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-