I ran, or should I say, I hobbled the Missoula Half-Marathon this morning. It was awful. Seriously awful.
It all began well, unless you consider the extreme levels of anxiety I was feeling all day Saturday and then this morning. I just felt ill-prepared for this race. I'd missed a whole month of running due to that heel thing, then I was sick and missed another few runs. The longest run I logged in training was barely 8 miles, and yet, I knew I could do it. I've done it before and I thought it would be fun to run with my friends. I had no time goal, only to finish and to have fun.
I was okay until about mile marker 4. Then my right knee started to hurt and feel, at times, like it wanted to give out. When I stopped to walk, it felt better, and would for a bit after resuming running. But I was discouraged, I didn't want to run/walk this thing I wanted to run it. And my knee hurt, I contemplated quitting. It was around mile 5/6 when I tried to convince my friend Sonja (She's the one on the far left in the picture) to go ahead because I certainly wasn't going to help her reach her time goal. She did, running off ahead of me, and I felt the tears start. I knew I couldn't do this and I looked at my watch to see what the real time was so I could call Erik to come pick me up on the side of the road.
But then, I looked up, and there was Sonja running back to me. And she stayed with me, through every walk break that continued to get longer and more frequent as my knee hurt worse and worse. I wondered if I should stop, but by the time I hobbled to mile 11 I knew I wouldn't. She kept encouraging me and smiling and being positive, I knew I couldn't quit on her. I was going to finish it, even it it hurt every step. And it did. By the end my only goal was to run across the finish line--I wasn't walking no Half-Marathon finish line! I did even though by then my whole right leg hurt like heck.
I am grateful I finished it, I can at least say that. But this race was so horrid, I'm seriously thinking I might be done with half's. Who knows what I'll think in 6-9 months when its time to start training, but for now some nice easy hikes and lifting some heavy stuff sounds pretty good!
I know I wouldn't have finished without my dear friend Sonja and I'm extremely grateful for her perseverance and selflessness to stick with me. Thanks girl, I love ya!
edited to add: my official time...