Home » Bad Days » Rutgers 7.8 Race Report

Rutgers 7.8 Race Report

7.8 what huh?  I thought it was a 13.1?

Yeah…so about that…

My training leading up to the race went pretty well.  My 10 miler was a beast but I chalked it up to a bad day.  My taper runs went off without a hitch and I saw my sports PT three days before the race and everything checked out.  Then, Friday after work my ankle and shin were bothering me.  It was a long shift so I just iced and stayed off it most of Saturday.  Sunday, I could feel it but wasn’t too concerned.  My friend Lisa and I drove up to the race together and while I debated dropping to the 8K, I thought it was all in my head so I headed to the half-marathon start line.

Miles 1-4 were okay.  I really did not expect the hills.  The race is described as flat but it was entirely full of rolling hills.  My calf muscles weren’t happy- I mean, I train in SOUTH JERSEY!- but I was getting by.  It was at about mile 5 that my race started going downhill.  My pace was still fine but my calves were cramping and my shins were on fire.  There was a certain level of “push through it” and a certain level of “don’t hurt yourself” going through my head at the same time.  I was walking a whole lot more than I like and no amount of stretching was helping.  The last thing I wanted to do was give up but I was getting increasingly frustrated.  I would stop, stretch and then less than a quarter mile I would have to stop again.  By mile 7, I had pretty much had it with the race.  The cramps in my calves were getting worse and every time I saw a hill, I wanted to cry.  At this point, I wasn’t running at all and still had over six miles to go.  I really did not think it was wise for me, mentally or physically, to keep going.   So for the first time ever in a road race, I stopped.  At mile 7.8, I pulled myself from the race, walked over to an aid station and had them radio me a ride to the start where I was able to catch a shuttle to the finish line.

I kept waiting for the tears.  To feel the failure in the pit of my stomach.  It never came.  Because I didn’t fail.  I made a decision.  And truthfully, it wasn’t even a difficult one.  I have spent much of the last 3 years injured.  It isn’t worth it.  I have no idea why my legs failed me- obviously, I need more hill work, but it has to be more than that.  Today, I will meet with my sports chiropractor and see what he thinks.  We have already talked about the next marathon (another post for another time) and today we will talk about the path for this year.  I don’t have any more races planned until July, so for now, I am just going to work on getting these legs back in working order.

After the race, I met up with my friends and we had lunch at a local brewery.  The day went on as normal.

Here is a photo from the day-

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11 thoughts on “Rutgers 7.8 Race Report

  1. Sorry your race didn’t go as planned but it’s better to be safe than injured again! I hope whatever issue (if there is any) gets taken care of so you can get back to feeling good again. I’m feeling aches this week and I’m hoping they are just taper related and not an injury waiting to happen. My race is on Saturday!

    • Thanks. Unfortunately, it is not an IF…I mean, it wasn’t in my head. I’ll find out this week. Good luck in your race!

  2. Kudos to you for being smart and stopping. So annoying that your leg decided to act that way so close to the start, especially after seeing your PT. And boo to the course being advertised as flat. There is a HM I do in Wisconsin like that. I was emailing the race director about something else and decided to ask him why he calls he flat. He said it was for there. Ha ha ha. Not for Chicago. Anyway!

    Let us know what your PT says! Sending you healing thoughts! How is your leg today?!

  3. Way smarter to pull yourself from the race than to continue on and possibly risk serious injury. Still, I probably would have cried because I am a weenie. =)

  4. Oh no, I’m sorry you had to DNF. Not finishing a race is so incredibly hard, mentally, even when you know it’s the right thing to do. Kudos to you for knowing what’s best. I hope you can work through things so your calves don’t do all of that crazy stuff again.

  5. Smart decision Jill! I have to make the decision to stop twice on race day and I was disappointed and crying. I shouldn’t have because at that time it was the best decision too. You did what you could and I’m proud of you for doing that.

  6. So sorry about the DNF…they blow no matter why it happens! But smart decision to pull out. You know your body and know when something it definitely not right and its better to avoid long term injury. Hope you get to pin point the issue and i have n doubt you’ll get to the finish line!

  7. Pingback: It’s Official, My Legs Hate Me | Finishing is Winning

  8. You made the right decision and I would of done the same thing. As someone who has spent months is PT, taking a chance is just not worth it. You will figure it all out and be back in no time. The next 13.1 has nothing on you!

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