So that happened. This race did not go as planned… at all. But let me back up.
After I ran on Thursday I felt a weird cramping in my calf. Sometimes when I’m really tired my calf cramps so I wasn’t too worried. It never lasts. I wore compression socks to bed but when I woke up on Friday morning, something was not right. I could hardly walk and my leg felt horrible. After a 16-hour work day, in heels, including 3 plane flights my leg was toast. I ran 3 miles and yoga’d Saturday thinking it would feel better. And it kind of did. So I figured I’d gone on with the race. I iced, rolled and trigger pointed like crazy.
This half marathon started at 7am 45 minutes away. Which meant a 5am wakeup call. I was a little discombobulated and realized I’d forgotten gu when I got to the race, Not awesome. Luckily friends had some for me but I was a little panicked. I must say– this race is really well-organized. It’s small-ish but it made parking and picking things up really easy. I warmed up and got ready to go figuring I’d go out at PR pace and see what happened.
The first 3 miles were fine. This race is SUPER boring– it makes a square on country roads that all look the same but a race is a race and I don’t really care. After 3 miles my calf and achilles started aching like nothing I’ve ever felt. I contemplated dropping out but forced myself to get to mile 7 and see what happened. After about 5 miles my pace just dropped and dropped and dropped as my leg hurt more and more.
The rest of the race basically went like this– run to aid station… contemplate dropping out. Figure it would take longer to get a ride to the finish then just run and convince myself to run to the next aid station, repeat. I have never entered or run a race where I legitimately felt like I may not finish. But, if there’s anything I know how to do, it’s suffer, and suffer I did. I wanted to use this race as proof that I’ve become mentally tougher since CIM. I thought this meant that I’d be running fast and get tired in the middle but it actually meant just finishing.
I crossed the line in 1:56 ish which is nowhere near my PR and a modern day personal worst and I was just happy to be done. I hobbled around looking for ice (none to be found, wtf???), tasted some wine (yes at 9am, shut up, it’s fine) and hauled to church. Yes, I went to church salty and nasty. Whatever, at least I changed out of the booty shorts.
When I was out there suffering, I did have a thought cross through my mind… a day I get to run, even suffering, is better than a day I can’t. I thought of someone I know recovering from chemotherapy who doesn’t have the energy to work out, a friend who was in a car wreck and needs 5 surgeries before he can run and others I know who for whatever reason can’t do what I do. So yes, I’m really not happy with my time. At all. I’ve had faster training runs. But I am happy that I’m alive, have legs that might gimp out from time to time but are mostly good to go and that I could be out there this morning. Yes, I would have preferred a PR but you know what? It’s a race. It’s not cancer, it’s not my job and it’s not the end of the world. There will be others and I’ll PR then.
I’m still not sure what happened to my achilles and calf. It actually feels better now (after more icing, compression socks and lots of time…) but I’m not going to be out there tearing up the pavement much this week. I figure no running until the swelling goes down.
Overall I’m glad I ran the race. I got a cute wine glass, a medal, a tshirt and now I know that I can suffer through 9 miles of pain. I really can.