So this morning was the Hot Chocolate 15K (and 5K).
I went into it hoping I could finish around a 12:30 pace. (I was doing the 15K.) Unfortunately my knee had other plans.
Anyway, so to start at the beginning. It was chilly out there this morning! I think around 29 degrees when we woke up, not sure what it was when we got downtown, but not that much warmer. And it was crowded. Two races with 15,000 runners each. I will say this – there were more than enough port-a-potties, thank you RAM Racing! I didn’t even have to wait in line.
So the 15K starts, and I start out slow. I didn’t want to get sucked into starting off at a faster pace as is common at races. The Sailor started out a little faster than me, which was fine, I figured he would slow down in the second half and I would catch up.
No such luck.
Things were going fine. I kept it slow and felt great, figured I should be able to at least run the whole thing at that pace, maybe even do the second half a little faster.
But then just past the halfway point, my knee started hurting.
My knee has felt like that before during runs, usually after a little bit (of either running or walking), it goes away. So I figured I would just walk until it went away. So I walked.
Every few minutes I would try to start running again. Nope, major pain. This is how miles 5-8 went. Walk walk walk try to run OW walk walk walk try to run OW walk walk walk etc. Eventually around mile 8 I just figured well, I guess I’m just going to walk the rest of the way.
Honestly, it was a major disappointment. I knew without the knee pain I could have run a good race (for me). And it was such a large race, it would have been fun to finish with a lot of other runners. Instead, I walked and finished with people who intended to walk the race. I tried really hard not to be negative, but there is not much else to do when you have to walk for 4.5 miles. And I don’t run with music. So it was just me and my thoughts among the walkers.
When I got to the very end, I tried to at least look like I was running to cross the finish line. But that REALLY hurt and if they did snap a photo of my crossing the finish line, I’m likely grimacing. At this point my jacket was zipped up and you couldn’t see my bib so I’ll likely never see those pictures which is OK. I did pose for some finishers photos with my bib number showing. My sunglasses hid my tears. (How poetic.)
After the race finish I hobbled around, eventually got in line for the chocolate fondue (which was really yummy) and found The Sailor. He was really sweet once he realized my pain + disappointment. He actually ran a really great race, did much better than I thought he would.
So anyway. I think in the next few weeks I’m going to try to work on doing some weights for my legs. I don’t know if that was the issue. But probably a good idea to strengthen those muscles.