Why being an Ambassador helped me decide not to run the Seattle Marathon. This year has been a serious of unfortunate events, and they haven’t stopped yet. I didn’t run the Seattle Marathon. It broke my heart a little.
So after training all year through a number of setbacks (hello cough I still have), there was one I couldn’t overcome. A non-running related knee injury took me out on the Wednesday night before the marathon.
Despite my jokes about training for a marathon in a month, I was pretty well prepared for the marathon. I took a bit of time off after my marathon in September to let my body rest and then started back up again. I wasn’t starting at zero, but I do know that not taking the time off would have gotten me more miles. I also know my body needed a short break. The give and take to prepare me.
I used my Avengers race weekend as a test to see if I really was ready for a marathon without photos. That race weekend went awesome. Three easy races. I was ready.
Then my knee thing. Mainly just a giant bruise, involving swelling. On the same knee I fell on in September. Double whammy. I started the Widdle Waddle on Thursday feeling it, but just a bruise. I made it to the turnaround in a little over an hour. Spent 15 minutes hanging out and chatting then started walking an easy mile. See, Artboy was walking the whole thing and I had time to burn. Plus needed to save my reserves for Sunday. Then I started running again, and bam, my knee locked up, electricity shot up and down my pain.
I tried to walk it off. I tried to stretch. I tried to sit down and quit. I ran faster, I ran slower, I walked. Nothing helped. So I hobbled. The second half took me almost two and a half hours.Yeah. To go six miles. Lots of people helped me get back to the finish line, and the car. Artboy caught up to me near the end and helped me, along with a fellow injured walker he spent the race with.
I did my best–Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. I skipped Saturday’s Ghost of Seattle Marathon (the half), which is one of my favorite local races for so many reasons. By Saturday night, I could walk without pain. I could go down the stairs again. So I went for a test run. I made it 1/2 a mile before the pain and the electricity shooting up and down my leg.
I went home and thought of other ways to run the next day. Maybe I could tape it. Maybe I could walk. Maybe I could…
Then the voice of Seattle Marathon Race Director Louise Long echoed in my head. See, way back at our Seattle Marathon Ambassador (I was the 10k ambassador) she mentioned that she no longer runs because of an ankle injury she kept running on.
But I could tape it and do a test run. I could try a run on the treadmill. I could…
I am part of some amazing running communities, but those runners also push through some crazy stuff to not miss a race. Sickness, Injury, Distress is no deterrent. Those are the people who I have always aligned with, but this pain was different. This was pain that kept me from moving, brought tears to my eyes, and made me want to vomit. This was pain that locked up my knee and knocked me to the ground.
I asked myself, do I want to run this one race? Or do I want to run this race year after year. Do I want to probably not even finish this one race or do I want to keep racing.
Well that’s a hard one for me, as some of you know. I hate training, but I love the races. I don’t plan on running until I’m 85. I might, but I’m not planning on it. I could run this one race and if I’m injured, what does it really matter?
But it does matter. I struggled. I felt good. I knew I could have run this race with amazing endurance, but my body wasn’t cooperating. And it wasn’t something that come on while running or was caused by running. It was a stupid accident. A bruise that will heal just fine.
Well it will heal just fine, because I didn’t run. A few hours later, after just 1/2 mile of running, I couldn’t walk again. My knee up in the air on four pillows with ice on it and I was in pain. I wouldn’t have made it far in the race, I probably would have done some real damage to my knee, but that didn’t make my decision to not start any easier.
If the words of Louise Long weren’t in my head, I would have gotten up and ran through the pain. It wouldn’t have been the correct decision. I am still not happy about missing my final race this year, but at least it’s not my final race.