I was excited when we got up Sunday morning. I’ve been very conservative with my training since the return to running hoping to preserve my knee. Until treatment is completed successfully, it isn’t a matter of *if* my knee will start hurting again, but *when*. My last few training runs were pain free. How many more miles would it be before the pain returned? That was the big unknown.
It was chilly when we arrived at the convention center, so we stayed inside as long as possible. Husband made a comment about how the race was going to suck; he’s never been a big fan of half marathons. When it was time to start, we ventured outside and soon we were on our way.
It was crowded at the start, but it started to thin out a bit by 1.5 miles. I found a pace that seemed maintainable and started picking people off in the crowd one by one. I felt invincible. The first time I looked at my Garmin was at 4 miles – 40:26 – holy smokes! I was well under my target pace of 10:30min/mi and feeling good. I was all smiles. This is the run I had trained for, and it was playing out better than I had imagined.
Shortly after mile 5, my smile was gone. Husband turned to me and asked “Are you okay?” No. I was not okay. Out of nowhere, my Stupid knee started hurting. How bad would it get? How fast would it go downhill? I slowed down a bit and started running on the dirt along the side of the bike path thinking that might help.
They had cameras at the turn around. I took another glance at my watch at the halfway point and smiled for the cameras because I had gone 6.55 miles in 1:07: 38. I'm very pleased with the 1st half of my race. I believed that I had it in me to PR if the knee didn’t get much worse.
Okay, so much for a PR, my knee was hurting a lot and I was going to have to deal with it. I started taking walk breaks and watched people that I had picked off earlier pass me back. Bleck!
The marathoners had started 45 mins ahead of the half, and it was during this stretch that we watched the lead marathon runners zooming by. I was hoping Coach would be the first one that I saw, but instead we saw some bushy haired barefoot guy. Coach was several minutes behind him. Then another barefoot guy; this one wearing a skirt!! What is up with that?!?!?
I told husband he could go on ahead. He said he was in no hurry and stayed with me. One of the Turtle Club members caught up with us. We ran together for a while. She was on track for a huge PR and quite pleased with her race. She rocked it, too.
My knee was ticked off and so was I. Walking hurt. I said something to Husband like "This definately isn't the finish I was hoping for" He then reminded me that he had predicted the race would suck; that made me laugh.
When we were rounded the last corner to the finish, Coach saw us and shouted for me to finish strong, so I gave it my best shot. I crossed the finish line with a scowl shouting something like “Freaking Knee!” Ummm, yeah, that probably didn’t make for a good finish photo.
I hobbled over to two running group members who had both had awesome races and were in good spirits. I should have a photo from that soon. Husband looked for food and was hoping to find massage tables.
* My main goal to finish without knee pain did not happen.
* It's frustrating that I’m back to limping when I walk.
* I’m probably done with running for the rest of the month.
* Those last two miles really sucked.
* Husband ran with me even though he doesn’t like half-marathons. We crossed the finish line together. Husband rocks.
* My race got off to a great start. I had an amazing run for the 5 miles that my knee felt good.
* I achieved two of my three time goals despite a mediocre middle and a cruddy finish.
* I made new running friends through my running group...with turtles on the shirts!
* Other than my knee, I feel good.