A costume, a half marathon and an injury

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I really didn’t think there was another half in me, each year I say it “no more halfs I am sticking to 5k’s” and then I get bit by that half bug. I think my decision to do another half is fueled by the fact that I need goals and events in my life. When you sign up for a half it’s a kick in the butt to get out there and run and to keep running. If am not training for something  I can easily blow off running because I am to tired or a SVU marathon comes on USA. But when 13.1 is looming weeks away, you bet that I am setting the alarm for a pre sunrise run or hopping on my treadmill to get my miles in.

I truly enjoy running and it has helped me with weight loss and just general overall health. It has also helped me make new friends! So I am not trying to make running sound like a chore. It is definitely a stress reliever and a fun hobby for me.

For my 3rd half I decided to try something new. My past 2 halves were the Rock N Roll St. Louis. However, for 2013 I signed for the GO! Halloween Half. Runners are encouraged to wear costumes while they run.  This did add another item to my training plan – what costume could I wear that would allow me run 13.1 – successfully and quickly.  I decided on a cereal killer – as you can see from the picture above I put some knives through some mini cereal boxes and splattered them with red paint. It was pretty easy to make, super light and if need be could be easily removed while running.

Overall I felt that I trained well for this half and was the most prepared for the 13.1 ahead of me. My long runs prior to the half were allowing me to set a good pace per mile and I was hoping to finish in about 2 hours.

And I was on track to do that….I was running at a good pace enjoying the weather and then it happened. Around mile 10 my right knee jerked in a weird way and I was in pain. After I got my wits about me I walked for a while, thinking it was a just a momentary thing. Maybe I just stepped on a rock and tweaked it or it was just a freak thing. Walking seemed to help so I tried to start running again and found that running was not really an option. With 3 miles to go and a personal best on the line I fought through the pain and did a run/walking combination to get to the finish line.

I ended up finishing at 2:24:36 – yes it was a new record for me but as I limped to the car I knew something was not right. I took a week off from running tried again and found the knee was not cooperating so off to the doctor I went. Currently I am doing physical therapy for strained ligaments in my knee. I am cleared to run 2 miles every week. Which is killing me! 2 miles – that is barely a warmup. But things could have been worse, hopefully this will make me stronger for my next one.

Yes, you heard that right I have set my sights on a 2014 half. I kind of feel like I have something to prove, that I can come back from the injury and be even better than before. While I don’t have a half picked out I know I won’t be doing the Halloween half again.  Not because of the memories it would bring back of the injury but because of how the race is run. There was also a 10K offered at this event, both 10K and half marathon started at the same time and there weren’t any corrals. When the gun went off it was pretty crazy and I had to do a lot of weaving through people just wanting to do a Halloween race, people pacing for a 6 mile run and just your run of the mill running idiots. I tried to give GO! another chance after a bad experience with them back in April 2011 when I ran the marathon relay but I think I am done with their races.

It was exciting to set a new record I just wish the injury part hadn’t happened. Hopefully the work I am doing in pt will help me avoid injuries in the future. Stay tuned for news on my next half!

~E

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