I went out today to run the Battleship Half Marathon. This should have been my redemption from 3 years ago when I believe the police officer at mile 12.5 when he said I had another mile and a half and got in his car to have him drive me to the finish line.
Back in September, I had participated in the Student/Staff basketball game. Unfortunately, playing basketball with 12 year olds, when you are 40, just isn't the best idea, and I did something to my knee. I went and had it checked out and the doctor said there was nothing wrong with it. It has been swelling off and on ever since. I messed it up again last week at intramurals with the kids.
As soon as I started to run today, literally, the first running step, my knee started hurting. It hurt so bad in the first mile that I stopped and seriously considered turning around at the 5k turn-around and just doing the 5k. I literally said out loud, 'Not today....today you are NOT giving up!" I kept on cruising, keeping my intervals going.
I was doing OK and super happy to see that the course had changed enough since I ran it 3 years ago, and no right turn onto the street with cobblestones. Sadly, the turn was just delayed, and we still had to turn and run down the cobblestone streets twice. Both of these turns, to get back up to Front Street required a rather large uphill climb.
The climb was so brutal, after a couple of bad steps on the cobblestones, I was just in too much pain to continue.
The frustrating part is that I was on pace to get a PR. Even with the knee pain, I was staying between 14:30 and 14:55 per mile.
While DNF's suck, they are far less painful when you pull yourself to avoid injury than when you get pulled due to inability to maintain the pace. I really think I probably COULD have finished in time today, but I would likely have done more damage to my knee. I have some pretty big racing goals for 2016, none of which include time to recover from knee surgery or a major knee injury.
So, I've had the knee checked out and there is no known injury, just an issue as far as discomfort and inflammation. I'm going to get in some physical Therapy to support my knee and get it healthy and strong. I'm going to be working with my running coach, and starting back as square 1--building slowly. I'm only going to be doing 2 big races in 2016.
I'll be doing RNR Raleigh Half Marathon in April, and then Marine Corps Marathon on October 30, 2016.