The Foot Saga aka Running with Pain

Since today is Tuesday, I’m  linking up with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner) and you should too.

My Topic today is about my recent Foot Pain.

Here’s the whole story (in case you don’t read all my blog posts):

So…last November after my marathon and 15k, I experienced PAIN in my left foot after walking around NYC in tight boots. I rested/ran/rested/raced/rested and then finally went to the Doctor.

I feared a stress fracture. The Doc took an xray and felt around my foot for pain.  Xray looked normal and no pain so his recommended treatment was:

  • No walking, standing or running until pain-free.
  • Take anti-inflammatory meds 2x/day for 2 weeks.
  • Come back in a month and we’ll take an MRI if it still hurts.

So I stopped running, walked minimally and stood (for work) only when I had to.

After 2 weeks, there was NO real improvement so I started Googling (Ok, I really started Googling from day one lol) and talked to my BRF Barbara.

My (Googled) diagnosis: Neuroma

A neuroma is a painful condition, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot. YES

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Risk Factors that appear to contribute to a neuroma include:

  1. Wearing shoes that are tight or ill fitting can place extra pressure on your toes and the ball of your foot. YES
  2. Certain sports. Participating in high-impact athletic activities such as running may subject your feet to repetitive traumaYES
  3. Foot deformities. People who have bunions, hammertoes, high arches are at higher risk of developing a neuroma. YES to all 

There were many home treatments suggested but my bunion and high arches made things more complicated.  What seemed to work for me was toe spacers, wearing shoes with a wider toe box and RUNNING again.  The turning point proved to be 3 weeks after my doctor visit:

After this run, the pain that seemed to be constant, came and went and was gone more than present when I ran. But still hurt after.

Four weeks after my first podiatrist appointment, my doc offered to give me a cortisone shot for the pain. I insisted on an MRI first just to make sure that it was a neuroma (which I had diagnosed.)

Unfortunately the MRI showed nothing. No neuroma!!!

I was not convinced.

I went back to my doctor and re-explained my symptoms.

He agreed that it was probably a neuroma but too small to show up on a MRI. So he gave me a cortisone shot and told me to contact him in 2-3 weeks if it didn’t feel better.

Well, he said to continue normal activities. That meant running, right? So I did. It felt the same.

I experimented with different shoes and went a PT consult. And I ran a half marathon.

I finished though it was painful

The next day, I went to a PT doctor recommended by a running friend who suffered from similar foot pain.

According to my symptoms, she agreed that it was some kind of nerve impingement.  She said that she thought she could get rid of my pain. At this point, I was skeptical.  But I went twice a week for several weeks.  Treatment included, scraping, massaging, electrical ultrasound, CBD oil, home exercises for my posture and quads…

I also changed shoes several times, as well. (Thank goodness for return policies…)

from Mizunos to Altras to Brooks

I continued running as my PT doctor said that I could and should even though my foot HURT:

I got a laser treatment at PT and I also ran 4 mile race.

in pain

And then I went to Bermuda…hoping the sun and warmth would heal my foot.

It healed my spirits and had a SUPER time but ran again a race where my foot hurt every step!!!

Yes, I’m getting impatient…

Today, my PT listened to my racing woes and recommended that I see a different podiatrist (one who is a runner.)

Luckily, I just an immediate appt.  Finger crossed….

As always, you are not alone with nerve foot pain. Here are some related blog posts:

about running & nerve pain – https://www.irunfar.com/2017/08/six-signs-that-your-running-injury-is-nerve-pain.html

about running & a neuroma:

Possible solutions (form corrections):

Going Wide: The Role of Stride Width in Running Injury and Economy

I’m definitely not an expert on foot pain so take these recommendations with a grain of salt:

  • See a doctor for an xray at the first sign of pain (to rule out something serious).
  • Insist on an MRI even if the Xray shows nothing (to rule out a stress fracture).
  • Keep active and if it hurts too much to run (the stationary bike will keep your legs fit).
  • Cut back on your mileage even if you are training for a big race.
  • Adjust race goals if you do run a race. (Running for fun is an option.)
  • Try different running shoes (most companies have free returns).
  • Add inserts to your shoes (and it doesn’t have to be $500 custom orthotics).
  • Keep running (unless running makes your pain worse).
  • Seek different treatment options… visit a Chiro or try PT.
  • Drink lots of wine lol

I’m linking up also with this new link-up:

Formerly the Running Coaches’ Corner, it’s back with new co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner.

Happy Running! Have you ever used Google as you medical professional? Any foot pain experiences? Please share.

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Keeping Sane When You Cannot Run

Since today is Tuesday, I’m linking up with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner). and you should too.

This is a topic that no runner wants to write about.

It’s so popular to say “Running is my Therapy.” But what if it is really true.

What can you do if you cannot run?

Find a new hobby.

It could be knitting, doing a puzzle or an adult coloring book.

It has to be something that you find enjoyable and that keeps you occupied during the time you would be running.

Stay Active.

Walk if you can. Ride a bike. Do yoga. Swim. Work out.

Find a physical activity to temporarily replace running.

Spend time with family and friends.

You have more time now that you do not have to run or have scheduled races.

Contact those people you haven’t spend time with lately and plan get togethers.

Stay positive.

No sense focusing on those DNSed races and missed runs.

Plan for the future. But new shoes or a new outfit. Pick a new race or running goal.

Happy Running! Any other tips? Share it here!
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There’s Hope (& TOLT)

Image result for hope after injury running ecard

This post is for those runners who have experienced serious injuries.

This post is also for those runners who approaching those advanced years. (You know over 50 or 60…)

I only started running at age 55.  In the beginning, I didn’t run in the winter nor did I run many miles at a time.  It took me several years to even attempt a half marathon.

But on December 29, 2011, I thought it was all over.

enjoying a very cold run on the bike trail (on my day off)

I fell going around a patch of ice and broke my left tibia and fibula. I had to have surgery and they put in a plate and 6 screws on one side and 2 long screws on the other side.  (I still have them in today.)

wore this boot for almost 4 months (non-weight bearing for 2 months)

I was told that I probably would not be able to run again and if I did, maybe just short distances.

Image result for hope after injury running ecard

Well, I set out to prove the doctor wrong.

Image result for hope after injury running ecard

It wasn’t easy because I overdid and wound up with a 2nd metatarsal stress fracture in my right foot that October.

back in the boot

I did heal and I did run some races including one half. But then 8 months after the stress fracture (in June), I broke the 5th metatarsal in my left foot.

good thing I kept those critches

no boot – just this fancy shoe

PRs Before the Injuries

5k – 27:30 (2010)
4 mi –38:02 (2011)
5 mi – 47:03 (2011)
15K – 1:36:08(2011)
13.1 – 2:22:39 (2011)

2012 and 2013 were obviously not good years for running.

Eventually, I did heal and have been healthy ever since. At the time, I promised myself that if I could ever run again, I would be satisfied with whatever speed I could muster.  I mean, I was told that I could not run again.  I was 60 years old now!  Being injury-free was much more important than PRs…

Image result for hope after injury running ecard

Well, if anyone knows me, they know that I am competitive and stubborn. I became determined to see if it were true.  Would that serious injury prevent me from running fast?  Would getting older slow me down, as well?

PRs After the Injuries

5k – 27:11 (2014)
4 mi – 37:27 (2015)
5 mi – 45:26 (2015)
10K – 57:03 (2014)
15K – 1:31:25 (2015)
10 mi – 1:38:45 (2014)
13.1 – 2:08:59 (2016)

As you can see, the answer was NO!

So I am writing this post to show runners that you shouldn’t give up nor should you always listen to what others say. Because sometimes if you believe you can, then you will.

Remember though that there are injuries that will prevent you from running and there will be a time when age will be a factor in your speed.   Only you will know when.

Image result for hope after injury running ecard

yes, this will happen but hopefully not for a few years…


Since it is Thursday,  I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Happy Running!

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Wednesday Word: Radical

Deb Runs

Every Wednesday, the Deb from Deb Runs will be providing a word about which to blog. Kind of like a nice little blog prompt. Posts can be fitness or health related, but don’t have to be, so really anyone can play along. Just be sure to link up with InLinkz on Deb’s main post, and share the love by reading and commenting on other’s participant’s posts.

This week’s word is:Image result for radical quotes

Macmillan defines “Radical” as “doing something new and very different from the usual way.”

Am I radical??

Hmmmmm…

  • Is it radical to start running for the first time at age 55?
  • Is it radical to run a 5k race several weeks into a training program when you’ve only run 1 mile so far?

FRW - 2008

  • Is it radical to run a half marathon when you’ve only run 5k races?

nhm finish

  • Is it radical to run a 5k as your first run after ankle surgery?

frw12tu

  • Is it radical to run two 5ks with a foot stress fracture?

Runners World 5K

  • Is it radical to finish a 5k after breaking your foot?

good thing I kept those critches

  • Is it radical to go on a race-cation by yourself?

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  • Is it radical to hike solo?

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I don’t consider myself “radical” but I do enjoy a challenge.

Happy Running! Are you “radical”?

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Wednesday Word: Brave

Deb Runs

Every Wednesday, the Deb from Deb Runs will be providing a word about which to blog. Kind of like a nice little blog prompt. Posts can be fitness or health related, but don’t have to be, so really anyone can play along. Just be sure to link up with InLinkz on Deb’s main post, and share the love by reading and commenting on other’s participant’s posts.

Today’s word is BRAVE.

So if you are brave, then according to the dictionary, you are “ready to face and endure danger or pain thus showing courage.”

Am I brave?

Not particularly.  I do NOT jump out of planes, climb mountains or run alone through the park at night. But like the word, adventurous, what I may think is not being brave, others may say “I’d be too scared to do that…” (ie walking around Manhattan by myself, etc.)

But in some way, I think that all runners are brave.

Every time we go out to run or start a race, we hope that there will be no pain, but we are ready to face and endure it.

Yes, those hills can be painful.

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Running in terrible weather can also be painful.

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Those last few miles of a race can be painful, as well.

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And I don’t even run marathons or ultras.  I can’t even imagine the pain, a runner has to endure to complete all those miles.

And then, there are those injuries that happen to every runner – some serious and some not so serious.

good thing I kept those critches

Recovery is painful.  PT is painful.

2 feet on the ground for the lst time since Dec 29

Running while injured is also painful.

rw_5k_a

But we all do it.

We runners are brave.

Why?

Because of the alternative…

NOT RUNNING!

So continue running as long as you want to. Sign up for a race. Challenge yourself to run a new distance.

Running won’t damage your knees or weaken your joints.

Be brave! Live life!

Happy Running! In what ways are you brave?

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Wednesday Word: Adjust

Deb Runs

Every Wednesday, the Deb from Deb Runs will be providing a word about which to blog. Kind of like a nice little blog prompt. Posts can be fitness or health related, but don’t have to be, so really anyone can play along. Just be sure to link up with InLinkz on Deb’s main post, and share the love by reading and commenting on other’s participant’s posts.

This week’s Word is ADJUST

I wasn’t going to post today because I already did but this word just is so appropriate.

As runners, we have to ADJUST.

  • Adjust our running because of family, friend or work commitments.

Sometimes I’ve had to change the time of a run or miss a run.  It’s not the end of the world.  Other things can be more important than running.

had to cut short my run to go to my mil’s 90th birthday party

  • Adjust our running because of the weather.

It’s snowing or raining so we run slowly or indoors. 

pic from Post Star

have to run slower when it is sleeting

And then there’s the clothes.  You thought it would be warmer.  Or you thought it would be colder.

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One day’s it’s 80 and then it’s 40! I was cold!

  • Adjust our running to run with a group or another runner.

Sometimes, in a group, I struggle to run faster.

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speedy turkey trot running partners

And then you run with a friend who is much slower.  But you adjust because it is more important to have their company.

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love running wth Judy!

  • Adjust our running because of race conditions (ice, snow, hills, etc.)
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lots of hills at the beginning of this race

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monsoon rain – an adjustment, for sure,

  • Adjust our running due to injuries.

We all get injured. Sometimes we run while recovering and have to adjust.  Sometimes those injuries pop up in the middle of a race.

ap hm early

foot pain slowed me down in this race

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stress fracture in my foot is making me adjust my pace

  • Adjust our goals due to any of the above.

We may have a goal to PR but the course is hilly or the weather is lousy.  Or even worse, we are injured! 

finish

just happen to finish (post broken foot)

Happy Running! How have you had to adjust your running?

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Tuesdays on the Run: Running Breaks

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs hosts Tuesdays on the Run with April @ Run the great wide somewhere and Patty @ My no-guilt life!

This week’s topic is: Running Breaks

There are many reasons to take a break from running.

  • Injuries

This is the worst.  Injuries suck.  There is nothing you can do about them.  You just can’t run.  And you always wonder if you will again.

I have had a few.  Broken foot in 2013…

good thing I kept those critches

Stress fracture in late 2012…

my new shoe

Ankle surgery for 2 broken bones in early 2012…

now and for the next 8 weeks

  • Weather

When I first started running, I stopped in October and began again in April.  Then I realized that I could run in the cold weather, even in the snow. Running in the rain and ice.  Not for me!!

IMG_4899

Living in the Northeast, there were many days like below when I did not run.

The same can be true if you live in a warm, humid climate.  It is hard to run in those conditions.

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doesn’t this look inviting?

  • Life

Yup, sometimes life gets in the way.  I work full-time and I am not a morning runner. Evening and weekend work, family and friend obligations often make running impossible.

My hubby and my friends do not run so I try not to let running interfere with my relationships.

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dinners out with friends

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boating with the hubby

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tennis instead of running

Sometimes, I’d rather be running but I know I always can’t choose running.

  • Tapering or Recovering

Also we may not want to take a break, we know we have to. Before and after a long race, I usually take at least 2 days off. I like to be active and feel like a slug when I don’t run.  But I that these old bones need a rest or there will be repercussions.

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best post half recovery

  • Lack of Mojo

This is a tough one.  It’s when you just don’t feel like running.

I’ve had this feeling many times but since I sign up for so many races, I know that if I don’t run, there will be consequences.

There are many reasons for lack of mojo:

  • Over training
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Poor races results

We’ve all experienced these.

I have recently felt the last two.  Since my half in April, my feet have bothered me on and off.  It is not fun to run when something hurts.

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ouch!!

I also have been disappointed in my finish times.  I am getting slower.  Especially for my April half which I trained for and the course was flat.  I expected to do better and I was depressed for long time afterwards.

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not happy here

As a result, May was a low mileage month for me… (even though I ran a half marathon!!)

may mi

Happy Running?  Do you take breaks from running?

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Not Really Blisters

I originally thought it was a blister (and I do get blisters) but this time it is not…

What it is? (My diagnosis)

Metatarsalgia causes inflammation and burning pain in the ball of the foot. Symptoms may also include numbness and tingling that gets worse when running.

Yup, it burns when I run and swells.

Cause:

Most metatarsal problems mainly occur due to the foot impacting hard surfaces while walking or running and poor biomechanics that affect the way weight is distributed in the foot. This can put extra pressure on the metatarsal bones, which leads to inflammation and pain, especially in the metatarsal heads–the rounded ends of the bones that connect with the phalanges (toe bones). Metatarsalgia also can be caused by the following:

  •     Intense training or sudden increase in activity level. (I just ran a half marathon, duh?)
  •     Your foot shape. A high arch can put extra pressure on the metatarsals, which causes more weight than normal to be shifted to the second metatarsal head. (I used to have high arches but my foot has flattened with age.)
  •     Bunions. A swollen, painful bump at the base of the big toe can develop due to hereditary factors or from wearing high heels or shoes that are too small.  A bunion can weaken the big toe, putting extra stress on the ball of the foot. (Although, the one on this foot doesn’t hurt, I do have a bunion which pushes my big toe toward my 2nd toe.)

Treatment:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight prevents undue stress on the feet. (I’m ok here)
  • Shoe inserts reduce the impact to the forefoot and stress on the feet.
  • Properly designed shoes that have toe boxes that are sufficiently wide and high to allow the toes to spread. (My running shoes have a wide toe box)
  • Padded socks with shoes with non-slip outsoles and any inserts or orthotics prescribed or recommended by a doctor. (I have orthotics that I got several years ago after my inflamed achilles but they SQUEAK!)
  • Ice and rest can often relieve metatarsalgia symptoms. (Ok, I’ll try ice)
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin help reduce pain and inflammation (I can do this too)
  • Avoid sports and other vigorous activities while you recover. (What?!)

So what will I do?

  • wear a Moleskin pad on the bottom of my foot or I may try wearing my orthotics again
  • wear toe spacer between my big toe & 2nd toe
  • wear Experia padded socks
  • ice after running
  • take ibuprofen after running
  • cut back on training runs esp. on hard surfaces
  • see a podiatrist?

Well, I have races scheduled for:

  • May 7 – 5k
  • May 9 – 15k
  • May 10 – 5K
  • May 24 – Half Marathon
  • May 30 – 5k
  • June 13 – Half Marathon
  • June 21 – 10 miler

So you probably think that I am crazy to run them… I do not want to waste money and DNS so yes, I will run them conservatively.

And I will be in Florida May 13-20 playing tennis on clay courts and spending a lot of time on the beach.  Hopefully, this will help to relieve my foot pain.

Fingers crossed.

Happy Running! 

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Too Many Options

This race which is Saturday offers a 5k, 10k and a 15k.

That is too many options!!

Last year, I ran the 10K and won 3rd in my AG. It was also a PR at the time.

I registered awhile back for the 15K thinking that it would be a good idea.  I am preparing for a half marathon in several weeks and technically I should be running 11 miles.

But that was before I had a foot issue at my half marathon and the same issue last weekend.

A normal person would rest their feet.

I am a crazed runner person.

I am seriously thinking of running the 10K instead and then adding on some more miles depending on how my foot feels.

But maybe I should just play it safe and run the 5K?

Next weekend I also have a 15k to run.  That one also has a 5K option.

Boy, it sucks when something hurts.

I am hoping it’s nothing serious – Dr Google says everything from calluses to capsulitis…

So first I skipped my training group run on Monday – the first one I’ve missed and I hated to do it.

And then I bought these on sale in DSW

mwi10

Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s

Yesterday, I put a thick moleskin pad on my foot and ran on the track.

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It felt fine for the first 2 miles, then I moved the pad and it felt better. I even played 1 1/2 hours of tennis later that evening.

We’ll see how the rest of the week goes…

But don’t be surprised if I stupidly tackle (limp through) the whole 9.3 miles.

And even try to beat my 1:33:23 time from last November…

2014: HMRRC #3 – 1:42:40, Stockeadeathon – 1:33:23 (PR), HMRRC #1 – 1:34:55
2013: Stockeadeathon – 1:42:22
2011: Stockeadeathon – 1:36:08

Nov - 15K PR

Stockadeathon 2014

And if I choose the 10K…

2015: HMRRC #3 – 1:00:24
2014: Spring Run Off -1:00:51, Camp Chingachgook – 1:04:54, Great Pumpkin – 58:28,Troy Turkey Trot – 57:03
2013: HMRRC #3 – 1:08:18, Helper’s Fund – 1:06:10, Monster Scramble – 1:03:18 (SHORT)
2012: Camp Chingachgook – 1:09:07

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Turkey Trot 2014

Happy Running!  What would you do? Do you race through injuries?

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Tuesdays on the Run: My Worst Races & What They Taught Me

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs hosts Tuesdays on the Run with April @ Run the great wide somewhere and Patty @ My no-guilt life!

This week’s topic is: My Worst Race(s) & What They Taught Me

Worst races can happen for many reasons. So here are a few of my worsts:

Worst Weather  – this would be a tie for the Lake George Half Marathon and the Love Run Half Marathon.  Both were run in a COLD downpour for the whole 13.1 miles. I was freezing and wet and very uncomfortable.

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Love Run 2014

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Lake George HM 2011

Worst Pain – this would be again a tie for the Runner’s World 5k and the Freihofer’s Run 2013.  Both were run with foot injuries. I had a stress fracture in my right foot for the RW race and a broken bone in my left foot for the FRW.

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TW 5k 2012

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FRW 2013

What I learned: I am stronger than I thought.  I can push through anything if it is important enough. I enjoy racing enough to run even through less than optimal conditions.

Worst Feeling (Physically) after the race – This would be after the Saratoga Springs Half Marathon.  I had a virus and it was hot and very humid.  I felt sick the whole race but stuck it out.  After the race, I almost passed out twice. UGH!

sshm4b

Saratoga HM 2014

What I learned: Hydration is very important.  Summertime may not be the best time for me to run a half marathon.

Worst Feeling (Mentally) – This would be after the Santa Clarita Half Marathon in CA. It was my 5th half that year and I trained really well for it.  I was expecting a PR.  Well, it didn’t happen for whatever the reason (rain, jet lag, altitude, etc.) When I knew I wouldn’t, I kinda gave up.  Afterwards, I felt very disappointed and that ruined the whole race experience for me. My friend also did not run well. So we both just wallowed in self pity.

St Clarita HM 2011

What I learned: Do not place so much importance on getting a PR. Anything can happen during a race and completing it is a victory in itself.  Just enjoy every race experience.

Happy Running!  What did you learn from your worst race?

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