During the race, during the meltdown, I thought I’m going to write a race report and then tell everyone who asks about the race I don’t want to talk about it.
I won’t do this chronologically, I’ll get to the part that matters: I melted the fuck down, my legs gave the fuck out.
Up to the halfway mark and beyond it was my race, I was loving it, legs a little iffy but to be expected. Then the long back downtown from Bowness and I got slower and slower, and sadder and sadder.
And most frustratingly it wasn’t a cardio problem. I could talk, full on converse with people, but my legs were hurting more and more and responding less and less.
Now this part I do have to do chronologically because it’s about the pace bunny I loved and dreaded. John. At the start I knew not to go out too hot so I started behind the 3:30 pacer, John, with my eye on the 3:15. Who I don’t know because I never saw him again. But I did pass John and the 3:30 group no problem and got well ahead of them.
So I was running around 3:20 I guess.
A few times as I was still in the zone but feeling the fight I looked over my shoulder and John was not on my tail.
Until he was. I heard him encouraging his group.
I fought to stay ahead of him but it was just little surges and back falls until we were even after one aid station and I was part of the 3:30 group, thinking I’ll do what I can at the end to get back on my time.
My legs, especially my right in the area around my knee just hurt so much that I was wincing and eventually on the verge of crying, and John got away from me. Everyone got away from me. Because I stopped to take my shoes off for a minute. A cop asked me if I was good and I said yes, he said he saw a medic up ahead and he’d send her back.
I was on my feet before she did though and we glanced at each other quite searchingly. I didn’t want to told that I could or should quit.
…For like 7 more feet then I was limping and looked like I was crying with each step. I tried to step it up to a jog and it was so ginger that I knew, and I confirmed, I could walk faster than that.
This is all over the course of 2k. I had 7k left when it started and I had 5k left 15 minutes later when I was like I’m done. I couldn’t even walk anymore without tumbling forward and grabbing my legs.
But there was no one around. The first race marshal or volunteer I saw was one of the super encouraging cliche types and I almost cussed her out for yelling that I could do it and not seeing how much pain I was in. I just walked passed her and got to the next aid station and had a water, a gel, and a Nuun, and kept walking.
Eventually I tested jogging again and was getting through it.
I picked up the pace steadily for the last kilometers and limped it in for 3:45 and the med tent.
Who were great of course. We worked on my IT band and my hip and it hurt like getting shot but I got some mobility back.
My pride had already started rebuilding itself. If I had quit, if someone had been there to ask me do you want to quit at that one moment after the bridge I’d have said yes and there’d have been no brunch and I certainly would have written this specifically saying I never want to talk about it again.
But I got some strength back and ran over the line. I’m psyched to train up and get better.
It was the hardest thing I ever attempted
And while it was harder than I expected
I did it
And now it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.