Date: February 17, 2013
Location: Lewis Center, OH
Distance: 6.2 miles
Time: 1:53:02 (personal worst!)
Gimmick: Two-part race series with a bunch of swag (Nathan handheld, Swiftwick socks, Gu chews, a Gu gel, a hoodie, and a t-shirt for each race) if you sign up for both. It’s a 10K loop course on a mountain bike trail and you can do up to a 50K.
I know you were all waiting with bated breath to hear what I decided about this race. I originally signed up with my favorite running partner for a 10K on January 20 and a 20K today. I HATED the 10K, but I didn’t want to ditch my friend. Well, we talked about it and agreed that I would do the 10K today and she wanted to try for the 20K. Then the weather got awesome (that is a sarcastic awesome), so she also decided to do 10K. It was 14 degrees when I left my house this morning and it snowed last night, so 20K sounded like a fancy way of saying hypothermia to me.
We hung out in M’s car for a bit because it was too cold to stand around the start. We got out just in time to line up. It’s a small race, so we only waited about 40 seconds to cross the start line despite being in the back. I actually felt pretty good, albeit a bit stiff after my weight workouts this week (and the cold). In fact, I thought things were going pretty well until I fell really hard somewhere around mile 3 or 4. I slammed the right side of my left knee into the frozen ground, which had absolutely no give. It was bad enough that I had tears in my eyes and people stopped to make sure I was ok. My friend helped me up and we mostly walked the next 0.5 miles until I fell again. That time I slammed the left side of the same knee and felt a rock or something slide down my knee to mid-shin.
Once I fell the second time I knew I had to start walking a lot more. We slowed way down and got a passed a lot. I ran when I felt like I could, but all of the runners ahead of us had packed down the dirt, so it was also getting much slicker. We got passed by a few people on their second loop, but they seemed to be flying, so I guess they had no reason to fear tripping. The nearest first aid was at the water stop around 4.5-5 miles, but I decided I wanted to finish the race. The Gatorade and water was slushy from being out in the cold (G-d bless those poor volunteers, I would never have been willing to freeze my butt of like that). One of the last steep hills we decided to butt slide down (best choice ever, that was super fun).
We ran into a fellow MITer after our fabulous butt slide and she pointed out the my right shoe was untied. I actually already knew that (I hate when my laces aren’t tight enough), but I would have had to kneel on my left (injured) knee, so she tied it for me. As if that wasn’t nice enough, I was complaining about being thirsty because the hose to my pack froze, so she gave me water from her handheld. Mind you, this is someone I only casually know, so I thought that was incredibly sweet.
I was having trouble keeping up with my friend at the finish, but then I saw her dad coming out of the bathroom, so she came back to let him get to the finish and take a picture. She’s actually leaving soon for a month to become a dog trainer (she’s going to make Delilah suck at life less when she comes back), so I was really glad we spent the race together.
Overall, before the whole busting my knee thing, I enjoyed this race more than last time. I’ve lost about 10 pounds and my cardiovascular fitness has gone up thanks to increased distance, so it felt easier this time (or I was just expecting much, much worse). Once I got hurt, though I was frustrated. There was also the moment of fear realizing that I was out on a trail and would have to be able to crawl or walk to first aid, which was miles away. Luckily I didn’t break anything, but that was a scary thought.
So basically, I am not a trail runner. And that’s ok too. At least I tried something new, right?
I wrote this post yesterday, but didn’t get a chance to post it. My knee and shin have turned an exciting shade of blue and the knee is rather swollen over the PCL. The baby is sick, so I’ll be taking at least a few rest days to see if I can RICE away the injury or if I need to see my doctor.