Today was the day of the big race, and my injuries got the best of me. :( I was unable to finish the race. Well let me rephrase that, I did FINISH the race, but I was not able to run the entire race.
I should have known it was not my day. I went to line up for the bathroom before the run, I picked the slowest line. I was 2 people away from the bathroom and there was 1 minute until the race was to start. I got to my starting group (without going to the bathroom) and the race was already moving! I had missed the start!! Luckily you time doesn't start until you cross the start line.
The beginning of the race is hectic. There are soooooooooo many people, and not that much space. I didn't even cross the start line until almost 4 minutes after the race started! I was stuck with a pile of slow people (nothing against slow people, at least they are out there doing it!), it just makes a difficult juggling process. There are the people with strollers, walkers, and joggers. Its a lot of bobbing and weaving.
Anyways, I just took at deep breath and tried to weave my way safely through the crowds of people. The first mile went pretty quickly, and not too long after that you hit the 2km mark and a nice down hill. I saw a few people I knew on the sidelines supporting their loved ones, so that was nice. Just after 4km my calf muscle tightened up on my. I felt myself jump a little. I was able to shake it out and run through it, but I felt my calf muscle getting tighter and tighter. I knew there was a hill coming up, so I was not looking forward to it. I started up the hill and pushed it hard, but I could feel my body mechanics off. I could feel myself favoring my left leg. I bumped into one of my fellow clinic runners, and he was suffering too. I kept on running. There was a small downhill where I knew I could left gravity run for me, and try to loosen up my leg before the long slow incline. Didn't work. I slowed my pace a little on the uphill, but my leg was just getting tighter and tighter. I passed 5 km and kept on trucking. I got to the top of the hill and decided it was in my best interest to try and stretch my leg out a little. I stretched it out and tried to set off running again. It was a no go. My leg just could not take the pressure/impact of running. So off I started on my walk to the finish, fighting back the tears of failure/disappointment. I had worked so hard for this moment!!
I cannot believe how many other runners stopped briefly to see if I was ok or if I needed anything, people I knew, people from my running group, and people I have never met or seen before in my life!! Two people gave me their cell phones throughout the race so I could attempt to call my husband and let him know I would be a lot longer than 50 minutes. I was touched by all the caring athletes out there. Not so much by the race volunteers, staff etc. Not one single person affiliated with the run even thought to ask me if I was ok.
It was the longest 4 1/2km walk of my life. I was being passed by EVERYONE, but I was going to limp my way to the finish line. While I was trying to avoid pressure on my calf my hip started to ache. I was a mess. At 9km things perked up. I saw my husband and baby walking towards me. Once again I had to hold those tears in. I got a big hug from Avery and the 3 of us walked the remainder of the race. I have never been so cold in my life. I went from running a brisk sweaty pace for 24 minutes to walking slower than the slow for and hour and 30 minutes. It was not the sunny day the weather man had promised us!!
It was a heartbreaking day. I have trained so hard, and battled my hip injury, only to be defeated by my calf. I can take some positives away from today though. #1 I started. #2 I finished regardless. #3 I joined a great running group, got my self in great shape and enjoyed it. #4 I finished my 5km split in 23.46 and was feeling good.
Tomorrow is a new day, though I may not be running this week, it is time to start getting my head ready for the next run!!