What an AMAZING four days in Florida. They literally flew by, especially today…which was race day! We started with an extreeeeemely early wake-up call at 4:00am.
My personal race ritual is a small-ish carby “snack” to get something in my stomach. In this case, it was half of my Pumpkin Muffin from Fresh Market, witha a smear of AB
It was then time to gear up, and head out!
We headed out in the somewhat chilly Tampa morning air towards the race! We were a bit nervous at first, because the traffic was a bit backed up. Kim being a native Floridian knew just the right back roads to get us just feet away from the starting line…which was INSANITY.
This was my first experience with what I would call a “big” race. My first half marathon, The Haunted Half in October, was TINY compared to this bad boy. What was so odd was the race “starting” and us not even crossing the start line until about 6:00 minutes in. Totally bizarre. Another frustrating thing was that for literally the first two miles, we were WALKING it was so congested. It was really hurting our time, and stressing me out. I was totally ready to maintain/beat our previous time of 1:46…but this was going to be a doozy. Also…by mile *2* my knee started to hurt….bad.
I was in complete panic mode because I knew I had 11 more miles to go, and it was going to get 10,000 times worse. The problem is in the left side of my left knee, slightly below my knee cap. It starts out as a dull sharp pain, but progresses into a jabbing pain which if not stopped, totally messes with my stride and time. I had to honestly put ALL my weight in my right knee, and run with my left knee/leg sideways. I probably looks utterly ridiculous….but it was working somewhat.
Around mile 3 it finally started to clear up, and Emily and I maintained an 8:00/7:45 minute per mile pace with the use of my trusty Garmin.
Don’t let the grin fool you…..I would have given up the rights to my first born child at this point to make the knee pain go away.
Luckily, beautiful scenery…an awesome running buddy…and some good tune-age distracted me from the pain somewhat.
At this point (around mile 5) I had a system developed. I would run with the majority of my weight on my right foot for about a mile…or until my right hip started killing me due to the stress. At that point, I would switch to a normal stride, and just live with the left knee pain. This was I got a little break from one type of pain each time. It SUCKED….hardcore. But I could live with it, and was somehow managing to maintain our 7:45/8:00 pace.
I have never had to push myself so physically. Knee/pain of any kind definitely adds a whole new dynamic to running. I knew I could do it though, and I didn’t want myself or Emily down. We were on pace and it felt great (mentally, that is. ;-) )
We were almost there, 11 miles. 2 to go. I knew I could do ANYTHING at this point…and when I saw this random guy’s shirt…it was on.
I don’t know if it was reading that slogan, or having a kick booty final song, but I went into full out SPRINT…knee about to bust.
WE MADE IT! I literally almost buckled down, and my knee had had enough. I DID IT!!!!!! I was so worried, but we were able to almost match out previous Half time, and with it being so congested at first…I was beyond excited!
Shortly after, Kim joined us…and rocked it as well! Go Krucker!!!!!!
At this point, I literally had to HOBBLE to the car, but I didn’t care…I had done it! Free food helped ease the pain.
Once we made it back to the car…and to Kim’s house…we still had time to explore before out flight left at 6:30! I was VERY sick to my stomach for about two hours, and literally just sat around and did nothing. I didn’t even want to eat which is extremely rare for me. ;-) I have decided it is the Gu’s mixed with me NEVER taking water from the water stations. I think it dehydrates me so much, that my stomach goes into major cramps. It has happened before, but this time it was even worse. It was totally worth it, though…check out the sweet medals!
Totally worth all the pain. I swear! Once my stomach FINALLY settled down, I grabbed some oatmeal from Starbucks:
Also…a beautiful Florida day, and a glorious beach never hurt either.
The munchies finally started to kick in on the way back to Kim’s to pack and get ready to leave:
Emily and I also participated in what can best be described as a pack of hyenas dis-assembling a small African gazelle. It went un-documented but included:
- Various handfuls of cereal
- Leftover stuffed shells
- Iced Coffee
- Lemon Loaf
- Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies
- Vanilla Wafers
That’s just a taste…but it’s all I can remember. This happened shortly after:
Nah….she’s not dead. She’s just in a food coma.
It was then time to LEAVE. Sad and depressing times followed as we made our way to the airport, and flew back home. It was nice to see familiar faces at the airport, we even had a SIGN! I felt like a celebrity!
Sweeeeeeet! :-D I love my little Trey! He is basically my son, the same one I would have given up had the knee pain go away. On second thought, I think I could even endure the knee pain to see this face daily!
What. A. Weekend.
Had an absolute blast, and ended today on an extremely high note. I came home and fixed a quick dinner.
2 wheatabix, plus Almond Butter, Strawberries, and Almond Milk.
I ate this in 5 seconds flat, and am ready to collapse immediately.
Do not ever, for one SECOND second guess yourself, mind, or body. It is amazing what the human mind can and will do in despite of hardships that are presented to it. Push, crawl, kick, scream, DIG your way to get what you want. It may be a very long and hard journey, but it will ALWAYS be worth it. Always.
This quote sums up the day:
“Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond the pain.” -Saint Bartholomew