faster than that. How long did it take me to open that gel?

15k - 1.34.12

Out of no where my right hamstring starts to tighten. It's been my left side that has hurt all week. My right has given me no trouble at all. Okay, 5k. I can run that. It's like one of my recovery runs. I've run those feeling way worse than this. I can do this. If I keep this pace going I'm going to PB. Then, just when I am getting used to the cramping hamstring feeling, my right hip decides to join the party.

Ignoring it was tough. I ran through the last waterstop. I knew if I stopped and walked, I wouldn't run again. Probably ever. I was motivated by the number of runners I was passing. No one had passed me since before the turnaround. I had managed to pass about 15 people that had been ahead of me.

20k - 2.01.40 (that's under 28 minutes for the last 5k!)

After passing the 20k mark and seeing my time I knew I had over 9 minutes to make a PB. I decided to slow it down and run in comfortably. That plan lasted about 12 seconds. Then I remember a certain blog entry I read this morning, claiming they were going to beat my half time. There is no way I was going to make that any easier for him.

Run 71 finish time: (my watch time, the race isn't chip timed) 2.07.01

About a 4 minute PB, and over 11 minutes faster than last year!

I had a massage after the race and a hot bath when I got home, so I feel pretty good.

Posted by Ali at September 9, 2007 1:36 PM


Ali, great race. Your run-a-thon is paying off.
You can get 400mg of ibuprofen in London. Cuts down on the amount of pills you need to swallow

Posted by: duff17 at September 9, 2007 2:58 PM

Awesome race Ali! Congratulations on the PB!

Posted by: Vanilla at September 9, 2007 4:34 PM

Congratulations! Great to hear you did so well, and good for you for toughing it out!

Thanks (to you and Tom) for the great ibuprofen tips, too.

Posted by: Dave at September 9, 2007 6:43 PM

I'm happy to hear that I can increase my ibuprofen intake - thanks for sharing that great tidbit - may I run pain-free in Chicago with you!

Posted by: strickler at September 9, 2007 7:05 PM


Just ANOTHER post to add to my Ali shrine!

Posted by: Tea at September 9, 2007 8:11 PM

CONGRATS!!!!!! What a great PR!

Posted by: Amy at September 9, 2007 10:23 PM

As usual, Tom is spot on with his advice. Reduce the swelling consistently and your body will start to heal...

Great job on this race and running through the pain at the end!!! Congrats on your speediness!

Posted by: Nancy at September 9, 2007 11:33 PM

Yay! Congrats on the PB.

Now rest!? up.

Posted by: warren at September 10, 2007 10:13 AM

YOU - are a rockstar! Awesome job on the PR!

Posted by: LaurCar at September 10, 2007 11:40 AM

Totally amazing! This Julyathon seems to have really paid off in your running! Hope the legs start feeling better before the full.

Posted by: Amanda at September 10, 2007 6:10 PM

Woohoo! Congrats on coming in faster than last year.

Posted by: Andria at September 11, 2007 5:36 PM

One afternoon, I was in the backyard hanging the laundry when an old, tired-looking dog wandered into the yard. I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home. But when I walked into the house, he followed me, sauntered down the hall and fell asleep in a corner. An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out. The next day he was back. He resumed his position in the hallway and slept for an hour.
This continued for several weeks. Curious, I pinned a note to his collar: "Every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap. "
The next day he arrived with a different note pinned to his collar: "He lives in a home with ten children - he's trying to catch up on his sleep."

I cried from laughter
Sorry, if not left a message on Rules.

Posted by: Melissik at May 2, 2008 7:25 AM

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