I have been writing this post in my head for months now… but I have failed to actually put the words down on paper… errrr… so-to-speak
Perhaps the main reason I haven’t actually written the post is because it STILL bothers me…
Yes, that little half marathon that I ran in Milwaukee in November… the one where I failed to meet my time goal by 15 minutes.
Yep, that’s the one.
It still bothers me… but I know it shouldn’t
I worked so hard for a year…well… more than a year. I think my training for that race truly started when I got laid off from my old job and I threw all of my emotions into the only thing I could control… My running.
And everything fell into place. I got faster and I stopped fearing the long run. I PR’d every race that fall. I went to Disney World and accomplished something that, when I signed up for the series of races, knew was a HUGE gamble given how my running had been over the previous few years.
By all accounts… I was in the best running shape of my (admittedly) short running career. So I decided I wanted to run a half marathon again and I wanted to run it for time… a thought that hadn’t even come close to crossing my mind in years.
A friend found the race and a plan was set. Everything was going well… so well and then one day I started to feel pain in my left calf… it was dull but nothing I couldn’t handle…. a decision that, in hindsight, was insanely stupid. I continued to run on what, I later learned, was a strain for two weeks. Yea… not smart…
I went for an 11 mile run and it was amazing. I finished the run in 1:44:51 which would give me over 30 minutes to run another 2 miles and still nail my goal. There was still 4 weeks of intense training on my plan with a two week taper. It was in the bag.
The following day, I went for a 3 mile shake out run and that is when everything fell apart. That pain I had been feeling for two weeks… the pain that wasn’t that bad for that 11 mile run was suddenly excruciating… So excruciating that I cut the run short at 2 miles
After a solid week of rest the pain was no better and I knew it was time to get it checked… so off to physical therapy I went.
I was six weeks out from a major goal race that I had worked so hard for and I was injured. I tried to keep some sort of training plan together but the pain was too severe.
For this race, I was going to run blind… Go for broke when I had zero idea of where I truly was after not training for 6 weeks. I held onto that blindness for all it was worth… blissfully unaware of the peril I was about to endure.
And a week before the race my calf was feeling fantastic but my hamstring was excruciating…
I clung to my bliss and ignored the rather persistent pain in my hamstring. My PT knew my plan and we both knew I would stay in PT to address the hamstring.
On race day, with absolutely perfect weather, I hoped that was a sign of the greatness that was going to come but with each step and each mile my blind bliss faded fast.
My hamstring was killing me and it was getting worse and then my knee went haywire. I questioned my ability to finish this race let alone still hit my goal time. I knew my early splits were already far off what they needed to be
My blissfully blind bubble had finally burst. I finished but I was in a lot of pain and I knew I had a long road of PT ahead of me.
One day, several weeks after the race, I was out for a run. My hamstring strain and knee issues had been worked on for close to two full months and I was finally feeling like a runner again. I was feeling good and that was when it hit me…
I ran a half marathon in a lot of pain with a severe hamstring strain and a host of fun knee issues and I still PR’d by a full 15 minutes.
Sure, I was nowhere near that 2:15 goal time but it was still a SOLID 15 minute PR… a PR that I earned while injured.
Imagine what I could have done had I not been injured?
So yes, I am still bothered by missing my time goal but I also know that everything was working against me that day. I did the best I was capable of that day. It may not have been good enough for a 2:15 but it was still good enough for a massive PR.
I have never been one to settle and I won’t settle until I hit that 2:15 time goal.