I did not trip on a cow and I did not finish last. Ah but therein lies the win: I finished. Considering I ran the 10K (6.2 miles) back in March in just over an hour, it’s pretty miserable that it took me 3 hours to run twice as far (2:59:36 to be exact). My knees just couldn’t do it any faster and the truth is I was limping for a very good portion of it.
Just like on my 15 mile training run around Diamond Head a few weeks back, there was a point where my knees started hurting and it got worse and worse. The Gunstock course had a lot of hills and when your issues are structural the ups are much easier than the downs. So the fact that the last mile was completely downhill did not do me any favors. Coming down on my knees that far in was killing me.
It was frustrating because otherwise I felt fantastic. My breathing was steady and I never felt overheated or tired. My energy was great, my mood stellar. The scenery out there on the ranch was breathtaking and we kept running by horses, goats, even a stray donkey who was very confused about what the heck we were all doing in his backyard. My muscles got me through without so much as a peep of complaint. It was just my knees which I factor back to my busted hip and the simple fact that the structure of my body has been “off” ever since I hurt my back and fell off my bike in 2009.
I’ll be honest, I was a little sad not to have anyone to greet me at the finish line, but the emails, text messages and 26 FB friends cheering me on more than made up for that (along with one very enthusiastic friend who believed in me so much he thought I ran a full marathon in 3 hours!). I love you all so much. You make it a lot easier for me to handle being single. THANK YOU!
To continue with the honesty, what got me through that last mile was telling myself over and over it’s OK if I don’t want to do the full marathon. I’ve paid the entry fee and I’d like to participate, but there is no way I’ll be attempting to actually run it. I’m thinking I’ll run a mile/walk a mile/run a mile/walk two miles…
I love the energy of race participants, the camaraderie, how everyone involved is both competitor and cheerleader. Runners are super positive people and I intend to continue this running journey – I’m just gonna keep it to shorter distances and focus on improving my 5 and 10K times. Then I’ll volunteer for the longer ones so I can play the part of cheerleader too.