Today I’m wearing my Tinkerbell Half Marathon shirt so I figured I may as well make an update about it. I almost had a good race. Almost. Everything was fine and dandy except for one little thing. I found my knee area in pain 1/4 of the way through the course. It started off pain-free until I passed the 5K mark and then knee pain caused me to limp with each step forward. At the 10K mark I was thinking. “Ugh, I’ve gotta run this distance again to finish??” Knowing that I really had to run about a mile more than that distance again to finish.
I wasn’t even halfway and my knee hurt each time I bent my leg to run. I walked for a bit until it felt a little better. When running again it hurt again so I “speed-walked” mile 7. I attempted to run again in mile 8 and it wasn’t too bad! Until it was.
Mile 9 was my favorite. Still in pain while hobbling, but they had Clif Shots at that station and I was handed two: citrus and mocha. I ignored the world and focused on emptying my citrus-flavored shot and what do you know? I was at Mile 10! That one was long and when I saw that medical tent at mile 11, I contemplated stopping and ending my race.
But did I really want to quit at 11 out of 13 miles when I could continue and be done in about “20” more minutes? Longer than that really, but my base pace with no knee injury is a sub-ten minute mile. I pushed through and was able to run for another mile or so. I saw my friend from high school and chatted with her for a minute as we ran. I think I told her that I was in severe pain so not to let me slow her down. Then watched her zoom away as I slowed to a walk again and saw the people. All those lovely people who had woken up early to come and cheer us on.
The last part of mile 12 was full of well-meaning volunteers but it was so disappointing because they were incorrectly telling runners that the finish line was “just around the corner.” It wasn’t. It wasn’t even around the next corner. It was around the corner, down the street, around the next corner then into a driveway that went slightly uphill and around another curve. I kid you not. I didn’t care about the cameras or the people, or about racing runners just ahead of me to the finish line when I realized I was within sight of the finish. I wanted the race to be over. As I crossed the mat I didn’t try to finish strong when each step was so painful. Total Running Time (TRT) – 2:38. Watching a video later I was surprised to see that I had jogged at least the last few steps. That was the last time I moved that fast for days.
I was likely moving that fast only because I was focused on getting over to the med tent and sitting down. After a 20 minute stint on a bench with ice on my knee and then a long walk– let’s say, a mile, back to my car, I began the healing process. No idea why we were directed to park so far away. Somehow I was able to figure out a way to get out of my car to my bed with another ice pack. When I got home it was only about 10:30 in the morning. I had the rest of my day to sit, immobile.
That was weeks ago. Physically I’m almost 100% better. Mentally I’m still in a place where I am wary of signing up for any more long-distance foot races until I am sure that I will be able to do so without going reintroducing this painful knee issue again. I can’t know that I will be fine running another 13.1 miles anytime soon and I have mixed feelings about signing up for another half marathon even if 6 months away. I am leaning more toward sitting the next one out and focusing on something else. I know that I’ll never know what I’ll be able to accomplish until I try it, so I don’t know why I should let this thought stop me now. Besides, there is just over a week until the Nautica Malibu Triathlon registration opens…
Mini book review: The Hunger Pains
Cheesy and hilarious, this story incorporates most of the plot points of “The Hunger Games” and a few of the ones from other books in the trilogy with blatant storyline commentary from the protagonist. It reminds me of the lighthearted spoof movies by the Wayans Bros., like “Scary Movie”, “Epic Movie”, “Date Movie”, etc.
Yes, many people think those movies are more stupid than funny, but I have to tell you that I don’t laugh out loud in real life from reading books that often, considering one of my favorite genres is dystopian youth fiction. I found myself guffawing several times while reading this.