Posted by: runawaynotes | May 5, 2012

Race Day: White Rock N Roll 5-Mile/10-Mile

My first race since my knee started acting up. Probably my last one for a while – summers are freakin’ hot in Texas. I mean, FREAKIN’ HOT!!!  Oh, and then there is humidity. Nothing like stepping outside at 6 am anticipating a nice morning breeze and feeling like somebody snuck up from behind and smothered you with a hot wet blanket. But I digress.

The morning of the race I was a bit apprehensive because of my knee, and I was also really excited because this was going to be the first big race for my husband to join me. He’s done a couple of 5K races with me before, but a few weeks ago I was finally able to catch him in a moment of weakness and twist his arm into running a 5-miler while I’m doing my 10 miles.

This is me being excited before the race (a.k.a. the “Before” picture).

This is me still being excited before the race (a.k.a. the "before" picture)

My excitement kept growing as we crossed the start line, and the first mile flew by without a twinge from my injured knee. When we passed the split point for the 10-mile and 5-mile courses, my running buddy Megan asked me if I was sure I was feeling well enough to do 10 miles and that this was my last chance to change my mind, to which I have replied “I’m fine. Let’s do it.” Wrong answer. At about 5K marker, the abovementioned hot wet smothering blanked that is Texas weather has firmly settled on my chest and shoulders. Suddenly my knee decided that I needed a reminder that it was still injured. The reminder came as we were crossing a bouncy bridge. I cursed inwardly and told my knee to suck it up and keep going. It grumbled for a while, but then seemed to agree to be copacetic for now. I should have known not to trust it by then.

By the time we’ve reached the 6-mile marker, I started feeling dizzy and light-headed. I knew I had to stop running and walk. Now, I’ve got to tell you – walking during the race is not something I normally do. In fact, in my two years of running that included 3 half marathons, I cannot think of a single race that I had to run-walk. There were a couple of races where I would walk the water stops because it took me awhile to learn how to drink water while running and not get sick. But I’ve never had to walk simply because I felt that I couldn’t run anymore. I’ve made myself sick once by running up a particularly nasty hill at the end of a 10K course (and then promptly threw up on top of the hill) simply because I wanted to finish the race under an hour and walking up that hill would have killed my time. I’m a firm believer in mind over matter. So, the fact that I felt like I JUST HAD TO STOP RUNNING today should tell you something.

It’s incredibly depressing to realize that you can’t run anymore when you still have 4 miles left to go. I mean, on a decent day 4 miles would take me close to 40 minutes to finish. So, I knew I still had at least another hour of suffocating heat ahead of me. Plus, every time I would start running again, my knee would wake up and whine “Nooo…. Why meeee…?? I need some TLC! I need Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation! I don’t need this sh… stuff!” I’ve got to thank my buddy Megan for sticking by my side to help me suffer through this. I cannot even imagine how much more depressing this whole experience would have been if I had to do it alone.

Finally, almost two hours into the race, we’ve made it to the 9.5 mile point and decided that we were going to cross the finish line running no matter what. I think the look on my face when I finally stopped my Garmin and collapsed on the grass said it all, because my husband turned around, walked up to the cooler that we had brought with us, and 2 minutes later I was ready to face the world again.

The “after” picture. The only reason I am smiling is because I’m holding a nice icy cold margarita in my hand.

So, what have I learned from this experience?

1) Don’t race anything longer than 5K in Texas in the summer. (Watch how long that lesson is going to stick with me).

2) There are very few problems in the world that a nice ice cold margarita won’t fix.

3) Even a bad race can still result in some good memories if you have awesome friends.

And finally 4) There always will be another race. I just need to keep on running.


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