on monday my surgeon gave me clearance to run the derby half marathon this morning. his thinking was, i can’t do any more damage than i have, and we’re going to fix me up on thursday, so why not?
as of 730 this morning, i hadn’t run in TEN days, and hadn’t done a long run since the bluegrass half marathon four weeks ago. all of the downhills on that one were what sealed the fate on my knee, and since then the pain had been too excruciating to do much at all. i powered through a few more weeks of training, omitting the long runs, and then as of last wednesday just gave in and laid off.
so between the
lack absence of recent training, my knee injury, and the fact that i have a nasty head cold due to allergies, i was expecting very little.
1:42:52. PR by just over five minutes. BAM.
AND (get ready for the funny), i was in the first corral but was silly enough to start near the front of it. with all of the speed demons. so the Mile 1 marker comes around, i check my garmin…7:14. i start to panic a little, tell myself to slow down. Mile 2 marker comes up, garmin says…7:19. really, jenn? you are SO much smarter than this!
the clock at the 5k split comes around. 22:52. if you will please note on Exhibit A, my fastest 5k RACE TIME is 23:11. so…i PRed my half marathon and my 5k all in one race.
see also: things NOT to do. ever. ever ever.
to say i was struggling by Mile 5 is an understatement. i couldn’t get in a groove because i wasn’t running MY race. i was getting frustrated because i was getting passed. a lot. by people who are USED to running 7:15 splits in a half. i was shooting for sub-8:00s, but like…7:55s.
around Mile 7 i got my head out of my tail and let the ego go. and i started to run my race, my way. i smoothed out my cadence. i walked water stops. i ate some twizzler bites. i ran the way i know i’m meant to run.
by Mile 10 i felt high (despite the fact that just past the marker, i felt something explode on the side of my left foot. but more on that later). at Mile 11 i was joking with the woman next to me about the horrible smell of corn dogs coming for a restaurant on the street. and by Mile 12 i knew i was not only going to PR, but i was going to actually hit my goal time of 1:45:00.
i still struggled with that last mile, talking myself through. but when that finish line was in sight and i saw the clock, it was all worth it. every run, every race just proves to me over and over how strong i really and truly am. races like this aren’t about the legs; they’re about the guts, the heart. and with lack of training and an injury, i didn’t have a whole lot of leg to begin with. but guts and heart? those, i have.
my legs seem to have fared quite well. my knee hurts. but the thing that took the worst beating? my feet. after ten days of not being in running shoes and not having that constant friction, they were unhappy little campers.
i came home and took my left shoe off to find the source of that bit explosion right after the Mile 10 point:
big gross blister. just…ew.
it also turns out i acquired some killer busted toenails on both of my pointer toes, and a blood blister approximately the size of atlanta (you can sort of see it, right foot, ball of big toe mound). all in all, my feet did not fare well, and are even uglier than they were before. which was pretty ugly to begin with. (and yes, i know they’re spindly. i have hairy hobbit feet. it happens.)
but so worth it. i could have easily not gone, between the injury and lack of training and the fact that i’m one big allergy ball. but i’m learning that challenges are good; stretching out of your comfort zone is rewarding. prove your strength. live in motion.