Looking At The Bright Side Of A Terrible Race

Happy Sunday, I hope your weekend is going well.

As I sit typing this post, I have a big ole bag of frozen vegetables on my foot. I can barely walk this morning and as much as I wish I had done things differently yesterday… the truth is I can’t go back in time, so what’s the point?

Instead of regret and self inflicted anger, I’m looking at the bright side and feeling both prideful and excited for a mandatory change up in my training.

I didn’t think I had it in my to do what I did yesterday.

medals

But I’m getting a head here, give me a minute to recap what’s going on.

Yesterday I ran my last race of the year: Kiawah Island’s Half Marathon.

It was bittersweet, mostly bitter with a sprinkle of sweet.

kiawah-finish

Yup, tears swelling up…

On Friday, I mentioned in the post I had been experiencing some pain in my right foot. Truth be told, it was a bit more than “some” pain, it was enough for me to visit a physical therapist Friday afternoon for an evaluation.

He looked it over and felt confident that it wasn’t a stress fracture, which is what I had been worried about.

What is going on? It looks like a combination of extremely tight calves and a mean ganglion cyst on the top of my foot. Running, of course, flares the cyst making each step feel anything but effortless. That, with the calves, and my gait is being thrown for a loop.

My therapist decided to support my half marathon goal by taping me up to keep my gait strong (the pain has had me walking on the outside of my foot).

His opinion: try it out, but if my gait goes crazy and I experience pain in other areas during the run: STOP. 

The Kiawah Half Marathon

I hoped for the best, and when my alarm went off at 4am, I felt optimistic! I picked up Katie (our husbands left later to see our finishes) and we headed out to the island. It was a smooth trip and before we knew it we were waiting in the warm, dry (it was drizzling outside) conference center for the race to start. This was the first race I have run where we had an indoor area to relax while we waited. It rocked!

Then at 7:30, we headed to the start. Katie’s goal was to break a 1.40, my ultimate goal was to break 1.45 so we lined up near the front together.

katie-finish

Katie (who got her PR with a 1.38.xx)

The start went off at exactly 8 am and with temperatures in the low 50s and no rain, the weather was absolutely perfect for a PR.

Too bad my foot wasn’t.  

Some how through miles 1-6 I kept my pace where I needed it to be: under 8 minute miles. I have no idea how I managed this as I was conscious of every single step. There was no way to just zone out and do what I love. Finally at mile 7, I decided the PR was just not going to happen and with each mile after the pain in my foot increased and my pace quickly decreased.

At around mile 9 my IT band and knee started to become tight and painful so I made the decision that at mile 10 I would DNF (did not finish) the race. But at mile 10, there was no way to get off the course and back to the finish line so they told me to get to mile 11 and someone might be there to help me. (The volunteers were extremely helpful and supporting though)

Nope. The nice medic told me someone could come and get me but it would take awhile since they would have to come in from behind the runners.

“Oh shit, fine. I’ll keep going.”

And that’s what I did. One mile at a time, one song at a time, one step at a time. My legs felt like bricks, my heart breaking, and my mind reminding me that I can do this.

I was afraid to near the finish line because I knew that when I saw Dan my heart would sink and I would break down.

And I knew he would capture it…

crying

Oh and don’t worry, I have about a dozen more of these lovely shots.

What this face is saying: 

  • I’m in so much pain.
  • I am so disappointed.
  • I am so happy to see you.
  • I am so proud of myself for doing this.
  • I am so humbled.

When I finally crossed, I was over 10 minutes off my goal, making this my slowest half marathon ever. I still haven’t looked at my time and at mile 10 I turned off my GPS. How I came in at under 2 hours is truly beyond me, for that I am proud of myself.

But all in all you know what?

I am at peace and I am ready to move on.

As for the race itself, Kiawah was awesome. The crowd support rocked, the volunteers were fabulous, the set-up was perfect… I can’t wait to redeem myself next year!

katie-kindal-kiawah

After 16 races in 2013, my body needs to break from this running thing.

The Bright Side: What’s Next!

This race was closure for me. It reinforced my need and desire to focus on other things for right now. Some may say it’s a bad way to end this running chapter, but I think it’s the perfect ending. And a lesson at the same time.

I am talking some new goals over now with Dan. Of course, the number one goal is to heal fully before doing anything.

Running is a passion but I’m ready to give more time and devotion to other passions right now. My strength has suffered over the past year and I’m really driven to get it back, plus some.

Kettlebells are high on my list right now too. I love them and can’t wait to have more time to see just what they can do for my body.

Am I going to stop running? Hell no. I love running, but I will be focusing more on speed training and short distances for the next few months (again, after I heal). My next half marathon won’t be until October so between now and then I really want to see what I can accomplish with shorter distances.

Before I close out for today, I wanted to share the remarkable times of the winners. Dan loves watching the top runners roll in, and since I never get to see it, I love that he always captures them for me. What motivation!

The top man and the top woman:

half-winners

Complete the sentence:

In one word, 2013 can be summed up as the year of ______________.

For me: RACES.

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