Monday, April 16, 2012

20 miles on my legs

This past weekend I had my big 20 miler. As you recall, I was really nervous for it. However, the day before the run - I was feeling pumped. I was ready. I was ready to take it on. And as my friend Elisa said - "We were ready for some whoop ass!"

Janis and I arrived at the bike path bright and early on Saturday morning and met up with Elisa and Gail. We started our run around 7 AM. The plan was to go out 5.5 miles and back. And then go out a different direction for 4.5 miles and back. We knocked off the first 5.5. Then we started back and knocked off the second 5.5 We took a five minute bathroom break. I was feeling pretty pleased that we had 11 miles done. I could hang in there for 9 more miles. 

On an impulse, I changed my clothing too. Just call it a wardrobe change. I took off my running pants and put on some shorts. I took off my long sleeve shirt and changed into a short sleeve shirt. It was getting warm - so this was necessary. 

We started off again. I was feeling good. Then we hit mile 13. And that's when the pain hit. All of a sudden my knee started KILLING me. And this wasn't just sore muscle pain. This was searing pain. I tried to run through it. I tried walking it off. I tried stretching. I tried sitting and resting. Nothing did the trick. It kept getting worse and worse. Janis and Elisa kept circling back. There was nothing that was making it feel better.

So what's a girl to do? Well - all I could do was walk. That's right. I literally walked from mile 14-18. By then, Janis and Elisa had finished their 20 miles and we all met up at the car. I was distraught. Thoughts were running through my head and they were not good thoughts. Nope. I was thinking nutty, crazy, bad thoughts.  "I was done. I was injured. There was no way I could run the marathon. I was hurt. I needed a doctor. I broke my kneecap. I just spent 4 months of my life training for a marathon that I would never run." Yes. You know. Those crazy thoughts.

We  drove home and I was feeling really bummed. I showered. I ate lunch. I pouted. I texted Elisa and told her I was in a depression. She told me to snap out of it. And - so I did.

I decided there was no way in hell that I was not going to get 20 miles on my legs. My knee was feeling slightly better and I figured that this was THE most important long run. I needed to finish. And there was no do-over. I can't just re-do a 20 miler on a different day when I am supposed to start tapering. I needed to finish and I needed to finish right then and there.

So Maddie became my little cheerleader. She biked with me while I walked the remaining 2 miles of my unfinished run. She kept telling me that I could do it and that the marathon was in May and I had time. She was being very cute. And because of her, and because of my stubborn willpower, I reached that goal of 20 miles. See. There is my watch to prove it.

Later my knee was still hurting. And it hurt most of yesterday. But then magically last night it started feeling better. The pain went away. I can walk normally. I can actually bend my knee without pain. I am still going to stay off it until Wednesday just to make sure that things are okay. But - I am relieved that the pain went away.

I still don't know why it happened. It could have been multiple reasons. I was wearing new shoes that only had about 15 miles on them. I changed my clothing mid-run and I could have pulled something when I was contorting my body to get my pants off. Who knows? Running is funny like that. Pain sneaks up out of nowhere.

Regardless, I still got the 20 miles on my legs. I keep trying to tell myself that's all that matters. It doesn't matter if I ran the whole thing. I still did it.

And now the tapering begins. 


Darlene said...

Great job getting it done. Hope your knee pain stays away.

Suzy said...

I hope your knee pain stays away! Congrats on getting your 20 miler done.