Winter Racing & Timmy Tailbone

Since the end of February is nearing and I’ve made a 2012 goal to run a race every month, I thought it be a good opportunity to document my success (!) so far.


I’d been a bit worried about accomplishing the first couple months of my goal, since running races are pretty scarce here in Central New York in the middle of winter.  Luckily, January was accomplished from day 1 (literally) since I ran a New Year’s Day Resolution Run.  I had plans to run a 5k at the end of January, but silly speed work the week before caused some soreness in my right hamstring, so I played it safe and waited for Mr. hammy to get better before racing again.


February would be the true test for running a race… the dead of winter.  I found a half marathon in Syracuse the last weekend of February (rightfully named the Lake Effect Half Marathon) but it filled up before I had a chance to register, which is probably a good thing since I’m training for a half marathon right now.  So instead, I found a small 5k to run last weekend at Onondaga Lake Park.  I hesitated to sign up (like I do for every race) but decided the day before to just do it.  I knew it was a flat out-and-back course, and really, after running marathons, 5k’s feel like 1 mile fun runs. 🙂

Since I had just had a great tempo workout the day before the 5k, I talked myself up to run a fast race, hoping to run right around my best time (21:27).  But of course, despite the mild winter we’re having, it snowed the night before the race, which made for a snow-covered, slushy course.  Since I was replacing my long run with a race, I got there early and ran 4 miles beforehand, which ended up being great because I knew ahead of time where things got extra slippery.

Coming off my hamstring soreness a few weeks earlier, I decided to race in safety mode.  I slowed down in extra slushy spots, and sped up when we’d meet a cleaner patch.  I ended up running a 22:31 (7:16 pace).  Not great, but good considering the state of the course and the fact that I’d just run 6 miles (with 4 miles tempo at 7:19) the day before.  And I think I could’ve kept that effort up for a lot longer, which is good considering my goal half marathon pace (7:23) is only slightly slower than the pace I ran last weekend (yikes)!

Poor Timmy (my PSA to be careful walking in the winter)

This past Monday, after a solid early morning treadmill workout (7 miles avg. 8:00) I was happily walking out of the parking garage into work, Tim Horton’s coffee in hand, when bam!  I slipped on a random patch of ice and fell flat on my back.  It hurt so bad and literally took my breath away.  I wasn’t knocked out or anything but the whole thing is still sort of fuzzy to me.  I do know a very nice lady helped me back up and grabbed my coffee for me (which surprisingly landed upright — clearly, I’ve got my priorities straight).

Anyway, that fall has made for a very interesting week of training!  My lower back, abs, and legs were all sore for a few days afterward.  My poor tailbone is really achy, even six days later.  I’ve nicknamed him (yes, my tailbone is a ‘he’) Timmy Tailbone, which I think is fitting since I was holding Timmy’s coffee when I fell.  I’ve been trying to do everything I can to make Timmy Tailbone better (icing a lot and spending my free time either standing or sitting on a donut cushion).  I’m guessing my running 40+ miles this week isn’t making Timmy a happy camper, but Timmy’s gotta get tough because I have a half marathon to run in four weeks!

Say a prayer for Timmy. 🙂  If you’re in a wintery climate, be careful out there… and if you’re in a place that doesn’t have to deal with sneaky patches of ice… can I come visit you? 😉


7 thoughts on “Winter Racing & Timmy Tailbone”

  1. In 7th grade, I slid down our stairs (with the super hard/braided kind of carpet) and hit my tailbone HARD. I couldn’t sit down, walk, stand, move for over a week. Getting in and out of bed was like a 15 minute process. I thought I broke my butt!

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, Liz!

    1. Ouch! Everyone I’ve talked to that’s also hurt their tailbone says the same thing – a couple weeks to feel better. The worst part is sitting ALL day at work!

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