Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2

NFL Back to Football “Race” Report

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For starters, we’re not going to tell my ortho about this, okay? Awesome, thanks.

Last night was the Ravens’ Back to Football 5k! I’ll admit, I’m kinda peeved that the Super Bowl Champion Ravens don’t get to host the first game of the season, but that’s another rant for another day. As part of the consolation package the NFL is sending our way, Baltimore had its first Back to Football 5k. Finishing on the 50 yard line? Yes please. Now this isn’t the first time I’ve been on the field – I was in the Marching Ravens the last time we won the Super Bowl. But still cool nonetheless.

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I had signed up for this race a few weeks ago, before things went haywire. Seeing as it looks like there’s a very real chance that I am missing my fall target races, I decided to walk this one. They had a 90 min limit – what did I have to lose? Even if I came in dead last, who cares? I did it with a broken leg.

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I started allllllll the way at the back, surrounded by screaming children in strollers. Ugh. Usually I use that as motivation to run faster, but there was no escaping it this time!

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Matt Stover, the much-beloved-yet-sadly-former Ravens kicker, (quite literally) kicked off the race. Even though there were only like 2,500 entrants they still had a wave start. Because we were way back we started about 10:00min after the official start. The Ravens Cheerleaders were lined up at the start, cheering everyone on.

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As I went past the announcers booth at the start line, one of the announcers yelled “oh my god, that girl is in a cast!” – and for the rest of the race that was the familiar chorus I heard. Although I was super bummed to not be able to run, it was fun hearing everyone, including the cops, being like “damn girl, that’s dedication!” the entire way. 🙂

The race itself wasn’t exactly the most scenic course I’ve ever been on – and it definitely took me to some parts of the city I had never been to – but it was cool seeing the stadium lit up and the city coming to life in the background. (Unfortunately, the iPhone sucks at low-light photos and none of them turned out. It’s a shame because it was absolutely gorgeous).

At one point just before mile marker 1 I noticed a woman up ahead of me decked out in Steelers gear and set my sights on her – there was no way a Steelers fan was going to beat me! I hobbled as hard as I could up that hill on Ostend Street and beat her to the top! But then she passed me running downhill. Cheater.

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When I (finally) made it back to the stadium it was pretty dark out, which made being on the field all that more impressive. As we entered the field from the tunnel the cheerleaders were lined up cheering everyone on again. Honestly, I think they were getting a little bored at that point because the crowd was getting sparse and they had been there for like an hour – they were cheering when I walked past, and then the second or third one in saw my boot and yelled “omg! look at that!” and all of them, even the men, started cheering even louder! It was really cool and definitely a spirit lifter. I took my time on those last couple of yards, just enjoying the view.

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For early September it was a surprisingly gorgeous night for a run stroll around the stadium.

After the race they had some celebratory beverages and the concession stands were open. Husband told me while he was waiting for me to finish he heard more than a few people talking about “that girl in the cast” – that kinda made me smile 🙂

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Although it was incredibly frustrating not to be able to run (or even powerwalk!), and it took me forever and a day to cross the finish line, I’m really glad I went out and did it. Sitting at home and missing the event would have been so much more frustrating. My leg doesn’t hurt at all today and I only have a bit of tightness in my right hip flexor (I’m pretty sure it did all of the work last night!), so that makes me really optimistic about the next couple of weeks. Yay!

Bonus – a little clip of me hobbling along made it onto the news last night! http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2013/09/04/ravens-fans-celebrate-the-return-of-football-at-the-nfl-kickoff-village/ When you see the hordes of screaming women, I’m just behind them.

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6 thoughts on “NFL Back to Football “Race” Report

  1. Just discovered your blog through a ‘stress fracture’ tag! Love the blog. I’m currently four weeks into a navicular stress fracture and am going insane! What did you do for workouts to keep yourself going?

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    • Thanks so much! So sorry to hear about your injury. Honestly, at first I actually relished in the idea of a week or two off – after that was when I had to figure out a plan! I really couldn’t do much for the first month without pain, which was stressful, but I reminded myself that sometimes rest really is the best option. I walked around the mall or the neighborhood when I could, but always made sure I was close enough to home or the car to give myself an out if the pain came back. And found humor in the fact that even with a broken leg in a boot I still walked faster and with more purpose than most people at the grocery store 😛

      After about a month I slowly started adding in longer walks and time on the stationary bike and later the elliptical as well as some upper body and core strengthening exercises that could be done in the boot. Not sure they did much physical good, but they helped immensely psychologically. Planning my return to running also has helped a lot – it made me feel like I had control over something.

      Good luck with your recovery and comeback!

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  2. Hi, I’m a 3D designer and have a project that I am working on that involves creating a sales presentation for some products that will be shown to some people who do the marketing stuff for the Ravens.

    I was wondering if you would allow me to use your field photo as a background. I can send you an example of how it will be used if you’d like.

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