Months ago I decided it would be super cool to run a half marathon on 1/1/11. I'm not sure why that thought entered my head since I only began running last April. And also since I tend to take it pretty easy when it comes to physical exertion. I guess I got bitten by the running bug at some point and thought I could prepare myself to tackle 13.1 miles. Thus began a long 12 week training process, and I admit there were times when I felt like giving it up.
The most daunting setback occurred 2 weeks ago when my knee began hurting terribly during a 9 mile training race. I finally know what the cause of that injury is. My I T band is out of whack (a common running problem that causes pain by the knee.) I've been trying to work out the band, but I am still plagued with pain that gets progressively worse on any long run.
Because of this injury, I knew I would not be able to run the half as I planned and trained for, which was very discouraging. But, instead of pulling out of the race, I decided to run as much as I could and walk the rest. I ended up walking about 60-75% of the race today, but I was hauling butt at a fast walking pace. (Just ask the 2-3 people who were trying to keep up...)
That fast walking was not easy, either! I had trained to run the race, not walk it. Walking used some different muscles today that are going to be sore for a while! My friend Karen pointed out that I seemed to have a "hitch in my get-along" somewhere around mile 10 and she wasn't kidding! It got harder and harder to maintain a quick walking pace as the soreness kicked in at the end.
It felt so good to cross that finish line, hug my kids, receive a medal around my neck, and know that I basically went from couch potato to half marathoner in 8 months. Maybe today didn't go exactly as I had envisioned it 12 weeks ago, but that's just the way life goes. I did what I had to do to finish what I started and I look forward to future challenges as a runner in 2011. I think the first order of business is get this I T band problem healed. After that, the sky's the limit.
Half Marathon: 3 hours 9 minutes or so, official results are not posted yet.