If you ever ask me what my worst half marathon was, this was it. It wasn’t the first time I had knee pain in a race, but it was the first time that it was so bad for months afterward that I didn’t think I would be able to do another half marathon.
But let’s start at the beginning . . .
I actually don’t remember packet pickup at all. I don’t remember there being any problems with it, though.
My Race Plan
Seriously? I think I was hoping to just not be in pain, which obviously didn’t happen.
- 13.27 (.16 mile)
3:05:43 –Official Time
14:08 Average Pace
You can pretty much see exactly where the pain really got to me.
The weather & dressing
It may just have been the most beautiful weather I ever had for a half marathon — just perfect. And for a change, I actually feel that I dressed pretty appropriately.
Was the race well run?
Very well run, extremely enthusiastic volunteers — even at the finish line, where I was actually pretty close to DFL. They were still partying and had plenty of everything.
Not a whole lot of spectator support, but the ones that were there were enthusiastic. I especially remember some guy sitting on a porch not to far from the start — and he was still there cheering on what few runners were heading back as I came back towards the finish.
So here’s what I wrote later in the day after the race:
Run as if you stole something
What a beautiful day to run . . . sunny, 40s to 50s, a slight wind. A small, mostly well organized HM.
Unfortunately it did not go well for me. I am not over my runner’s knee – but I did finish, painful as it was. Nowhere near a PR or the time I thought I’d finish in . . . but still just a tad faster than my very first HM; 3:05:44; 526 out of 551.
Well, I met 2 of my running criteria: I finished & I wasn’t last. Unfortunately not only was I in pain, for the first time in my short running career I had to walk the end.
But let’s back up a bit. The race started off well – I didn’t go out too fast, mostly a 12:00 mm, which was about where I wanted to be. The first few miles went great. Around mile 4 I felt my left knee begin to tighten up. In retrospect I probably should have walked up the really big hill at mile 4 1/2 but I didn’t.
I stop to sip one water or Nuun & take a walk break every mile & I did some knee raises & some butt kicks every time I stopped to walk, but they simply weren’t helping. I slowed down: a bit at first, pretty significantly as the pain set in. By mile 10 1/2 I simply could not run anymore; I’ve never had that happen before (or since, thankfully) – not in training, not in a race. So I walked it in til that last tenth of a mile.
It was disappointing, to say the least, but I did finish. And I wasn’t last.
DH actually came with me to the start, which he rarely does (actually, he’s come to the start of all but two halfs), as he’s rarely up at that time in the morning. Pawtucket seemed kind of iffy, so I think that’s why, but it was nice to have him there. And it was chilly, so I was able to hand him my sweatshirt rather than throwing it away.
It was my first small HM, but as the previous year’s reviews indicated, it’s well run & has great volunteers. It’s not real scenic overall, altho certain parts are & quite frankly most of the second half passed in a pain filled blur for me (I kept telling myself it was just another 5k but it was tough).
There aren’t many spectators except at the start & finish, so if you need crowd support this isn’t the HM for you. If you need friendly, encouraging volunteers, this could be the HM for you.
I liked the one tshirt that said “run as if you stole something”.
We stopped in Fall River at Pattis Pierogis & I got sweet potato pierogis & 1 peanut butter cup & 1 chocolate chip cookie dough pierogi. Yum-mo. I still have a few of the sweet potato pierogi left over & there were only 6, but as sometimes happens with a long run (& I did run hard for most of it, even with that sucky time), my appetite is a bit suppressed.
Well, 47 (states, that is) to go (39 as of 8/16) .
What I learned
I can’t stop running due to an injury a couple of weeks before a race and expect the race to go well. In fact, now I would definitely seek out the help of a chiropractor or physical therapist (or both) if I “ran” into something like this.
Sometimes DNF is better than gutting it out.
This race was the flattest race I have run in New England. Training went so well — or so I thought.The weather was so perfect. If I knew then what I know now, this race definitely should have been a PR.
The knee pain started out of the blue during the taper. To this day, I am not sure why. Did I push my pace too much during training? Did I run too many hilly routes? Was I simply running at a pace that my tendons were not ready for yet?
I don’t know. I’ll never know. In many ways I wish I’d saved this race for later, so I could have potentially met my FB friend Connie.
One thing I definitely still remember? Those dessert pierogis. They were awesome.